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. Meg D, SFV, California

    If anyone has followed Senator Lieberman, they know he flip flops like bunny ears. He appears to support things only coming from self-interest versus the interests of America's citizens. I admire Senator Reid in that he sees value in Sen. Lieberman as well as takes into account that Senator Lieberman is like the old regime versus what I think President-Elect Obama envisions as a change with intelligence, vision, objectivism, and healthy and healing direction.

    November 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. nate

    Droopy the dog is part of history.

    November 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Red, Red WHINE!!

    By all means he has the right to support what ever candidate he so desires. I even say it his right to do it in a fashion that is biggoted and unbecoming of a politician.

    But in doing so, it is his responsibility to accept the consequences for his poor judgement. If you show bad judgement, then those in the majority will judge you incompetent in getting the job done in a morally responsible way.

    This isn't about spite, he was offered another position on a different committee, that was EXTREMELY Bipartisan after he has proven to be unreliable, unloyal and unpatriotic.

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

    Keep Joe for his vote and let's see if he's on the side of progress when we need to stop a filibuster.

    November 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. GOPer

    You dems can keep Lieberman (I-Tel Aviv). I don't want him in my republican party. The only issue he agrees with some of us republicans on is Iraq, other than that, he would be a cancer to the GOP.

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

    Send Lieberman to the doghouse. He supposed to represent the people of Connecticut, not himself. It's clear he only thinks of himself and not his constituency. My guess is when he is up for re-election the people of Connecticut will throw him out.

    It's one thing to disagree with the Democratic party and support McCain – it's another thing to deliberately slap someone in the face and then smile about it. He slapped the Democrats in the face then smiled – that's not a politician or a statesman, that's a masochistic selfish egomaniac.

    November 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Jay in Florida

    Lieberman made his own bed. Now lay on it buddy! This is the same mistake made by Hillary Clinton during the campaign season. They made some very harsh and insulting comments about the President Elect. How is Joe expected to all of a sudden support him after his speech at the RNC? Seems hipocritical to me.

    You take care of yourself now Joe.....

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Will

    so now joe's opportunism is now called 'bipartisanship'. right. good riddance to joe! i never could stomach his whiney sanctimoniousness.

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. P. D.

    Come on Vegas! Repugs are NOW throwing Palin under the bus! Joe should go. It's bad enough he endorsed McCain. But speaking at the Republican Convention? Lieberman sealed his own fate.

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. jeremy

    well considering that leiberman isn't even a democrat, who cares. he left the party some time ago and is now an independent. so basically that means he has no ties to either party.

    i have no problem with him backing mccain. his guy lost, so now they all have to figure out the balance of power.

    reid is right leiberman votes democrat more often than not, so they may as well keep a friendly working relationship. his vote is key when it comes to filibuster.

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Steven Richards

    My personal inclination is to throw Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus. He has been a huge disappointment. He likes to think that he is civil in his demeanor, and that he can reach across party lines from his indepenent position. He is free of partisanship.

    His actions show him to be dilusional. He has used the most harsh language to describe Obama. He has stood next to McCain and applauded and cheered as McCain gave speeches that described his most right wing positions. Most of those positions are diometrically opposite of those of Obama – including giving tax breaks to big corporations and the rich. He cheered as McCain called Obama a friend of domestic terrorists. In short, Lieberman completely demonstrated that he has turned on just about every thing the Democrats have stood for since he was first elected. And he has done so in the most negative manner. I have absolutely no respect for Lieberman.

    That being said, I buy the arguement ot those who say that it is in Obama's and the country's best interest to find ways to heal the wounds and try to get the political machinery to work together. Lieberman needs to accept that there are wounds and he is the one responsible for them. Hence, he should not be so self absorbed and petty as to think that he does not deserve a demotion. But, The Democrats should not throw him out without offering a olive branch and make a real attempt to start te healing.

    Lieberman is not likely to accept any demotion. He is too prideful and foolish. But, if he refuses the olive branch, he looks small and petty. Leaving the Democrats will be his choice and allow the Democrats to claim the high road.

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. expat

    Joe Leiberman is an opportunist of the worst kind. His unyielding support for zionism trumps all of his moderate tendencies (if he really had any to begin with).

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Bob

    Lots of folks are writing that Sen. Lieberman is entitled to speak his mind and act against the Democrats, especially because he was elected as an independent. I certainly agree. The next part of their argument is: therefore Sen. Reid should not be considering taking his committee chair. I don't understand the logic of that second part. Sen. Lieberman felt it was his duty to oppose the Democratic party presidential candidate. Actions have consequences. How can he reasonably expect now be the chair of a vital Senate committee that must work closely with the president after he so clearly demonsted his oppostion? If the oposition party was in power in the Senate, this would make sense, but since the Democratic party is in control, this logic is just silly.

    November 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. realist

    There's no reason why Lieberman can't stay in the caucus and perhaps even have a committee chairmanship. But it would be insane for the Democrats to leave him in his current position. Besides, Lieberman has to take responsibility for his actions. I would think removing him from his high-profile committe chairmanship is a rational approach. If he can't accept it, then he should LEAVE. There is no need for Democrats to toss him. Put the onus on Lieberman to leave. Reid should publicly offer him a lower-profile committee chairmanship and force Lieberman to act.

    November 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. obama usa

    lieberman is not acceptable.

    November 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. jnkekoa

    Lieberman's biggest failing is that he is truly of limited intellect and ability. Sure, he's experienced, and he may be of some use. Forget the "traitor" stuff, he's simply a mental match for McCain–i.e., bufoonish, or dare I say, Palinesque?

    November 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. David

    Joe Lieberman went beyond disagreeing with his own party when he showed up and spoke at the GOP Convention. Te words Joe Lieberman spoke at that convention are what other Democrats are really upset about and disagreeing with.

    If he simply campaigned alongside McCain or was just present at their GOP Convention he would be in a much better position now but when you sink to a level of attacking, mocking, criticizing the Democratic nominee you cross the line.

    Anyone who listened to the speakers at the GOP Convention who were not upset by the words coming the people on stage need to give their heads a shake. I watched both conventions and found the GOP convention to be filled with racist bigots. I found these so-called Christians to be very non-Christian in their language and attitude toward President-Elect Barack Obama.

    Joe Lieberman should stand up and be a man about this – apologize or cross the floor or accept the demotion offered.

    No need to criticize Harry Reid.

    November 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Independent

    This line from one of the comments on here–"You do not cross party lines"–is the embodiment of the hypocritical attitude Obama supporters (not Obama himself, but his supporters) and also Democrat leaders like Reid are displaying. Obama preached UNITY and saying "You do not cross party lines" is the 100% opposite of UNITY.

    November 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. steve r





    November 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Mike from Oregon

    Joe needs go Mr. Reid please get rid of him sooner and let him side with the GOP, becuase you know the GOP got no love for Joe. They just used him to gain a few more the end. pres-elect Obama was/is steps head of the entire GOP including Joe. Joe should be ashamed of himself and retire in Isreal!

    November 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    Senator Liberman was respected and partisen enough to be the partys VP nominee, but when he votes his conscious and happens to disagree with the party he is now garabage. The Democrates should be embaressed by Harry Reid and the rest of the leadership. How can anyone believe they will try to work across party lines when they treat their own like this for not falling in line. Joe Liberman is a great Senator for America and the State of Ct. The Republicans would be lucky to have him. Screw you Senator Reid.

    November 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Tom, Golden

    When I was a kid, I got fired for doing something management thought unacceptable: I threw thawing frozen vegetables into the back of a poor pig farmer's truck, instead of the dumpster. Bet that pork was tasty- and I bet it fed a lot of decent people. Lieberman should be the next bag-boy- that wold be acceptable for me.

    November 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Ken

    I think the comments on this blog are a good indication of the "new direction" and "bipartisian" environment that we will be walking into for the next 4 years. It should be a fun time. Hope the country can survive, and afford the "change" in Washington.

    November 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Jay in Florida

    To the comment made by Shara:
    "HARRY REID HAS THE ATTITUDE OF A DICTATOR. ITS CLEAR NOW THAT NO ONE CAN WORK WITH THIS MANIN CONGRESS. . EVERYTHING HAS TO BE HIS WAY OR NO WAY..." Shara you sound like a sore loser that is bitter about something. Harry Reid is a REAL man. And real men don't tolerate SELL OUTS! Lieberman should deal with the consequences of his disloyalty.

    November 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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