November 14th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Leahy says Lieberman should lose committee chairmanship

 Sen. Patrick Leahy took a hard line on Lieberman Friday.
Sen. Patrick Leahy took a hard line on Lieberman Friday.

(CNN) – A senior Democratic senator has gone on the record saying Joe Lieberman should lose his committee chairmanship when the party's full Senate caucus votes on the issue next week.

"Every senator will have to vote the way he or she believes they should," Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Vermont Public Radio Friday. "I'm one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did.

“I felt some of the attacks that he was involved in against Senator Obama...went way beyond the pale. I thought they were not fair, I thought they were not legitimate, I thought they perpetuated some of these horrible myths that were being run about Senator Obama.

"I would feel that had I done something similar," he added, "that I would not be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.”

Earlier this week, Barack Obama reportedly said he held "no grudges" against Lieberman, who endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had avoided taking any public position on whether the Democrat-turned-independent should lose his chairmanship, but sources told CNN the Senate’s top Democrat had offered Lieberman leadership of a less powerful committee – a proposal the Connecticut senator rejected.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman • Pat Leahy
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Bill Charlotte,NC

    CNN: "A senior Democratic senator has gone on the record saying Joe Lieberman should lose his committee chairmanship when the party's full Senate caucus votes on the issue next week."

    I agree 100% ! See if Joe the-Slimey-Opportunist can take as good as he gives. I hope he crawls over to the Repubs; they deserve him.

    November 14, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. OBAMA 4 President

    Lieberman is a loser!

    He backed McCain hoping for the Veep spot, but conservatives rejected him vehemently, now dems are also mad at him, smart move Lieberman!

    I agree: He's a dirty rat and doesn't deserve the chairmanship! Maybe McCain can give him and Joe the Plumber a job somewhere on a nuclear power station on a navy ship roaming around the world!

    November 14, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Helen

    YES, LIEBERMAN MUST GO!

    November 14, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Helen

    @

    No Hillary = No Obama November 14th, 2008 8:52 pm ET

    PLEASE FIND A NEW NAME TO POST WITH. YOURS IS OLD NEWS. BUT JUST IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN IN A COMMA....READ MY LIPS.

    BARACK H. OBAMA HAS BEEN ELECTED THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    November 14, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Donna

    Lieberman should go to Tel Aviv where he can be with the people he really represents.

    November 14, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. JoinTheBand

    Please just get him out of there. Lieberman out of the chairmanship.

    November 14, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. no party affiliation

    Yep, I see how much we're gonna *change*. I can read it in these posts. Can you say...NOT?!

    So what if Lieberman supported McCain? He has the right. Who the hell are you people to whine about cronyism, then demand cronyism?

    Are you all going to be hypocrites like this for the next 4 years? If so, you're no better than the Bushies. Shame on you!

    Let Lieberman sit right where he is. That way we can all keep an eye on him. :)

    November 14, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. independent

    Lieberman should be hang by the balls by Putin, waterboarded and sent to Guantanamo with no rights. He is a quite a piece of work.
    Obama helped him get re-elected and this was the reward, wow.
    I'm not ready to make nice yet.

    November 14, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. Robert in Atlanta

    I have no problem with Lieberman expressing his opinion and supporting McCain in the election, but it takes a man with a lot of gall to expect to be the chair of a major committee when the Dems are in control. He campaigned against the Democratic ticket in Connecticut in the Senate race and now in this election. He is a yellow tailed rat traitor who has no shame.

    November 14, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. Stacy

    Helen November 14th, 2008 9:20 pm ET

    PLEASE FIND A NEW NAME TO POST WITH. YOURS IS OLD NEWS. BUT JUST IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN IN A COMMA….READ MY LIPS.

    A comma? That little thing that seperates parts of a sentence.

    Remember to read your post before hitting the submit button. It really does downgrade your insults when foolish mistakes invade your post.

    November 14, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. David Newport, OR

    Lieberman should not be offered ANY chairmanship. Contact your Democratic senator if you have one and make your opinion heard.

    November 14, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  12. Bob

    People need to relax. Lieberman just suggested that Obama didn't have the experience necessary to do the job, and we STILL don't know if that's the case. He didn't "perpetuate anymyths"...or is that what ANY criticism of Obama is going to be from now on?

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...Lieberman is what we ALL keep saying we want in politicians...someone who votes their conscience. But Dems call him traitor, etc. because he dared speak against the Democrat partisan machine, and now they want to throw him under the bus. If there is a picture next to "hypocritical" in the dictionary, it should be of Congressional Democrats.

    November 14, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Helen, VT

    This guy is stupid. He should retire because he has no new ideas and he also has made enough money.

    November 14, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. maurice

    lieberman is a independent they offered him the chair just so he would be a tie breaking vote. now that they think they have the senate sowed up they`re willing to kick him to the curb. i think he should give em the salute>>>>>>>>>>>,,!,,<<<<<<<<and retire with the pention he has coming. at yes the tax payers dollar.

    November 14, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Pinky

    I agree with Senator Leahy about Leiberman. He definitely should be kicked out...he is no friend of the Democratic Party. He did lose the primary vote in his home state, obviously they didn't want him either and for the same reasons. Kick him OUT!

    November 14, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. Larry-Minn.

    There still is no unity..and Liberman stood for what he believed. He was good enough when he voted for the democrats, now he isnt..isnt that a shame.

    November 14, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Frank

    It's gonna be bloody payback for the whiner Dems. Stolen 2000 election.. . wah-wah. All I've got to say is: watch your wallets.

    November 14, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. WILLCNNPOSTTHIS?

    @ Helen

    I completely Agree, Nobama people need to GET OVER IT!!!!

    November 14, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. WILLCNNPOSTTHIS?

    @ Gerry

    Oh please if a high ranking republican endorsed Obama he would lose his RNC membership card! Not just his chairmanship!

    November 14, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. WILLCNNPOSTTHIS?

    @ maynard hopkins wi

    Yeah, The people are so up in arms against democrats they just put them in charge of two branches of government.

    Why are republicans so delusional?

    November 14, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. Dr. RParikh

    "A yellow tailed rat traitor"
    Senator Lieberman is a traitor because he stood up for what he believed in, expressed his views honestly and supported a man he believed would do the best job leading our nation out of its current predicament? So who is he a traitor to? Not his principles or ideals. Certainly not the principles and ideals of America which emphasize civic duty and honest, free expression of speech. Elevate your thinking beyond the Democratic party and a specific political agenda. Our country needs strong Americans in positions of power who will stand up for our principles as expressed in the constitution. That is what Senator Lieberman is and has been for years. Learn something from your idol Senator Obama and try to remember that we need unity to accomplish change. Punishing Lieberman, who has done a great job in his post, is a terrible message to send. It supports the notion that being a yes man for your party is more important than qualifications and being true to American ideals and principles. That message will certainly help us out of this recession. The level of stupidity expressed in so many of these posts is a depressing reflection on the failures of our educational system. Stop reading CNN and go back and finish high school.

    November 14, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. Alexander Lewin

    chris from STL is right. The honorable thing for Lieberman to do is resign his chairmanship. During the campaign, Joe Lieberman willingly participated in and supported a lot of the shameful McCain/Palin tactics, dishonoring himself and the positions he has been elected to. That dishonorable behavior has consequences, one of which is removal from chairmanships. Later, the voters of Connecticut can address his position as Senator. Now, the Democratic Party has both opportunity and obligation to replace him in any and all leadership roles. He can still vote, can still speak, can still introduce legislation. Those are his senatorial rights. His demonstrated lack of decency and good judgement has removed him from rights to any leadership position.

    November 14, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. CS

    I firmly believe that Lieberman needs to be dismissed from the party after his disloyal remarks at the RNC that were eventually followed by his slimy and self-serving back-peddling attempts once his pal McCain got trounced.

    How he can look himself in the mirror every morning is beyond me, but I really do not see how his colleagues can view him with anything other than contempt at this point. Myself, a life-long Democrat, I am disgusted by his actions and words.

    November 14, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. GERRY

    IT'S SAD THE WAY PEOPLE SOMETIMES JUST DON'T USE THEIR HEAD. IF HE WANTS TO STAY IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT – I DO HOWEVER, HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIM BEING A CHAIR.....WHEN IS ALL THIS CRAP GOING TO STOP?? I'M REALLY TIRED OF IT...........

    November 14, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Texas Teacher

    Lieberman should be on his OWN now... let the Republicans have him! He is not to be trusted.

    One does not reward bad behavior, it only reinforces it!

    November 14, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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