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. Ohio Citizen

    Let Lieberman go. He not only supported McCain, but he participated in a kind of politics that is divisive and dishonest in the process.

    If he has an ounce of honor left in him, he'll vote with the Dems when he agrees with the policy anyway. If he doesn't, then we don't want him, he's a Republican. Let him hang around toliets with the rest of them.

    November 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Arkansas Undertaker

    I say cut Lieberman loose the way he did the Democrats!

    November 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. AZVoter

    "I guess freedom to disagree isn't a Dem priority."

    Giving a major address at the opposition's convention is not just "disagreeing."

    However, it is delightful to know that the Republicans would tolerate one of their number for doing such a thing. 😀

    November 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Liz T, Tucson

    It is not Lieberman's support for his friend McCain I take issue with, it is the delight he took in bashing Obama. He should have known that could lose him his standing in the Senate. He seems to be on the side of whoever can get him more power.

    November 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    Senator Reid......stop being so "diplomatic"!!........Senator Leiberman should be stripped of any commitee chairs or subcommittees......If he wants to contribute to our nations economic recovery........let him start with no more perks!!............Maybe he can run for Zell Miller's spot in the next election cycle.

    November 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Independent but Leaning




    God help us if this is the "change" we were promised.

    Obama needs to rein this fool in, and send a message to this country that this petty stuff isn't going to go on... Bueller... Bueller...?

    I'm not holding my breath.

    November 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Vince -- Northern California

    One would think that Lieberman is NOT in a position to decide if an offer of a "lesser" chairmanship is acceptable. He is the one who abandoned the democrats with the help of the RNC to run as an independent, and beat a quality Democratic Candidate, and he is the one who decided to go to the "Draconian Side" (McCain's campaign).

    November 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    Cabinet selection...

    First and foremost, in life, some positions do not need a lot of experiences, but just someone with really good judgement, vision and patience.

    And some positions, will require expertise and heavy duty experience in the arena. You jsut cant learn the trade overnight. In teh case of a Treasury, it's okay to appoint someone skillful.

    I trust that Obama has the judgement to know which positions requires quick-witty visionary person that can quickly learn and which positions require a Master.

    November 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. John Q. Cynic

    Lieberman is a leech, who's weasel like rational should be questioned by both sides of the senate. Boot senator Weasel Lieberman off the Homeland Security slip the rodent. I hate to demean the three critters I've used in my descriptive editorial, those three serve a purpose in nature, more than I can say about the senator.

    November 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Joe V

    Lieberman is in no position to ask for squat, unless it's chairman of a newly formed Committee to Undo National Traitors. (You do the acronym.)

    November 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Vegas

    Good job Harry...

    Just the Change in Politics Barry was wanting...

    Great job... what a tool

    November 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Limbaugh is my Saviour

    Liarman should return to his own country.

    November 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Tariq

    The question should be "Where would Lieberman be if McCain had won?"

    I don't think he will be talking to Reid and kissing up to Democrats or even saying that he got caught up in the moment.

    Nobody is bashing Lieberman for switiching parties or supporting McCain. He crossed the line when he started questioning Obama's patriotism which really makes the question of his loyalty a valid one.

    November 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Michael Prieto

    Well, I see the Repubs in the talkback are chastising the Democrats for disciplining someone who breaks with the party. Hmm...

    Hasn't the Republican "Rovian" machine been notorious, for the last 8 years, for "Party Unity"? Don't you think there are some people who have disagreed in the past wth the GOP and been taken to task for it? The difference seems to be that Dems do it in the open, and Repubs do it behind closed doors.

    Here here for Backroom Politics!

    Seriusly, Lieberman did far more than break with the party – he benefitted from them when it was convenient, then took his businesss elsewhere when it suited his needs. Then he went so far as to insult the Democratic Nominee, and in a VERY public forum, when he could have instead kept a lower profile.

    Actions have Consequences, Mr. Lieberman. Trust is earned, and it can be divested as well. You made your bed, now you may lie in it.

    Kick him to the curb. No party, no money, no friends... Let's see how far you get in the next election.

    November 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Karen

    Whether Lieberman likes it or not, he MUST BE STRIPPED of his role within the democratic party. It would have been fine for him to support his friend McCain, but what he did and said on the campaign was deplorable. Support is one thing, but to outwardly attack Obama cannot and must not be forgiven that easily. Let him cross over to the republicans. The truth will be told when he runs for reelection in a few years time. No one likes a traitor and what he did was just that. It was not just support he rendered to McCain; it was a betrayal of trust of the democratic party. LIEBERMAN MUST GO!!!

    November 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. DL

    DO NOT allow people to have opinions that are in CONFLICT with THE ONE, OBAMA

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. carl

    If the democrats can't get rid of Joe Lieberman and find someone more deserving of his chairmanships, then they need a new Senate Majority Leader.

    I'm all for diversity, but actively campaigning for McCain and speaking at the RNC has to have real consequences.

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Tom

    It doesn't seem to me that Lieberman is in any position to dictate what is – and what is not acceptable here. Harry Reid – do whats right here!

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Obama said he wanted to do away with partisanship. Wouldn't leaving Lieberman in place be a nice start?

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Pat Pa.

    I used to like Joe Lieberman and I couldn't care less about him deciding to go Independent, but, during the election campaign he chose the wrong party to back. He was just as " dirty " as McCain and Palin and lied just as they did. They lost and so he lost. Game over. His dreams of holding a high office under McCain are done. He cannot now choose what he gets to do, so " not acceptable " is not even something he gets to say. Sorry Joe, accept what is offered to you or just quit. No loss to the American people.

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Rich from Philly

    Joe made his choices–now he has to live with them. I think it is OK for him to caucus with whom he chooses. That is not the issue. The big deal is whether the Democrats should give him a leadership position that belongs to their party after what he did during the election. Actions have to have consequences and losing the leadership position is a consequence of openly and actively campaigning agaist your own party's nominee. Maybe the R.s will give him a leadership position with the minority.

    November 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Rick

    What an incompetent fool Harry Reid is.

    November 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Carl

    Let me get this straight.

    Many on here are preaching about how Obama and his democrats will unite all people of all backgrounds and work together.

    And, your honor, we have exhibit A, Joseph Liebermann.

    An independent that leans democrat that sided with a very moderate Republican in John McCain, as opposed to a slightly left Obama.

    When the election was over, Liebermann made a statement giving congrats to President-elect Obama and his support. Whether you agree or not, it is time to support him.

    To "punish" Joe for not being an Obama supporter, Senator Reid looks to ban him, which is a direct contradiction to this "unity" we keep hearing about from Democrats in power.

    Lieberman is no traitor for supporting who the thought was the best candidate.

    NEWS FLASH to the sheep on here: it's not about sides. It's about what is best for the country, and we had two choices.

    This is not about winning or losing becauase this is no football or soccer game.

    You may preach your undying faith to the Democrats or Republicans, but your faith is the reason this country stinks from time to time.

    November 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Silence Dogood

    So we are starting to see what is "not acceptable" in the New Order.

    Inclusion, reaching across the aisle, unifying the country. I guess the New Order is done with that now.

    Now, shut up, and do not question.

    November 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Glad Obama Won

    Does anyone know what GOP stands for?

    November 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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