November 7th, 2008
08:10 PM ET
5 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. JKP

    Lieberman acted "improperly", but former Ku Klux Klan leader Robert Byrd is still feted like a party lion.

    The hypocrisy is not surprising.

    November 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. John, Brooklyn, New York

    As a loyal Democrat, I have to support Joe Lieberman's right to make up his mind about who he wanted to support for president. On the other hand, while he COULD have limited his comments to praising the qualifications of John McCain, he CHOSE to engage in the ugly, personal attacks on Barack Obama – along with the rest of the McCain campaign.

    What Lieberman (and others on this blog) need to understand is that the RIGHT of free speech comes with the RESPONSIBILITY of living with the consequences of the speech you choose to exercise.

    November 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Brian

    Lieberman's remarks at the RNC were unacceptable. What would be acceptable, on the other hand, would be to strip him of his chairmanship and tell him to go over and caucus with the losers on the other side of the aisle. I think his rhetoric during the RNC and throughout the campaign made it pretty clear that's where he would prefer to be anyway.

    November 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Greg

    Harry, Harry, Harry,

    Take a deep breath. You guys tried to cut Joe from the herd once before and his constituents spoke. He’s not a yes man but you can still count on him. Who wants a bunch of yes men anyway? They will talk behind your back. Ask Jesus Christ how that worked out with Judas. Proof is, although Joe ran as an Independent he announced he was still a Democrat. As you said, he votes more your direction as an Independent then your own Democrats. Drive him away, his constituents will follow (it’s been proven) and the Democrats loose support. You’ll tick off Democrats, Republicans and Independents. He is a pretty good man. Few come better. Leave sleeping dogs lie.

    November 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. JWheeler

    Dump Lieberman! He's a turncoat and can't be trusted.

    November 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. RGG

    Joe 'Judas' Lieberman is a traitor. He betrayed the Democrats by kissing George W Bush and supporting the GOP. Kick him out of caucus and strip him of all privileges.
    Someone who doesn't put the interests of the USA first, is beyond rehabilitation. I will recommend that he moves to Israel. He will be more at ease with his fellow Zionists.

    November 7, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. California Gold

    Lieberman has burned bridges. That's all there is to it. You can't blame those who he burned or the bridge itself. The fault lay with Senator Lieberman. He is responsible for his actions. It really is as simple as that.

    November 7, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. MCD, SF, CA

    He has been dragging the dems down for a couple of years now... they need to either dump him or give him a non-consequential job that will get him out of the limelight.

    I personally believe that he cares more about Israel than America and, I'm sorry, but that is just not O.K. with me. His own country should come first.

    November 7, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Independent for USA only

    Well, Joe Lieberman is a grown-up. If he did not agree with Democrats in major policies since a year ago, he should not cherish the power Democrats gave to him. Senator Lieberman should have guts to be liable to whatever path he chose.

    November 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Mike

    I don't think Mr. Reid is going to get along with Mr. Emmanuel. It's a bit early in the game for Mr. Reid to start showing how big his... er pen is. Punishing Lieberman is so old school. Reid has had plenty of chances to use his power constructively and he's blown it every time.

    November 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. kel

    This was not about supporting your friend but Liberman went over the top. You can support McCasin but you were alll but calling Obama a traitor to this country.

    November 7, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    Lieberman betrayed not only his party but his state his country and his military by supporting a ticket that tried to put Sarah Palin in the Whitehouse. How can anyone in their right mind think that our troops should be put under the leadership of someone who does not know the name of the country or people we are fighting with or against? Not to mention the underliying political, cultural and historical causes and implications of foreign policy decisions that she could have been faced with.

    The underlying problem with the GOP and Lieberman is that they believe that their ideology is more important than their qualifications or the future of the nation.

    AS LONG AS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ESPOUSES A POLITICAL DOGMA THAT MAINTAINS THAT INTELLIGENCE IS NOT A NECESSARY TRAIT FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP THEY DESERVE NO QUARTER IN THE AMERICAN POLITICAL ARENA!!!

    November 7, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Keepgo

    Party has to count for something. Dump him completely, even if he threatens to bolt to the GOP.

    November 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. rich

    harry reid is the scum of the earth ,has a chance to reach out and have country come together.just a political hack and you wonder how a man likes that got to a position of power. With leaders like him and pelosi ,Obama doesn't have much of a chance to succeed.I hope I am wrong for the sake of our country.

    November 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Meka

    The Political Parties, are like families. Just because you disagree with them ... dosen't mean you throw them Under The Bus. Liberman was totally wrong, for Standing Up At The RNC Convention, and "Spewing" out the DISRESPECT that he showed.

    FAMILY FIRST

    November 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Steven

    Good Job Reid! Strip him out, kick him out and let him join the party of losers.

    November 7, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Senator Liberman has shown that he is out for himself only. If Senator Reid won't strip him of any and all committee posts than Reid needs to be replaced...matter of fact, just go ahead and replace Reid also.

    November 7, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Alex

    Who cares what Lieberman thinks is acceptable? He's lucky to be getting offered anything. I'm not a fan of partisanship, but hey, that's how congress works, and Joe hasn't acted in a way that should be rewarded with any chairmanships at all.

    November 7, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. ran

    The jester has been given. Lieberman should accept this offer or leave the Dem.

    No more time needs to be spent on him. We have much more important things to do. Also if he is with the Rep. we will see how much they are ready to work with the Dem.

    November 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Sherri

    Joe is not a Democrat. He left the party when he went Independent. He completely left the party when he supported John McCain. I wish him well with his GOP colleagues. We don't need him and we definitely cannot trust him. I will never forget his horrific speech at the RNC.

    November 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. MURdog

    So, Reid's call for more bi-partisanship in Washington is proven a sham. It seems that his definition of bi-partisanship is that Reid gets what he wants and everything else is negotiable.

    November 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Enjoying life to the fullest! :)

    He might have a good record, but, he has a mean streak and should not have went to the dark side. It seems to me he was only looking out for himself and that is NOT acceptable. Sure hope he gets voted out. This is a TRUE case of blantent flip-flopping!

    November 7, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Truth Hurts

    I question Harry Reids Patriotism for making such a comment.

    Joe Leiberman is a Patriot. Never Doubt his Actions!!!

    Truth Hurts

    November 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. LeBron is King Obama President!

    LIEBERMAN FLIP FLOPPER/

    BOOT HIM

    REASON GORE LOST

    November 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. Tired of Joe

    Look. Sen Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

    Given his position on the war in Iraq, and his warmongering views in siding with Bush and McCain, I do not believe his views are in line with the rest of the Senate Democratic caucus on issues with which the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs deal. Logical conclusion: Joe loses the chairmanship.

    If Sen Reid offers Sen Lieberman the chance to stay with the Democratic caucus, and be a chairman of some committee where he's proven himself to be in line with the rest of the Senate Democratic leadership, then that's fine. But if Sen Lieberman says that losing the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is unacceptable, then Sen Reid and the rest of the Senate Democrats should throw him out of the Senate Democratic caucus.

    Losing a member of your caucus is painful, especially when the Dems are so close to the magical "super-majority" of 60, but on these matters, along with Sen Lieberman's negative campaigning against President-elect Obama, the Dems can't keep Sen Lieberman in his current position, and say they are looking to form that "more perfect union," without being hypocrites.

    Sounds logical to me.

    November 7, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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