November 7th, 2008
08:10 PM ET
9 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. Chad

    I'm pretty progressive, but I have to stick up for the guy. Lieberman has the right to support whomever he wants in the election. Just as many republicans backed President Elect Obama.

    November 7, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  2. DC

    Honestly, it's as much sour grapes as any conservative crying foul over Colin Powell.

    Is it really surprising though? No.

    November 7, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. Ellen


    Of course Sen. Lieberman has the right to say and do as he pleases, but he does not have the right to claim Democratic caucus affiliation for the sake of a committee chair while thumbing his nose at the Democratic through a whole election cycle. He can't have it both ways.

    November 7, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. New Citizen

    I believe those who are supporting Lieberman are Republicans. I'm new in this country but following politics closely during this presidential election . Now I can conclude one thing: Most Republicans are ignorant.

    November 7, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  5. Cali Indy

    I voted democrat for the first time. I told my friends, as they courted my vote, that I liked the candidate, but that the party didn't care about bringing people together.

    Listen to yourselves. People like me left the other side because of the smug, better than thou attitudes. There are a lot like me out here. Why should we trust you aymore than them?

    November 7, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Tom in Delaware

    The harbinger of things to come,,,speaking your mind....following your heart....Freedom of starts by being 'improper', and ends with being illegal.

    The great part about Obama being elected is that we don't have any reason to continue with Affirmative Action anymore...why don't you make that your first offical act as President instead of another handout.

    November 7, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Ron L

    Joe Lieberman is NOT a Democrat. When he came down so hard on Obama at the REPUBLICAN convention HE established that fact, not the Press, or anyone one else. He had an option, when he spoke he could have simply promoted the POSITIVES of Senator McCain and not attempted to undermine and be so harshly critical of Sen. Obama. To me there are lines you have to respect when you are criticizing a fellow politician. HE CROSSED IT!!
    This is similiar to when Hillary made it sound like Barack was unqualified to be President. That GUARANTEED she would not be his V.P..
    Joe decided to back a Republican for President and now he will have to leave the Democrats!! For every action there is an equal opposite reaction. This applies to ALL things..

    November 7, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. Ken, Plano, TX

    Incidentally, don't forget that Lieberman's Independent affiliation is the result of his breaking with the Democratic party because he lost his primary. He declared himself Independent so he could have a mulligan.

    So much for Joe running on principle.

    November 7, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. From Texas

    Peace, love, unity, bi-partisanship, hope, change we can believe in, blah, blah, blah!
    "Just words Just speeches"

    November 7, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Cleveland

    Reid should be the one to step down, the man is a coward.

    November 7, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. Ron in Asheville, NC

    I still think the essential point is being missed. If Harry Reid doesn't do something with Lieberman, he loses his own ability to lead the Dem. caucus. The coherence of the caucus and Reid's leadership are at stake. It may be a little strong, but it's not unrealistic to say that it's either Lieberman or Reid.

    November 7, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Sam SixPack

    Yay! We got those republicans on the run! Look at them scurry away like rats with their obscene wealth in their greedy little paws! So what if they are taking our jobs with them? Now, if we can just get rid of Lieberman...

    November 7, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  13. John Wendt

    Lieberman is NOT A TRAITOR. He is an independent, not a democrat, who chooses to caucus with the democrats. I don't know why he or anyone else would support McCain, but that's his right–even if he were a democrat.

    Some things are more important than party–namely, your conscience. I believe Joe Lieberman acted with his conscience. He certainly didn't get any political mileage out of this one. I wouldn't vote for him, but I respect him.

    November 7, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  14. Vy, California

    Kick the old grunt to the curb

    November 7, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. grahame

    Come on.
    Lieberman is and always was a Republican. He only voted with Democrats when it suited his own agenda. This kind of fair weather friend the Democrats do not need. If Lieberman wants to be an independant then he should not hold any office within any party.
    It's time to dump the turncoat

    November 7, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Warren Shalewitz

    Throw him out of the caucus.

    November 7, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  17. Ben

    Just a sign of how the Democrats are planning to "unite" the country and "rule from the middle." Apparently there is little room for oppossing viewpoints in their anticipated reign.

    November 7, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. Joe

    To Ron L regarding comments made on November 7th, 2008 10:53 pm ET.

    You say Hillary making comments on the inability of Obama being President cost her the VP spot? Did you forget that Joe Biden made the same comments during the democratic primary. Now look at where Joe Schmoe is now. VP.

    Come on Ron. Get a job and get out of your parents basement.

    November 7, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. JoJoWazoo

    Joe Lieberman should be dead to us. He is to me! We also need to get rid of Milque Toast Harry Reid should be removed as Majority Leader. We are going nowhere fast with these folks at the helm. We have a chance to do great things for our country with out majority but not with these wimps at the helm. I hope Obama and Rahm lights a fire up under their butts!

    November 7, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Rebekah

    Wow, do any of the posters in this page know how the government works? Joe Lieberman will still be a Senator if he is stripped of his chairmanship. He will still have all the same power to represent his state and the same ability to be an independent thinker. He will, in fact, still chair a committee, albeit not one as important.

    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. You CAN tell you boss that he is a bloated jerk, but then you can't expect a raise. That is exactly what you Republicans on this board are suggesting; that Joe Lieberman should be rewarded with a very important position in congress by the Democratic party after he did nothing but talk trash about them for six months.

    If he truly feels he is an "Independent", then he doesn't belong in as crucial a chairmanship anyway. If you Reps don't think that's fair, answer me this: what is the chance of a Republican controlled congress putting anyone in a position of power that doesn't tow the party line 100% – I say about nill

    I'm glad that Joe was true to his feelings, although I think the way he showed it was reprehensible. However, now he has to pay the piper. Actions have reactions; if you don't believe me, go ahead and tell your boss what you really think of him/her.

    November 7, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. IowaMom

    From Texas November 7th, 2008 11:00 pm ET

    Peace, love, unity, bi-partisanship, hope, change we can believe in, blah, blah, blah!
    "Just words Just speeches"


    Just words and speeches because the new administration has not been inaugurated yet!

    November 7, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  22. Nashvillian

    Two-faced little squid. He is NOT an Independent, he's a two-faced turncoat. He supported Republicans only, down the line, this whole election. He can never be trusted again, so I say he needs to be gone. He did not do this out of principle, otherwise he would have picked and chosen which people to support, not strictly Republicans.

    What a jerk.

    November 7, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  23. Aron

    Lieberman is only an Independent because he lost a Democratic primary during his last re-election bid and knew that if he ran as an Independent, he'd win. Now he's definitely gone a little right since then, but he'd be a Democrat had this not happened. As for supporting McCain, I don't agree with him as I am an Obama supporter, however he is entitled to his opinion. I do believe, however, that Lieberman has let his ire for the Democratic party change his beliefs. Just go back eight years and he was the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate. Perhaps its time he does retire.

    November 7, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  24. Sue

    Thanks for keeping this important feed open CNN... it is a bitter issue that we as citizens must address, and keep the pressure on Joe Lieberman to resign. He is unsuitable for politics, as he is simply an opportunist waiting to attach himself to someones' coat-tails. This is not leadership, it is wishful thinking. He is useless.

    November 7, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Joe the Plumber

    Strip lieberman of the chair, what is going to do? Support the gop? Is he going to support the republicon for president????

    At this point they should not throw him out of the party, but if lieberman wants anything he must now tow the party line. He holds no cards at all. The party has a very healthy majority, and if lieberman wants to keep his consitutents happy he will have to support the Democratic agenda. He does not have anything to gain by fighting with the party he so badly sullied, so he needs to pay the price.

    November 7, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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