September 3rd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Dems could pull Lieberman chairmanship

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman’s speech before the Republican National Convention Tuesday night could cost Lieberman the chairmanship of a key Senate committee, a top Senate Democratic aide told CNN.

During the speech, the Connecticut senator praised GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and criticizing Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

"The Democratic Caucus will reassess the situation with Sen. Lieberman after the election,” Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Wednesday.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, now calls himself an “independent Democrat,” but he remains a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus which allows him to head the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Democrats have grumbled for months about Lieberman’s outspoken support of McCain and both Reid and Obama have warned Lieberman to curb his public criticism of Obama.

“What we saw last night was a culmination of provocative efforts in recent months,” said a Democratic leadership aide.

Democrats, who with Lieberman’s support control the chamber by a narrow 51-49 margin, are unlikely to go a step further and boot Lieberman from their caucus although the Democratic leadership aide didn’t rule out that punitive step if Democrats pick up several seats in November.

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Dawn, in Ohio

    what difference does it make weather you are a republican or a democrat, the truth is the truth. joe lieberman had the guts to say what he knew was the truth and what this country needs. hurrah for the truth and men like joe lieberman for saying it. my family are democrats but you can bet we will be voting for mccain. obama is all hype! a creation of the party and media.

    God Bless America

    September 3, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    Okay folks who are defending Lieberman. He lied. Obama camp and Dems are mad...cause he is lying. It is one thing to vote for your candidate of choice...but another to lie about your own parties candidate. That is what will get him booted off his chair. Not his voting patterns...not his chumming with McCain...but telling lies to help McCain win the election. But it will not happen....Obama is way ahead in electoral college numbers...
    Obama 08

    September 3, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Ruth

    Joe Lieberman saw the light and left the Rat party.


    September 3, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Voter

    Reality Check:

    Don't you really think Lieberman has already thought of that? He owes the Democrats ZERO. They dumped him, and he got elected anyway, this time as an Independent.

    Independent means he owes no allegiance to ANY party.

    I'm sure he could care less about being the chair of a committee.

    and, p.s., I don't like his views on Iraq -or him.

    September 3, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. AmeriKa the beautiful for Obamanation

    To Bob...

    They have time and money AND the race card. And a following of people who have NEVER ever (cared enough) to be involved and vote before and do not understand the democratic process. Winning formula for a budding dictatorship.

    If they could destroy HRC they can demolish anyone.

    September 3, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. sherry

    I hope the Dems end Leibermans career in politics.He's a weasel.I have admired his voting record for pro-environmental issues, but thats all

    September 3, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. tammy

    I think that you dems...I'm one but I am not as mean spirited as some of you are....really need to stop and think. Though Leiberman is an Independent, he is caucused with the Democrates. If he switches, the Senate becomes 50-50 in favor of Republicans. All of those Dems. that are the heads of committies, would be replaced by Reps. Pelosi would no longer be Speaker of the House. She would be replaced with a Rep also. That is why they are handling Leiberman with kids gloves. By the really need to keep in mind that Congress has one of the lowest ratings ever. Dems may not gain any seats. What would happen if Leiberman changes caucuses? The Reps. would control the senate.

    September 3, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Stephy

    Connecticut sincerely apologizes for electing this man into office

    September 3, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Paula from Canada..

    Throw the bum out! The nerve of that man. That is all the Dems need is some "spy" that is disloyal and doesn't even know which side he is on. Get lost Joe.. go babysit McCain ..

    September 3, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Phil in KC

    Dems will pick up enough seats that Joe will be gone from the committee chairmanship and the caucus. And, since the Republicans can no longer use him, they'll dump him too. Then he'll be a 'man without a country'. Just desserts, if you ask me.

    September 3, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Stacy

    The should pull his chairmanship. To be a member of a party, means you support their decisions and if you don't like the decisions being made you either work hard to make changes or leave. You don't lie about the party to the entire world.

    Lieberman has no moral, no respect, and no credibility.

    September 3, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. RapidRay


    Use the force, people.

    September 3, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. YaYa

    I think the issue here is the fact that Lie(b)erman lied! Even Dick Lugar himself says that he worked with Obama to help tied down loose nukes. Obama had stated the same in a campaign commercial but Luger was on a show (sorry I forgot which one), and said that the ad was accurate about their bi-partisan effort.

    I don't care if Lieberman speaks at the RNC convention, I don't even care if he openly endorses him. But the issue is that he purposely LIED. For that, I think he should be held accountable. He didn't misspeak, or allude, or even misrepresent. He lied, and he knows he lied. God is watching and he'll have to answer to a higher power than the Democrats in Congress!!

    September 3, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. MD Dem, Hagerstown, MD

    Lieberman is a party traitor and should be punished as such. What is most insidious is that the senator lied about Obama's record. Apparently the senator has nothing positive to say about McCain. I think Lieberman is just sour grapes and if he wants to be a republican then be one, do not be a fence riding so-called independent. Overall I find the GOP convention to be the same tired old politics of fear, hatred, and divisiveness it has always been. The GOP's idea of patriotism is exactly like Gov. Ventura said on CNN.... "very much like the philosophy of Gehring" who was of course one of Hitler's henchmen. True patriots question their government. This is one patriot who is sick and tired of being lied to by GOP elitists who are beholden only to their rich friends and corporate lobby interests, certainly not the needs or the wishes of the American people. I truly hope that Sen. Obama wins this election by landslide.

    September 3, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Kurt - TX

    Is it just me, or do the GOP Convention attendees look like a bunch of stiffs in suits, not to mention – ALL white?!? That's not the America I know and voters I am neighbors with.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    September 3, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Sheople yes, people not so much

    Americans have forgotten that in a democracy we permit peaceful dissent without retaliation.

    The NEW democrats need a lesson in democracy. They seem to want tyranny and totalitarianism.

    My supreme leader...

    Sorry guys... not for me.

    September 3, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Gary

    Leave him. It would just put everyone in the politics as usual mode because then it would say the only reason he was put there was because he was a Democrat.

    September 3, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Democrats you are looking foolish

    Dems threaten their way into a landslide Obamanation win.

    September 3, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Democrats you are looking foolish

    If Obama is a gift from God.... why are so many people being bullied to support him, intimidated if they don't and threatened into submission?

    September 3, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Breck

    Lieberman redefines the the word epic fail. Sure, praise Palin WHEN YOU DISAGREE WITH HER ON ALMOST EVERY ISSUE YOU TURNCOAT!

    September 3, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. G-man

    We all must live with the consequences of our words and actions. Joe Lieberman is no exception. McCain loses and Lieberman becomes an asterisk (or joke?) in political history.

    September 3, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Obama is always right

    Obama is a democrat but he did not support HRC or Bill's presidency....

    Now the rules are different.

    Obama can disagree with other democrats... but no one of either party nor independents can disagree with Obama.

    Obama is always right.

    September 3, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  23. Nova from NV

    The Dems will not react before the general election unless they are stupid. The move would get a backlash vote for McCain from Joe's home state.

    September 3, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. lil

    James Carville please dont let the bully bob bennett get a way with
    his two sets of rules. Tell him they are making a difference in the way
    they treat Obama and the way they treat other canidates and bennett
    make no bones about doing it. bennetts problem is that he is a big fat
    bully and need to be on foxx news not cnn he needs to come out of the
    box and stop. Everytime he cant come of with an answer to an arguement he bring up williams ayers not because there is something there but because he is trying to shut others up. He is a
    big bully that all keep going Carville dont let him do it.

    September 3, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. Joseph Claghorn

    Lieberman isn't reaching across party lines. He's setting off the grenade in his own trenches. To support his friend McCain is one thing, but to intentionally distort the truth in his attacks on Obama is another.

    Just remember Joe, Zell Miller tried and succeeded at the same thing in 2004 and nobody is talking about him now, not even the Republicans.

    September 3, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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