November 11th, 2008
02:23 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: No grudges against Lieberman

Obama is not holding a grudge against Sen. Lieberman.
Obama is not holding a grudge against Sen. Lieberman.

(CNN) – Barack Obama won’t publicly weigh in on whether or not Sen. Joe Lieberman should keep his position as chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the president-elect's transition office said.

According to Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, the president-elect doesn't “hold any grudges” against Lieberman and thinks the Connecticut lawmaker should remain a part of the Democratic caucus.

"We aren't going to referee decisions about who should or should not be a committee chair,” Cutter said. “President-elect Obama looks forward to working with anyone to move the country forward. We'd be happy to have Sen. Lieberman caucus with the Democrats. We don't hold any grudges."

Sources told CNN Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Lieberman last week that he's considering revoking Lieberman's chairmanship on the powerful Homeland Security committee and instead giving him a chairmanship on another, less important, committee. Lieberman reportedly called that proposal "not acceptable."

The full Democratic caucus will likely vote on this issue when it reconvenes next Tuesday, a senior Democratic aide told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Lieberman, an independent, typically votes with the Democrats on a majority of issues, but was a fixture on the campaign trail for John McCain. Lieberman angered Democrats by attacking Obama throughout the campaign, most visibly in a primetime speech during the Republican National Convention when he called Obama inexperienced and said “eloquence is no substitute for a record.”

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Darryl- Montebello

    TRAITOR!!!!!

    November 11, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Dixie AZ

    My last look at Lieberman was as he stood smiling behind McCain as McCain shouted out exaggerations and out right lies about Obama. Sorry, Joe. Maybe you can be a full fledged Republican - you and Sarah could run 2012.

    November 11, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Bill

    Why the surprise? Speaking your mind and honesty are not traits of the democratic party.

    November 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    Lieberman serves two masters. The question is, will his commitment to progressive principles and the Constitution be subservient to his desire to protect the interests of the hard-liners in Israel.

    I think Joe's balancing act has become too precarious for him to maintain, and keep his graces with the electorate in Connecticut.

    I think Reid and the Dems would be wise to leave the decisions regarding Liebermans future in the Senate to the good people of that state. In the meantime get him to join the caucus where he will support it. Put him somewhere other than the Foreign Relations, Defense or Homeland Security committees. Let him serve out his tenure as chair of the Pensions Committee.

    November 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Democrat voting for McCain

    Right. And Obama never heard a word of what Rev. Wright preached for 20 years either. What a liar.

    November 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. maynard hopkins wi

    THERE SHOULD BE NO BAD FEELINGS TOWARD LIEBERMAN. HE IS HIS OWN PERSON. AND THIS IS OR WAS STILL A FREE AMERICA.

    November 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. An American

    You Obama supports keep teling people to get a life, that Obama has won and the people have spoken. What crap. By the time Obama gets done with all of us you will not even have a "right" to a life anymore. He will control the government and YOU.

    Not all the people spoke for Obama and anyone with any brains at all would not one party to rule. You are idiots. Hopefully someone out there is looking out for our Country because Obama is looking out for control over US.

    As you put it so nicely – out with the old in wih the new – kick him to the curb – you Obama suppoters are ugly, ugly people. A big part of me would love to see you get what you so badly voted for – but then the rest of us will all suffer as well.

    November 11, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Michael K

    Liebermann won in his home state of CT over Lamont because the GOP voters voted for him because their candidate was really lame and they didn't want Lamont to win. I doubt Joe will ever win there again. He is an ungrateful scumbag after Obama helped save his butt and he should be stripped of his powers. He might vote 90% of the time with the democrats but he can't be trusted. The democrat senators will do the dirty work and leave Obama free to take the high road. What republicans don't get is that this has been coming for a long time and Joe needs to feel the repercussions of his actions.

    November 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Chris F.

    I think he should be punished in some form but I also believe it is time to work together.

    November 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Julio

    Who cares. If President Elect Obama is willing to forgive and forget everyone should move on.

    November 11, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. funnyitis

    Let me see if CNN will post my comment this time:

    There is no other democrat who is more pro-war than Lieberman. He is on the opposite side of Obama on the most important foreign policy issues. What is the point of keeping him at such a powerful post? Who would do that for the sake of bipartisanship? So Obama's first act of reaching the otherside is to put warmongers in power? What kind of bipartisanship is this?

    Lieberman not only did everything he could to kill the democratic ticket, but he is also on the opposite side on most important issues.

    Fire Lieberman.

    November 11, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Liz F

    hmmmm...anyone ever read the art of war?
    "keep your friends close, but keep you enemies closer"
    not to say that Lieberman is an 'enemy' as such – he has declared himself and independent, which means he can pick and choose (or get more attention, something he seems to like)
    but i feel Obama is pretty levelheaded.
    maybe this is the bipartisan ear we've wanted...
    however, it's up to us as well to discontinue the high school drama comments.
    if we all want change, we have to 'be the change'.
    it's something to think about.

    November 11, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Liz F

    hmmmm...anyone ever read the art of war?
    "keep your friends close, but keep you enemies closer"
    not to say that Lieberman is an 'enemy' as such – he has declared himself and independent, which means he can pick and choose (or get more attention, something he seems to like)
    but i feel Obama is pretty levelheaded.
    maybe this is the new bipartisan era we've wanted...
    however, it's up to us as well to discontinue the high school drama comments.
    if we all want change, we have to 'be the change'.
    it's something to think about.

    November 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. Limbaugh is my Saviour

    Yes, lets not affend his country,Israel.

    November 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Anita

    Letting Liberman stay on in his role is a smart thing to do. Remember, Obama has to be above all the petty politics that goes on and show a different type of government. What Liberman said during the RNC convention and what he did throughout the campaign season was his belief in John McCain. There were many GOP's that supported Obama as well. This is not the time for any petty politics. We need to come together, all of us.

    November 11, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. Darrell

    It is hard to imagine for the Democrats to want change and they can't forgive someone. This is the United States Of America the land of the free, with the freedom to express themselves. It is time to move on and get to work for the PEOPLE. I am a Democrat and I feel Sen. Reid needs to lead by example and forgive Liberman and do his job.

    November 11, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Karen

    This is where I see Obama a giant: He looks at the larger picture well beyond personal grudges. May God bless him on this road, no mater how tough it is going to become.

    November 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Mothernature Houston,Tx

    The worst way to hurt a dog is ignore him. President Elect Barak Obama is a true leader.Leiberman will soon take ill because his own conscionus will make him sick.

    November 11, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. 3strikes

    so many nobama democrats trashing anyone that is repub, calling names, behind the safety of their computers, doin it because nobody knows who they are. nobama democrats = spineless, whiny, complaining cowards. and at the same time, praising the false messiah and who he appoints. nobama can talk the talk, but he's goin to fail the walk. goodluck with your future president, nobama democrats

    November 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. Mike in FXBG

    Uh, huh...That's why Reid called Lieberman on the carpet. Obama, in case you Obamaites failed to notice, generally used his lackeys to do his dirty work. Now he has Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, Franks, etc., in his pocket. Pontius Pilate did the same with Jesus by washing his hands of the affair.

    November 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Has anyone asked me? I sure do have a grudge against a Lieberman! The only reason he supported McCain is because he was sure that he will be selected for VP, pure and simple. He would cross any line, not just party line for that. I watched him to go from unobservant Jew to an Orthodox and back to unobservant as he needed it (yes, I am Jewish and therefore hold Lieberman to higher standards of conduct) and I don't believe he is a man of any integrity.

    November 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. North Westerner

    Water seeks it's own level. Let him hang himself with the rope that he braided. If Lieberman is punished or sanctioned in any way. What does it say for this country.
    We elected a new President to bring back our Constitutional right to Freedom of Choice. Now that we have what we wanted. Do we turn into the vendictive, venom spewing mongrels that we are replacing.
    What's next? Do we punish all of the Democrats that voted for McCain?

    November 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Dan

    This guy is a two headed looser! Boooooooot him!

    November 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Dace Tucson

    He is a horrible opportunist slime bag and needs to be kicked to the curb – he would be a great republican maybe he and miss dim wit hate speaker can run in 2012 to insure another landslide for Democrats.

    November 11, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. paul oregon

    thumbs down on liberman, you cant trust him hes lower then rat
    sh–t you dont screw your friend you can disagree thats ok but you dont screw him

    November 11, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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