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. TangoDancer

    Senator Reid –

    It's more than obvious that you want to retaliate against Lieberman. Try to resist this urge and the numerous calls from other democrats to take revenge upon Lieberman. Joe is a human being like the rest of us. He had every right to defend and work for his friend McCain during the election. I'll acknowledge that the speech at the GOP convention was over the top, but... just bury the hatchet. Let Lieberman keep his committee chairs. He's a smart man, a fine gentleman, a patriotic American and a loyal democrat (for the most part). The negative consequences of stripping Lieberman of his committee chairs may not be obvious to you in November 08, but in time, this action on your part may come back to bite you in the buttocks.

    November 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Shara


    November 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Skunk Meat Anyone?


    Leave him out there to mingle with the other Skunks.

    November 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Ghost

    It is not that he supported John McCain. It is that he trashed President-elect Obama at the RNC.

    November 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. CK MN

    For those of you who have posted for Joe Lieberman, of course Joe L. can have his own mind to disagree w/ Obama, but the ways he had been running around and showed up at almost every McCain campaign and criticized Obama at the RNC convention on national TV, he went way over the line and that was uncalled for and he should not be calling himself a Democrat then. Yes, Joe L. should be kicked out the Democratic caucus.

    November 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. SANTE


    November 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. A Khan

    It will be very wise to strip him from this party. You already mentioned that he did very improper to this party & thats enough evidence.

    Joe, go Red.

    November 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. CR in WI

    Didn't you all hear what Joe said? He was fairly ruthless. Extensive campaigning with McCain. C'mon. You did not see Colin Powel on the road with Obama, nor any of the sitting republican senators. So yes, Joe went above and beyond what common sense would say. He deserves everything he gets. I hope he continues his independence, and votes as he will, but he did strongly go against the party, even promoting the GOP lies about Obama.
    His recent change of heart is too little too late for me.

    Sorry Joe, Ye Repeath what thou sowest. . .
    Yes we Did!!!

    November 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Gregory G Wied Jr

    Here's the way I see it. He needs to have a good long sit down with Lieberman and find out exactly why he decided where to align himself during the campaign. I agree that party politics are silly, so he should be able to support a republican if he wants to. However, the democrats are in the majority, so if he wants to represent the democrats, then he needs to align himself with them, make it clear he is with them, and all will be well. If he feels he can't do that, then I'm sorry, it's up to the democrats to decide whether they want him around or not.

    November 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Tom

    Hey Lieberman: You think it's "unacceptable" to face the consequences for what you've done? You threaten to bolt the party? Well don't let the door hit you on the way out! You tried to torch your party in one of the most important presidential elections of my lifetime. You beat the drum (and you're still banging) for the Iraq war that has cost countless lives and tons of money. What's unacceptable is your behavior as a so-called "independent Democrat." Either you're a Democrat or you aren't, and you went over the line. Buh-bye!

    November 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. truth seeker

    I don't see what the problem is ... Joe MADE his choice. He's a Republican now. Let him go ...

    November 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Marc PDX

    Old Harry has a little bit of a messiah complex himself. Boy, give him a little power and he decides who lives and who dies apparently. Well, the Dems earned lots of power in this election. It will be interesting to see the real personalities and agendas come out now that they will be unfettered.

    November 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Paul Hackett

    So much for reaching across the Isle. So much for that bipartisan out reach we need in Washington. Let's punish the one that did reach across.

    November 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. KW, Vail AZ

    Herry Reid's actions are warranted and correct. I respect Lieberman supporting the candidate that he tought would be best to lead the nation, however, when he became one of the clowns, along with Juliano, Romney, et. al. at the Republicanconvention, he stepped across the line. Actions have consequences and He'll have to live with them.

    November 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Citizen

    Leiberman is the biggest loser in politics. He gets the nod as the Democrative V.P. candidate and then the Democrats lose. He then loses his Senate bid on the Democratic ticket in Conneticutt, so he has to run as an independent. And after aligning himself with the Republicans during the most recent election they lost. The Democrats should run him out of the caucus, before he makes them lose the White House in 2012.

    November 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. D. A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA


    November 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Simmy

    I AGREE!

    November 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Peggy

    Lieberman supported the man he truly believed would be the best President. Since when is it a crime to vote your conscience. I thought this was a free country.. Does this mean that when you hold a government office, you lose your right of free thinking????? Who does Reid think he is???

    November 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Julie

    Joe Lieberman was elected as an Independent, right? If so, even if he caucuses with the Democrats, he is free to endorse whomever. Regardless, though, I do agree that it was improper for him to go at Barack Obama with the kind of gusto that he did. He could have easily supported John McCain and spent his energy talking about all the reasons McCain was his choice, instead of trying to tear down a peer Senator he has caucused with. I think it is good that Lieberman is being reprimanded, but ultimately I believe he should be allowed to continue on in his chairman position as well as in the caucus. I think it would make a great statement as far as burying the hatchet and moving forward.

    November 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Doc

    he needs to go!
    This movement isn't about the chance of Lieberman not betray us again (making us look bad). Its about the change I can believe in. Neither of which is Joe the plumber or Joe Lieberman

    November 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Ron

    Let's be serious. The Dems (and I am not one) have in my lifetime been a party that has allowed internal dissent to a greater extent than the Repubs. But when a member of your caucus repeats in public what were transparent lies (in the civil world a slander suit could have been filed) about your candidate, something has to be done or you lose all credibility as a caucus. It's as simple as that.

    November 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. BJ in NC


    November 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. TJ

    As much as I felt betrayed by Lieberman's switching sides to support McBush, I don't think stripping him of anything is a good idea at this time. We have the means by which to crush the conservative movement once and for all, and right now, Lieberman is a critical component of our majority. As much as I would like to make him suffer for his lapse in judgment, I personally think this is a good time to let by-gones be by-gones.

    November 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. J.S.

    Not everybody is a straight party voter-they vote for the man/woman who has they think has the best interest of the United States at heart. He just happened to think that person was McCain this election season.

    November 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Joe

    I'm a democrat and strong Obama supporter.

    But Reid is wrong. I'm not a fan of Lieberman. I think he lost for Gore by not helping the ticket.

    Yet, Obama needs to step in here and cool the jets. It doesn't matter what party Lieberman affiliates with or supported. My problem is punishing him by removing his chairmanship is not the style Obama preached and it's purely political. He said work together. Just because Lieberman didn't support is no reason to take his chairmanship away. Step up Barack and show us your pledge to be fair and work together.

    And while we're at it, why hasn't McCain spoke out in support of Palin. In his traditional style he doesn't know when to speak up. He should be all over the news, even going to Alaska to meet her and do a team interview saying he supports and appreciates her help and put these to rest. Even if they are true, he owes it to her to step in. Instead he remains quiet and let's her die on the vine. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a supporter of Sarah, but what's right is right.

    November 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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