"When I lost the Democratic primary for re-election in 2006 in Connecticut, it was the most painful moment - most disappointing moment - of my political career," Lieberman said in an interview set to air on CNN's John King, USA. "Yet as I look back to it, and it sure didn't feel like that then, I feel like I was done a favor."
After losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, Lieberman ran in the general election as an independent, besting Lamont and the Republican challenger in order to hold onto his Senate seat.
Lieberman told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that being an independent has worked to his benefit.
Not being in either party, "I think put me in exactly the position I want to be in at this hyper-partisan, non-productive, divisive time in our politics. And it gives me the latitude to try to be a bridge on a lot of different issues, to make things happen. Or sometimes not to be a bridge. Just to speak out and say what I believe - whether it makes everybody on one party or another happy or not."
Washington (CNN) – A top GOP Senator promised Thursday to subpoena the Obama administration if they fail to provide information sought in a Congressional investigation into last November's mass shooting at Fort Hood.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the Obama administration is "stonewalling" their investigation.
Both Collins and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the committee, have been trying since November to obtain information from the Justice and Defense Departments about the shooting rampage, in which Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people.
"It makes you wonder if the White House doesn't want to hear what we're going to find about inadequate information sharing between the FBI and DoD, information that had it been shared might have prevented this tragedy," Collins said on CNN's "John King USA."
Though the administration has provided some details about the shooting, officials have said that turning over more information could compromise their case against Hasan.
Washington (CNN) – U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced a bill Wednesday that would officially repeal the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay and lesbian service members.
A separate repeal bill was previously introduced in the House of Representatives.
"To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence," Lieberman recently said in a written statement.
It "weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause."
CNN – Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, announced Monday that he will be the main sponsor of a bill calling for the repeal of the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The policy requires gay and lesbian service members to stay quiet about their sexual orientation or risk expulsion. Commanding officers are also prohibited from asking subordinates about their orientation. Since the law was passed in 1993, more than 13,000 otherwise qualified service men and women have been discharged.
In a statement on his Web site, Lieberman writes that he would "be proud" to sponsor a bill to allow "patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security." The senator also writes that he has opposed the current policy since its inception in 1993. Lieberman has said the legislation will be introduced next week.
The CNN Fact Check Desk wondered whether Lieberman really has opposed the current policy since its inception. We also wanted to take a look at Lieberman's record on gay rights legislation.
Washington (CNN) - The Department of Homeland Security has more contractors working for it than full-time employees, a situation two members of Congress said Tuesday was "unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable."
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking Republican Susan Collins said they were "astounded" to learn there are more than 200,000 contractor employees at the department.
The civilian work force of Homeland Security numbers 188,000, according to an estimate provided to the senators by Homeland Security.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the agency's Secretary Janet Napolitano, Lieberman and Collins said the figure "raises the question of whether DHS itself is in charge of its programs and policies, or whether it inappropriately has ceded core decisions to contractors."
Washington (CNN) - The push to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell will have an unlikely leader: Sen. Joe Lieberman.
The famously centrist senator from Connecticut said Monday that he would be a sponsor of legislation to be introduced next week.
"I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity," Lieberman said in a statement. "I have opposed the current policy of preventing gay Americans from openly serving in the military since its enactment in 1993.
"To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause," he said. "I am grateful for the leadership of President Obama to repeal the policy and the support of Secretary Gates and Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen."
In taking the lead on the legislation, Lieberman is breaking with close friend John McCain, who opposes rolling back the policy.
Lieberman told the New York Daily News on Monday that he sees repealing the policy "as an extension, the next step of the civil rights movement."
Washington (CNN) - Several senators announced legislation Tuesday that would cut off funding for the federal trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accused accomplices, saying the five should be tried in a military court.
"We believe we're at war," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who stood with a number of senators that included Democrats and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent.
"The law enforcement model being used by the Obama administration should be rejected," Graham said. "We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war."
Sen. Lieberman said Sunday that he does not agree with a new hard-hitting ad released as part of friend's 2010 re-election bid. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – Sometimes election year politics can drive a bit of a wedge between the closest of political allies. In this case, Sen. John McCain’s first foray into 2010 campaign advertising is rubbing his longtime ally the wrong way.
In a new radio ad released Thursday, McCain takes on the record deficit spending by the Obama administration, which has defended it as an effort to pull the country out of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.
"President Obama is leading an extreme, left-wing crusade to bankrupt America," McCain says in the new ad, I stand in his way every day.”
Asked about McCain’s new ad Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Joe Lieberman said “You know, every now and then, John McCain and I disagree.”
Washington (CNN) – Just days after President Obama took personal responsibility for the intelligence failures that allowed a 23-year-old Nigerian to board a U.S. bound airliner, allegedly with explosive material hidden under his clothes, two prominent senators suggested Obama has not done enough to impose accountability within his administration.
Announcing the preliminary results of his administration’s review of the failures leading up to the foiled December 25 attack, Obama said Thursday: "I will hold my staff, our agencies and the people in them accountable when they fail to perform their responsibilities at the highest levels." But, the president declared, "ultimately, the buck stops with me."
On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, both said that was not enough.
“I think some people have to be held accountable for the mistakes – for the human errors – that the president acknowledged that were made that enabled that Nigerian terrorist to get on that plane to Detroit and we’ve got to change some things in the system,” Lieberman told King.
The suspect, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to blow up the Detroit-bound plane.
Asked specifically who should be held accountable, Lieberman suggested the State Department for its failure to determine that AbdulMutallab had a visa to enter the United States and to pull that visa once AbdulMutallab’s father raised concerns about his son.
“Secondly, at the National Counter-Terrorism Center, something went wrong,” the Connecticut senator also said Sunday. “That’s the place we created after 9/11. It’s served us very well but it did not in this case. So, if human errors were made, I think some of the humans that made those errors have to be disciplined so that [the errors] never happen again.”
Lieberman’s comments were echoed by Obama’s former rival for the Oval Office Sen. John McCain.
(CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, Chris Dodd's fellow Connecticut senator, issued a statement hailing Dodd's retirement as the end of a "remarkable era of service in the Senate."
“Chris Dodd has been a genuinely great Senator for our state and country, and a close and valued friend and colleague for me. His retirement ends a remarkable era of service in the Senate by two generations of the Dodd family, beginning with his father Tom who was elected more than a half century ago in 1958.
“Chris Dodd has been an unusually skillful and productive legislator and leaves a great legacy of accomplishment that has improved the lives of millions of American families and children. I am sad for our state and country, and for myself frankly, that Chris is leaving the Senate but I am happy for his family that he will have more time to spend with them now. And I know that his service to America and our friendship will continue in different ways in the years ahead.
“Senator Chris Dodd will leave the Senate in January 2011 with the knowledge that he has made a difference that will last in the lives of his constituents and his country. For that, we are all grateful.”