November 9th, 2008
02:49 PM ET
9 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. Rich from Philly

    The honorable thing for Joe to do would have been to resign his leadership position if he was going to campaign against his own party's candidate and actively campaign for for the candidate of the other party. That he thinks he should retain a leadership position is arrogance to the nth degree. Time to go Joe

    November 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Hilary, CA

    Lieberman is for Lieberman. Neither side can trust him. I think he's just waiting to see which side makes the "better offer."

    November 9, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Here is the deal: Sen. Lieberman knows his chances has diminished soon after Sen. McCain lost the presidency, so the Democrates should forgive him and learn from there.

    November 9, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Jaye

    I cannot look at Lieberman anymore.
    He made a complete idiot of himself, and shamed our country.
    These people need to go!

    November 9, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Kryptik

    I don't know how people can take Lieberman's side at this point.

    He undermines the Dems at every point, essentially calls them traitors and that they want to see America fail and hate the troops, trashes Obama at every turn, and then insists that if the Dems get a filibuster proof Senate, it's the 'end of America'...

    Then begs to stay in the Caucus and keep his plum Homeland Security chairmanship, from which he's done virtually NO meaningful oversight of Bush whatsoever, and wants to be pals again?

    People forget, too, that a good host of the Dem leadership backed LIEBERMAN over Lamont in '06, even after the latter was voted in by CT Dems in the primary.

    Seriously, strip Lieberman, because all I can see from him is a willingness to undermine any attempts at meaningful revisions of Bush's crap polices. The same ones he endorsed for so long. Lieberman has become a one-issue senator, and that's completely overridden his judgment on issues he really would normally side with Dems on.

    November 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. rachel

    Is anyone shocked anyone who dared disagreed with Barack will now suffer retribution swiftly welcome to change.

    November 9, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. MBFLA

    Sorry, Harry but Mr Lieberman is not a progressive and neither are you and Nancy or Bush and Cheney would not be in office and we would have been out of Iraq quite a few deaths ago!

    November 9, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. Danny

    This guy is another joke. I am afraid America is going into wrong direction with these jokers. Barack has no experience and he is taking advise from Harry and Nancy.

    November 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |

    Lieberman, needs to go. He thought he was so smart teaming up with Mcstupid and crue. This is Lieberman last term, watch and see. Bye Bye Lieberman, I did not like you. When you speak, you make me go to sleep.

    November 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Dunga

    Danny, you are a leader and you don't accept advices from other people, especially those important to you, it is likley to lose the ground game.

    November 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. American

    Nice to see the sniping GOPpers still have a hobby. The true American Republicans know that we all need solutions, and that those solutions need to be for all of us (under the Obama Administration). Let's move on together.

    November 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. lp

    Appears the only time Lieberman "reaches across the aisle" is when he thinks it will benefit him personally! He was with Gore, then with McCain. It's not like those two had ANYTHING in common!

    Dump Joe! He'll dump the democrats if and when the republicans ever come back into power again. He's out for himself and no one else...including Americans!

    November 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Jim S

    The good news it that this is a free country and Joe Lieberman, a free U.S. citizen, can say what he wants to without fear. I'm sure bloggers don't scare him...;) He had valid points to make... and he had the full right to speak. I give him credit for not worrying about his Democratic "status" as a true Independent, and supporting his long time friend who also had over 40 years of documented service to our country. To me that means something basically good...
    In God We Trust...In all others we verify!

    November 9, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Dylan, Los Angeles

    Joe needs to make up is mind and quit being such a warmonger. All Joe wants is war, war, war.

    November 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. ObamaTex21

    The democrats have every right to be mad at Lieberman for a lot of the things that was said on the campaign trail. However, if the democrats, which I am one, are serious about working together, they need to get over the partisan politics and have a real government for the people. I supported Barack Obama in every way possible during the campaign and I want to see change in the White House as well as Congress. The first few days have been rocky in reaching the pledge of Change; it looks like more of the same. Let's not fall into the mantra the power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    November 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't have feelings about Lieberman one way or the other, I just hope Reid does what's necessary to get this country moving in the right direction.

    As an aside, I think John McCain owes the American people an apology for unleasing the fear and hate that is still bubbling up just beneath the surface. And I hope to God it doesn't erupt.

    November 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Bob

    Can anybody name this Senator:

    Pro- Death Penalty
    Voted for the war
    Voted for the Patriot Act
    A Mormon, in favor of school prayer
    Involved in corrupt deals with the Casino Industry
    Originnally proposed the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Storage facility
    as a "bring home the pork" earmark then turned against it.
    Proposed his own "bridge to nowhere" to connect Laughlin Nevada to Arizona (Him and his allies owned land in Laughlin "co-incidentally")

    Guess who.............HARRY REID!!

    Ran as a conservative Democrat.....turned into a Liberal leader
    The only consistent thing about this guy is he is a crook!!!

    November 9, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Helen, NY

    Joe Lieberman got elected as independent from CT but it was with the help of republican voters. Harry Reid had his own candidate whom he supported. Due to Joee, harry enjoyed two years as majority leader. Now of course he does not need Joe Liberman. However their days in the senate are numbered. We did not find anything great done there in the last two years and we do not expect anything from them in the next two years. They want to give bail-out to auto companies now and tomorrow they will give bailout to Pharmaceutical industry and then to textile industry and the list goes on and on.

    November 9, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. funnyitis



    November 9, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Ted:Canada

    Lieberman has been told to make up his mind.


    He loosess his chairmanship – whatever way he goes!

    you know the rest of the story....

    November 9, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. do the math

    Joe Lieberman has not been a Democrat since he lost the party's nomination for his seat in 2006. Since that time he has been in the Democratic Caucus and allowed them to be the majority party. Although they now have a majority without him, I agree with Senator Reid here. Joe did support John McCain, but it was basically only over Iraq. I think Joe supports other progressive issues and we need his vote.

    November 9, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Ben

    Where is the bipartisaship that Obama promised

    November 9, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Caldog1

    Lieberman is a judas escariat. Can't be trusted. He did it once and he'll do it again by betraying the Dems when the critical vote is needed. They need to put him out of his misery before he has another chance to disappoint the party.

    November 9, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. julio

    Joe who?

    November 9, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Robin

    Senator Liebermann needs to step down. His views on foreign affairs, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are at odds with President-elect Obama and the majority of the country that supported President-elect Obama. He cannot serve effectively in that high profile position. Senator Reid needs to step up and remove him from the position quickly. Were Senator Liebermann a Republican and had betrayed his party in the manner that he did the Democrats, he would have been removed from the position at 12:01 a.m. November 5th. Since he campaigned for McCain arguing against 60 Democratic Senators, why should he be the beneficiary of the Democrats 56-seat majority. He needs to "man up" and step down.

    November 9, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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