November 7th, 2008
08:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Reid: Lieberman did something 'improper'

Reid is torn over Lieberman.

Reid is torn over Lieberman.

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear Friday he's not happy with Joe Lieberman over the onetime Democrat's avid support of John McCain's White House bid, but told CNN the Connecticut independent has a strong record of voting with the Democrats.

Watch: Reid torn over Lieberman

"Joe Lieberman has done something that I think was improper, wrong, and I'd like if we weren't on television, I'd use a stronger word of describing what he did," Reid told CNN's John King. "But Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators. He didn't support us on military stuff and he didn't support us on Iraq stuff. You look at his record, it's pretty good."

Sources tell CNN Reid wants to strip Lieberman of his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship and offer him the chairmanship of a less high-profile committee. Lieberman reportedly called the proposal "not acceptable."

The full interview with Reid airs on CNN's Late Edition, Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Popular Posts
soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. Tired of Joe

    Look. Sen Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    Given his position on the war in Iraq, and his warmongering views in siding with Bush and McCain, I do not believe his views are in line with the rest of the Senate Democratic caucus on issues with which the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs deal. Logical conclusion: Joe loses the chairmanship.

    If Sen Reid offers Sen Lieberman the chance to stay with the Democratic caucus, and be a chairman of some committee where he's proven himself to be in line with the rest of the Senate Democratic leadership, then that's fine. But if Sen Lieberman says that losing the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is unacceptable, then Sen Reid and the rest of the Senate Democrats should throw him out of the Senate Democratic caucus.

    Losing a member of your caucus is painful, especially when the Dems are so close to the magical "super-majority" of 60, but on these matters, along with Sen Lieberman's negative campaigning against President-elect Obama, the Dems can't keep Sen Lieberman in his current position, and say they are looking to form that "more perfect union," without being hypocrites.

    Sounds logical to me.

    November 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. fred

    So I guess in order to be a democrat, you have to vote the same way and have the same views on everything as every other democrat. I guess just because he's a democrat means he's not allowed to have his own opinion on the war. I guess that's why moderate democrats never get high positions anymore. Think about it. John McCain was a fairly moderate republican. However, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, etc etc are all far-left liberals. There are no mavericks in the leadership of their party.

    November 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. United we stand...

    This is in response to President elect Obama (yes, it feels great to say that!) referring to himself as a mutt – I don't take that as an insult. It is not an insult but a simple reference to his bi-racial heritage.

    My son's are mutts or bi-racial. I am of East-Indian heritage and my gorgeous wife is French and German. Our wonderful children embody the best of brown and white mixing together. They have beautiful chestnut hair, big light brown-eyes that turn gold in the sunshine. They have never needed "sun block" a day in their lives and have beautiful tans all year round. They embody the best of my wife and I. They are the most beautiful children I have ever laid eyes on and they are mutts through and through. And my wife and I are proud to have made them. They are both Canadian and Indian at the same time. They have no issues around color and believe what they see in their home – people from any background can love one another.

    I laud President elect Obama (yes, I said it again!) for being able to make a little fun of himself and letting the world know that there is nothing wrong with being bi-racial. In fact you can even grow up to be President 😉

    November 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. RNP

    This is a free country people or have you forgotten that? He can support whoever he wants, just like Colin Powell did. Some of the comments on this page, are out right vulgar.

    November 7, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. High school valedictorian

    Note to Vegas:

    It's obvious you don't have the full picture of what Joe Lieberman did during this election. He was in cahoots with the Republicans in their vile attacks against Barack Obama starting with the unfair comments he made during the Republican National Convention. Disagreeing with the Dems on one major issue (as you put it) is one thing ...and totally acceptable, but throwing darts and venomous, inciteful attacks is another. What addled your brain, Joe????

    Do the right thing, Joe. For starters, apologize to Barack. Then to Harry and the rest of the Democratic senators who have been so gracious to you, because you will need them come time for your re-election.

    November 7, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Puzzled

    Can someone plus get this little weasel to stop talking? Really, I disagree with virtually everything President-elect Obama wants to do, but he's easy to listen to and very charming. And he's an interesting guy. Reid is a fanatical clown.

    November 7, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. austin, tx

    what crap. he was support his friend and felt mccain was the right choice for him.

    so does this mean all of the other democrats or republicans who choose someone their party did not should lose their jobs or positions as well?

    what crap. let the man be, he was put in certain positions and has done his job.

    November 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Chicago

    Joe Lieberman is one of the biggest hypocrites in the history the United States.

    He critized Calvin Klein ads, video games and the death metal band Cannibal Corpse yet he fully supports wars that kill thousands of people.

    He is an old washed up hack. Let the GOP have him. They're a party of old washed up hacks anyways.

    November 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Greed is not good

    Joe deserves the boot. End of story.

    November 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Deb loves PA!

    Lieberman is a backstabbing flip-flop of the worst kind , and should the Democratic Caucus allow him to remain, he should have as little control as possible.
    Though anyone has a right to support the candidate of his/her choice, and there were republicans at the DNC, not one of them trashed their party or candidate McCain in doing so, and that is why Lieberman's wanting to now stay on as a Democratic senator is a very distasteful thought to so many democrats, not just those who hold office.
    Like my mother used to say"It's not what you do, it's how you do it" that help form others ideas/opinions of you a person, and to that end,Lieberman was sorely lacking!

    November 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Rob Johnson

    It's one thing to disagree with your party on some major issues. I won't begrudge Lieberman that. It's good to think for yourself.

    However, by actively promoting the Republican candidate for President over the Democrat, he crossed a line and became no more of a Democrat than Zell Miller, who famously endorsed Bush in '04.

    Anybody who honestly thought John McCain and Sarah Palin (my God!) would be a better leadership team for the USA than Obama/Biden needs to take a long look in the mirror and decide if they still want to be a Democrat.

    November 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. E.C.Coleman


    November 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Mark

    What's the point of being independent if you can’t be... well, independent. A lot of republicans supported Senator Obama. Does that make them "improper". Senators and all Americans for that matter should be independent thinkers and not lemmings regardless of their party affiliation.

    November 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Biff

    Yikes... the posts here scare me. Must be McCain supporters...

    November 7, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. JC

    "Sources tell CNN Reid wants to strip Lieberman of his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship and offer him the chairmanship of a less high-profile committee."

    Lieberman isn't being thrown out. He used an advantage he had to get a plum position – that's politics. He backed the losing candidate and instead of kicking him out they are offering him a demotion but not much of one he's still the "chair" of a committee. Reid, given the Dem win doesn't need Lieberman.

    Now if the dems get up to 59 seats somehow in the next 2 years Lieberman can lobby for his plum position back. He walks in a snit it's over.

    Plus the GOP haven't exactly been kind to those who that didn't march in lock-step either like remember the I-Vermont from a few years ago. Liebermann's pro-choice views won't appeal to the GOP. Between a rock and a hard place and he's going with the GOP who don't really have a lot to offer him given their election results.

    November 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Traitor Joe

    Lieberman is a turncoat joke. He sunk Gore's chance at a solid win in 2000 making it close enough for the cheaters to steal.

    Then, he backs McNutbag and Sarah Palin, the latter who is no more prepared to be president than Joe the Plumber, their hero..

    Lieberman is a disgrace on many fronts and I hope he loses his seat..

    November 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Phil in KC

    I'm with Reid on this one. Actually, I think he was rather generous. I would have stripped him of any Committee Chair positions. Let him caucus with the Democrats; let him sit on committees. But no Chair.
    Joe can't expect there not to be repurcusions from his actions – unless, of course, he really has gone Republican. He picked the wrong horse, now he has to pay the piper.

    November 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Peter in PA

    Do you want to loose Jews votes? Then kick LIE-berman out of the party.

    November 7, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. independent now


    November 7, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. lane

    again Dems being mad because someone disagrees with them. What would your great uniter say? You folks are really making me nauseas.

    November 7, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Pat M Chicago

    Lieberman wrote the law establishing the Department of Homeland Security. If Reid cared about doing his job, he'd leave the man with the most knowledge of the Department and its intricacies in place. But, instead, he is playing the petty political partisan payback game, punishing Lieberman for being bipartisan. But, wait, I thought the Dem Leader and the Speaker have been pleading for more bipartisanship. Apparently, it only applies as a weapon. Reid's definition of bipartisanship: "I get 100% of what I want, and what you want is negotiable."

    November 7, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. John S. of TN

    Ah, the spoils system is alive and well.

    The problem with the spoils system is that when anything spoils it stinks–as does this situation.

    After 9/11 everyone was everyone's buddy in Washington and the whole nation was finally a whole nation again. Then we went back to politics as usual. The same thing is happening now in some ways.

    It seems like everytime we have a pledge for bipartisanship, the partisanship comes back out more quickly than the last time. Correct me if I am wrong, but the election was this past Tuesday. We saw all the final results Wednesday and all the victory and concession speeches Tuesday night and Wednesday pledged bipartisanshp and working together. Today is Friday and we are already seeing the political throats slit of those who dared defy the victors. Why not just skip the melodrama and get right to the point and say whoever wins is going to shove a knife in the political back of anyone who opposed them and if you step across the aisle to oppose the eventual winner you get it twice.

    I realize that politics is a profession where lies, deception, and two-facednes are just a matter of course, but does it not seem worse than it has been in this country since reconstruction? Or is it just me?

    I personally think Joe Lieberman will make a lousy Republican–he is conservative by Obama/Reid/Pelosi standards, but he is more still more liberal than most of the "moderate" Republicans. I applauded him for his stand for principle in supporting McCain, but if you are going to make such a stand, you better make sure you are on the winning side. Lieberman was not so lucky, and he would have been in dire straits even if McCain had won what with the number of seats picked up by the Dems in the senate.

    I gues it is going to be politics as usual after all. Was there really ever any doubt?

    November 7, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Joel

    What did Lieberman that was improper. Lieberman endorsed who he thought was the best man for the job; isn't that what we all are supposed to do?

    November 7, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Denise Groves

    he needs to be booted out of any committee he chairs

    November 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. Rick

    Harry "12% approval rating" Reid should work on accomplishing something useful for a change.

    November 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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