November 9th, 2008
02:49 PM ET
6 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. MIchael

    Reid should remove Libermann from the chairmanship position at all costs.

    If Libermann identifies with the Democrats than he is welcome to stay in the caucus, If however LIbermann's only reason to stay with the Democrats is his own personal greed and love for power as chairman of a committe than Libermann would be best to leave and join the Republicans.

    Reid no matter what the decision must give LIbermann the choice of whether to stay among Democrats or join his heart's party. Either way .

    NO CHAIRMANSHIP for liberman.
    We voted on the promise of change from old politics, Reid needs to wake up, smell the coffee and act on change, else Reid must open the path for other people himself if he plans to be a lame duck himself.

    November 9, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Ben

    Put the boots to him, medium style.

    November 9, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Wanderer

    Lieberman absolutely had the right to support McCain/Palin and criticize Obama, but he should not hold the sign ‘Democrat for McCain’ because he was not Democrat, he was independent, instead. If he is accused of being traitor that at least makes some senses. While we exercising clemency we also need to protect ourselves from being stabbed in the back again.

    November 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. nv voter

    I am a Reid constituent. He does a great job for our state. We will re-elect him. He loves NV & US. Let the caucus decide on Lieberman. That is what a democracy is all about. Reid does not need to be the only one making the decision. Back off on my Senator!

    November 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. steve

    Reid should show some leadership and turn Joe the judas loose or he should step down from the leadership of the senate.
    Joe liebarman being the chairman of homeland security would be a disaster to President Obama, because he would sabotage him. I don`t trust joe the judas.
    Remember he was behind all the whisper campaign against Obama as per Isreal. He said Obama is no patriotic enough for his bigoted mindset.
    Dems, call Reid to stand up to this mole(joe lieberman).

    November 9, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. RGG

    Joe 'Judas' Lieberman is a traitor. Kick him out of caucus. Remove all his privileges. How can he be trusted with the chair of Homeland Security? His is an agent for the Israeli government. If he has any self-respect left in him, which is doubtful, he should retire and get a one-way ticket to Israel where he will be more comfortable with Zionists like him.

    November 9, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Inform Informed

    Nope,

    Let him keep the seat, believe it or not it contributes to a balance
    go read
    (http://balkin.blogspot.com/ " Saturday, November 08, 2008

    The worst reason in the world to deny Joe Lieberman the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee ")

    November 9, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. gbreite

    Ever since following Lieberman in his last senate race, I have come to suspect that he believes he has been appointed by God to direct USA resources toward the protection of Isreal. While his devotion to the Children of Abraham is clear, his committment to the rest of the American people is ambiguous. I vote with others who believe Joe should be removed from any committee that influences important international and domestic policy. Reid needs a new job as well.

    November 9, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Mike Smith

    Lieberman's made his own decision when he sided with the Republican Party. Here's a guy who couldn't get on the ticket with the Democratic party, so he ran as an independent. Most people voting for him remembered him as a Democrat. Then, once elected, he chose to side with the Republican Party. I'm sure CNN can dig up plenty of old articles on that, there were plenty on this very ticket. Now that the Democrats have taken over, Lieberman, who was a turncoat and a traitor to the party, should be out on his ear.

    November 9, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    What did McCain promise Lieberman, that's the question. Did McCain promise Lieberman a power playing position in the Republican party had he won which meant Lieberman probably would have turned Republican. Sorry, but my judgement tells me Lieberman has got to go.

    November 9, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    Joe should stay with the Dems. becuase on most issues he is very liberal and that is a noble thing. However he should be stripped of any chairmanships becuase of his efforts to install and incompetent candidate (Palin) in the executive branch. If any leader of the congress decides to put the interest of a foreign power ahead of the interests of the people and this nation they should not be in any decision making positions.

    JOE the Senator from Connecticut betrayed not only his party and his own conscience, but the country when he put the interests of the hardliners in Israel ahead of the interests of this nation!!

    November 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Janice

    It's Ok for Powell to do the switch, But not Ok for Lieberman? If i were Obama I'd remember how Richardson came to my side by throwing the Clinton's under the bus, seems to me that a lot of Judas's are all after the jobs that Obama has to offer or has offered already. Remember once a cheater always a cheater, once a traitor, etc. All the above.

    November 9, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. mbg

    Joe needs to go eveyone needs to email or call Reid. I dont want him anywhere near any chair. Not because he backed McCain he was very harsh on Obama. His comments were enough. Mr. Reid if you let him stay you will be replaced.

    November 9, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Ananth

    Being a Turncoat, ir is hard to trust Joe. However, given the benifit of doubt, that he was a Democrat and now a Disgruntled one- he is oK in his last few years.

    November 9, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Former Republican in TX ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sen. Reid, if you cave in and let Leiberman keep his chairmanship, I will be so disappointed in you. I actually like Joe Leiberman (voted for him on the Gore/Leiberman ticket), but what he did during this campaign can NOT be allowed to just slide by. Joe's a big boy, he should understand if he gets moved to a less important committee. If he gets mad, so be it. Maybe he'll know how we felt when he turned traitor and campaigned for the GOP.

    You can NOT endorse the GOP candidate, campaign constantly for him, and then turn around and caucus with the Democrats. Pretty elementary to me!

    November 9, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. bob in LA

    Harry Reid is a baffoon. So what if he liked McCain? where were the Dems when he was running as a democrat for reelection and had to resort to a 3rd party to retian his seat?
    Ones loyalty should be to those that elect him- not a policatal party.

    November 9, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Nuaman

    Funny, did you expect Lieberman to support a BLACK PRESIDENT? You must be joooookkkkking.

    November 9, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. JohnLee

    I'd say, don't worry about Lie-berman. There are more important things to worry about. When he comes up for reelection, put up a good candidate in his state and let him go spend his retirement years with McCain. I can't stand to see his smirky little face anyway. Saw enough of it in the election. What does he bring to the table anyway?

    November 9, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. connie

    lieberman should lose his chairmanship on homeland security and then he should be kicked of all of the commiteeshe sat on. Then show him the door with there boot.And that to nice for him. If it was left up to me i would him to Alaska you betcha wink wink. And he would stay there till hell froze over or until Palin could tell someone what a VP job is and then kick his but out of congress.

    November 9, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Enjoying life to the fullest! :)

    Lieberman is just confused. When you have someone like that, it is like smoking around TNT...

    November 9, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. MD for Obama

    He is a traitor and not needed! Good-bye.

    November 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. realtimes

    Lieberman only ever jumps on the losing bandwagon anyways.

    Dems can keep him around as a sort of political weather vane.

    November 9, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Independent in NC

    Do the calls for Lieberman to be "punished" for holding a different point of view scare anyone else?

    I think Obama missed a golden opportunity to back up his rhetoric about bipartisanship and change when he said he was going to stay out of the Dems vs Lieberman mess. I can't say I'm surprised, because Obama always distances himself from anything uncomfortable. This was a chance to say "Right now there's a changing of the guard in Congress. We have some good people from both sides of the aisle; no matter who they supported, our goal should be to identify talented people and put or keep them in positions where they can help our NATION move forward, not the agenda of our party."

    A statement like that would have probably had an effect on a few people who are nervous about his administration. Just because he won doesn't mean that he still doesn't have to earn the respect and support of almost half the nation. Doling out "punishment" to the opposition (by any side or at any level of government) does nothing to heal the divide in the nation.

    November 9, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. SD

    kick him out! kick him out!

    kick him out! kick him out!

    November 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. David

    Lieberman can help by leaving and going home. Quitting his job and regretting his behavior.

    I don't trust anything this man has to say. I believe in his actions. They don't portray him as a loyal person. To anyone?

    November 9, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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