November 9th, 2008
02:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Lieberman can still help Dems, Reid says

Harry Reid says it's up to the Democratic caucus to make any decision about Joe Lieberman's future.

Harry Reid says it's up to the Democratic caucus to make any decision about Joe Lieberman's future.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday he's still trying to keep Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman within the Democratic caucus despite anger over Lieberman's support of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

While he has opposed Democratic efforts to end the war in Iraq, "Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators," Reid told CNN's "Late Edition."

"Joe Lieberman is not some right-wing nutcase," he said. "Joe Lieberman is one of the most progressive people ever to come from the state of Connecticut."

Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent, broke with the party over the war in Iraq and ran as an independent after losing the party's nomination in 2006. Since then, he has been the 51st vote that kept the Senate in Democratic hands.

Lieberman also was Al Gore's running mate on the 2000 Democratic ticket.

But this year, he was a fixture on the campaign trail with McCain - and now that Democrats have gained at least six seats in the chamber, Reid is under pressure from many Democrats to punish Lieberman for harsh criticism of Sen. Barack Obama in a speech at the Republican convention.

"Sen. Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But, my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record," Lieberman said at the Republican convention in early September.

Lieberman charged that Obama had not reached across party lines to "get anything significant done" and said that the McCain-Palin ticket was "the real ticket for change."

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. WIlly Brown

    Let's hope Joe jumps the sinking ship of the Harry & Nancy liberal love boat!

    November 9, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Sue in MI

    Can they really trust Lieberman? Either side? I'm not sure that I do.

    November 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. I am a proud Democrat

    I can understand the Democrats being angry with Lieberman for siding with a Republican in the presidential race.

    But I think calling what he did inappropriate is incorrect. Afterall, Lieberman didn't vote against his party – Lieberman is an independent.

    In fact, Lieberman was forced to be an independent because he lost as a democrat in the Connecticut primary, and then won because in his state, he had the support of republicans, democrats, and independents.

    It was his choice to side with the Democratic caucus, not a requirement upon him.

    To "punish" Lieberman now would be to punish him for not following an obligation he simply did not have. He has no requirement to be loyal to a party, since he's not part of one. And he has no obligation to vote with a particular caucus, since he's the one giving more strength to whichever caucus he's in, not the other way around.

    November 9, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    This opportunist choose the wrong side and should he think that for this he would be rewarded?
    He has to come straight forward and tell his fellow politicians that he supported Mc-faillure just because of race and nothing else.
    His place is in Guantanamo.



    November 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. KCBob

    Joe must go. Perhaps in 2010 we can close the book on this back stabber and a few more corrupt Republicans.

    November 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. JWheeler

    Dump him!

    November 9, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. KJL

    Lieberman has joined Palin in that they have both become punch lines.

    November 9, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. La Chatte

    Perhaps the Dums should punish Joe by sending him to Alaska where he will be forced to sit on the front porch of the trailer and stare at Russia with the Palin clan. It's better than what he truly deserves!

    November 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Ron , West Coast

    Let the republicrook party have Joe " turncoat, sleeze-ball ", Lieberman . Harry Reid is a very weak majority leader as it is, ..... To me , it seems we need a change in leadership. We don`t need Lieberman, he definitly can`t be trusted.
    I say Hillary Clinton should be the majority leader in the senate, she`s tough, she very intelligent, just who we need to get the ball rolling, and keep the other demo. senators on the same page, to get the " Peoples " work done !!!!

    November 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. B Tuggle

    Whether Lieberman is with the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, his duties remain the same and if he does not fulfill them, the are real issue is at hand.

    Granted his actions during the campaign are within bounds of major irritations, it seems that maybe the Senate can use him in a positive way. However, if he starts demanding things or saying prospects are not acceptable then its time for the close-line, as in begone.

    One question to mind, if Lieberman is the Chair for Homeland Security and Government Affairs, how much we that be as a burden for Sen. Obama. We need the Chair of such an important committee to have an excellent course of exchange with the President.

    Having said the above, I would prefer to dine at a different table than Lieberman, and in fact maybe a different restaurant, but definitely not my home.

    November 9, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Lynda Ridgefield, CT.

    Lie-berman, should understand that, as he was elected as an Independant, he betrayed the citizens of Connecticut, when he spent the summer, standing behind McPain and endorsing, someone like Palin.
    He is, a Modern Day Benedict Arnold, and the Supreme Oppurtunist!!

    We, should recall him!!!!

    November 9, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Lois

    LIEberman should register for his correct party. R-Israel. He is an opportunist and not to be trusted by EITHER party. Kick him out of ANYTHING Democratic.

    November 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. John G

    "Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators,"

    HIS senators? Funny, I kind of thought they were elected by and worked for the people in their districts not some megalomaniacal wannabe whose party just got a slightly larger majority in the Senate...

    November 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. facts are facts

    Lieberman took his stance for personal gain rather than friendship or ideology. He didn't think Obama could win and saw an opening for a political job in the McCain administration.

    You lost Joe. You sold your soul for opportunity and it just didn't pan out so say it ain't so Joe and go away far away.

    November 9, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. joyce

    Joe Lieberman has lost respect of most Americans. He needs to just retire.

    November 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Frank Lee

    Maybe Joe and Zell Miller can form a traveling song and dance act with the proceeds going to the Educate Sarah Palin before 2012 Foundation.

    November 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Dave

    Good bye Judas

    November 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. David Newport, OR

    As I have said before, but evidentily in a tone too abrasive to be published in these forums, Harry Reid does not have the backbone to be an effective leader. Joe Lieberman is NOT a Democrat and we no longer need his one vote to obtain majority status. He should be removed from his committee position. Reid and Pelosi are both terrible leaders. My dog can convince people to take him for a walk better than either of these "leaders".

    November 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Adolph Ceasar

    Joe ... you chose poorly ... seems like you are always aligned with losing efforts.

    Come take your whipping like a man ....

    November 9, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Martin

    The Dems need to instill discipline in their party. It should start with kicking Joe to the curb.

    November 9, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. rogelio de la rosa

    i think it's time for Joe to go wherever he likes. . .he has no permanent judgement as to where he will be in time of crisis. . .anyway, there's only a handful who will hear what he will say. . . . .

    November 9, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. luvinman29

    That's smart. Let him hang around to betray you again.

    November 9, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Gary Connors-Boe

    Senator Lieberman often seems better suited for an elected position on the Kinnesset. His belicose Middle East positions posit the U.S. as a proxy for Israel. I certainly have appreciated Joe's more progressive work on behalf of many issues, but he has not served the best interests of the United States with respect to our Middle East foreign policy. Dems should not give him chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

    November 9, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. denise

    i don't pretend to understand joe lieberman or his motives. be that as it may, he is clearly a man of very little loyalties, and he is not a team player. whatever the dems decide, i think joe will be just fine in the end. because his actions, for the last few years, have clearly been only about him.

    November 9, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. robert l gray


    November 9, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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