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. Dave, Logan UT

    I think it is fine that Joe Leiberman supported John McCain. He is welcome to say whatever about whomever. However, I do think it is unwise for the Dems to have him in any chairmanship position. He may vote with the Dems most of the time but that doesn't warrant a chairmanship. There are plenty of other qualified Senators who can serve in those posts. Allow him to caucus with the Dems vote with the Dems, but don't give him anything more than a seat in a committee!

    I do not believe his voting record will change much if he is removed from the chairmanship and made a lowly committee member. He will have to account to his constituents for his voting.

    November 7, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Shannon

    so now if we don't support Obama, we are behaving in an improper way. I'm a democrat, I voted a straight Democratic ticket, with the exception of president, I went third party. I don't believe a true Democrat would vote for FISA and I could never support someone who did. I guess I did something improper. I guess democracy and choice are going to be things of the past under this administration. FISA was just the start!

    November 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Chula

    Since when did being a Democrat mean you are required to stop thinking and stop feeling.

    I respect Sen. Lieberman for voting his conscious, instead of going against his principles and following a candidate he didn't believe in.

    As Americans we should all vote America first and follow our hearts and our conscious.

    Any person, or party who is requiring our blind loyalty and asks us to go against our principles NOT worthy of our time or our votes.

    November 7, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. Cheryl in Florida

    It was Lieberman's right to say he supported Mcain for President fbut to be so actively involved in their campaign was wrong and did show a lack of good judgment. We need a person that can be trusted and shows judgment in an important postion like Homeland Security Chairman and I do not feel he is that person. He should agree to accept a lower position.

    November 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Mike in Oahu

    Liebermann may have upset his party by campaigning for McCain, but Reid needs to be careful with partisan retribution. Obama has called to transcend partisan politics, and if Joe Liebermann chooses his own candidate to support, which by the way is every Americans right, then so be it. Reid should be a gracious winner and extend the olive branch.

    Personally I would disagree with Senator Liebermanns positions with regards to Middle East peace. I believe he puts Israel's interests above all others, including America. His support of McCain was entirely about hardline hawkish support of Israel.

    November 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Voter

    Lieberman is NOT a Democrat. He owes the Democrats NOTHING. If he gets what he wants, he'll stay. If not, he'll go to the other side.

    That's what being and Independent means.

    If you wanted lock-step loyalty, you should have supported his bid for re-election as Democrat in Connecticut.

    Grow up, Reid! Stop whining.

    November 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. baggyjeanz

    let the prick go...good riddance

    November 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Who cares what Lieberman's record is? If he votes his conscience, he'll vote with the Dems on most things regardless his party affiliation.

    The fact is, he was not a trustworthy member of the Democratic caucus and should be shown the door.

    What would it say about Democrats if they were so timid as to give prime committee spots to non-Dems just because they mostly vote Democratic and only occasionally trash the Democratic Party's presidential nominee?

    November 7, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Pepou

    There is one word to describe what Judas Lieberman did :" Treason". And not only that. He spew his venom on a member of his party, Barack Obama, in the most despicable way. All this in order to ingratiate himself with McCain and gain a cushy cabinet position. I say : Get the weasel out, we dont' need him.

    November 7, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. MPATL

    I think he got tired of always being a bridesmaid and never the bride so he hitched his wagon to a new horse. Unfortunately he failed to realize the party he'd hitched his horse to aren't about to accept a Jewish person as a number two on their presidental ticket. So once again he would have to accept being a bridesmaid.

    The ticket tossed him for what the republican base, the extreme religious right, wanted. A reglious zelot. Enter Palin and once again the religious right sink Republican hopes. Well, 8 years of George W failed policies had 3/4 of their bodies in the grave already, putting the religious right out front as their campaign strong arm slid them all the way in and covered them with dirt.

    Either way I can't imagine where he can go from here. He's only useful to Republicans for what he can deliver. They will never ever elect him as a high profile "leader" of their party because he's Jewish. If he can't see that he's crazy. And Joe, you can't really deliver anything for them.

    November 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Helen, NY

    Joe is a great guy. I like him and he did the right thing. Harry is a stupid guy and he should know that he became majority leader because of Joe. Get a life.

    November 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. Helen

    LIBERMAN should not be stripped of anything It doesn't mean that his idealogies are not that of a Democrat -McCain is his Friend- there are Several republicans who backed Obama.

    November 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Susanne

    You are all funny. none of this matters. OlamO and Mclamo and all of the senators, house & staffers are a joke. Even more of a joke is you for voitng theswe fools around. Where is your father your grandmother, that great uncle...until you start voitng for real peole who are both smart and honest...I laugh at you all.

    November 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Jenny

    I agree with Mike from Syracuse. Regardless of whether President-elect Obama, or Senator McCain was the better candidate, Senator Lieberman as willing to cross party lines to support the candidate who he believed was best for America, clearly at great personal political risk. As far as I am concerned not only are Senator Reid's comments disrespectful to a fellow elected representative they also suggest that he his not wiling to accept criticism of the Democratic party nor allow its members to express varied opinions. Senator Lieberman stood up and did what he thought was best for America and for American people not what was best for his party, or for personal gain. I heartily respect that, and wish we had more elected representatives like him.

    November 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. SueB

    Joe is just the first of many who will be threatened with demotion or other penalties. Reid and Pelosi were pretty harsh against dissenters the last two years. Now with even more power, I'm not sure there is an adjective to define how they will behave. My guess is the Dems will cower in fear for the first year and give Reid and Pelosi everything they want. Then my hope is there'll be a rebellion. There are several strong moderate to conservative Dems, but it would take all of them working in concert to pull off the rebellion. At some point the partisan politics has got to stop. Our country is dying while they're doing everything possible to hasten death, all in the name of party first.

    November 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Evan

    Oh Joe how low you've fallen. I'm ashamed to say you are one of us.

    November 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Mark

    This doesnt sound like change. Go against the Dems and they will kill you. Just watch what happens as they take the USA in the wrong direction.


    November 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Adam

    Lieberman is a loser. And to whoever posted about losing Jews' votes, that's ridiculous. He's a politician before one of us, and to play the religion card is unfair. Rahm Emanuel is Jew enough for us

    November 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. Acdian_Rocker

    Lieberman spoke the truth... what's wrong with that? The only experience Obama has is running for President. Lieberman's an independent anyway, and if I were him I'd say – screw you Reid!

    November 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. dustin

    Well what did joe think, he stopped playing for the blue team, and not only stopped playin for but campaigning against the blue team, even for some down ballot republicans.

    November 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Reid needs to rethink his stand and defend Leiberman to the Demo Caucus. Yes, Joe went over the line during the campaign – I understand the animosity. But now that he's been publicly chastised, let it go and move on with solving the real issues the country faces.

    November 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. BEO

    Oh how easily you all easily forget how the Democratic party tried to screw Lieberman during his re-election bid. He didn't "leave" the Democrat party. Note the "I" by his name. He ran as an independent and won after the Democratic party tried to put him to pasture.

    I used to respect democrats, because they were like Lieberman and did what was right for the country. Unfortunately, now you've all gone wacko.

    As an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, I'd also like to say that the toughest enemy I ever fought was the US media. You made my job, and my soldiers' jobs, that much more difficult. I hope you all understand that your blatant lack of support has, and will continue, to cost lives.

    November 7, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Johnny V

    Reid is giving Lieberman a one-way ticket to political Siberia.

    Sarah Palin will be able to see him from her backyard.

    November 7, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. bob in LA

    Harry Get over yourself!
    Who are you to judge anyone? Yuo have been inaffectual in your position and should be thankful Joe even speaks with you!
    Despite what you and other politians think- we are American- not republicans and Democrats!

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

    Oh, just boot him out of the party already.

    November 7, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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