December 16th, 2007
05:27 PM ET
15 years ago

Lieberman to support McCain

Sen. Lieberman will throw his support behind McCain, a senior GOP source tells CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat turned Independent, will endorse Republican Sen. John McCain for president, officials close to both Lieberman and McCain familiar with the plan tell CNN.

Lieberman is planning to announce his support for McCain at an early Monday morning event in New Hampshire, but the campaign is keeping a close eye on a winter storm that could force it to be rescheduled.

The McCain campaign declined to comment on the source's account, and would not confirm it.

An aide to Lieberman tells CNN he decided to endorse McCain because he considers him "the most capable to be commander in chief on day one of his administration, and the most capable of uniting the country so that we can prevail against Islamic extremism."

The Lieberman aide insists the senator does not see this as a "commentary on or an endorsement of the Republican party, only the person."

Lieberman had not planned to endorse anyone until after the primary season, but McCain asked Lieberman for his endorsement a few days after the two men returned from a Thanksgiving trip to Iraq together, and Lieberman decided to do it, according to the same Lieberman aide.

Lieberman will continue to caucus with the Democrats.

Like McCain, Lieberman has been a vocal supporter of the Iraq war. For Lieberman, it is an issue that caused him to split with his own political party after losing the Democratic Senate primary in 2006. Lieberman refused to back down, and won reelection as an Independent.

Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000.

Lieberman's Democratic colleagues welcomed him back to the Senate, and he is the 51st vote that gives Democrats a razor thin majority in the 100 member chamber. Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, and he still attends weekly Democratic strategy meetings.

"I have the greatest respect for Joe, but I simply have to disagree with his decision to endorse Senator McCain," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement to CNN.

Lieberman's office called Reid's office Sunday to inform the Democratic leader of his decision to endorse a Republican.

A longtime Lieberman adviser described it as a "hangover" from the 2006 campaign when Democrats, including Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, and other longtime friends declared they could and would not support his reelection bid after he lost the primary. Instead, they backed the Democratic nominee Ned Lamont.

This endorsement could help emphasize McCain's national security standing, show he is able to work across party lines, and perhaps help persuade independent voters in New Hampshire to support his presidential bid.

- CNN's John King and Dana Bash

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. bret, atl, ga

    SHOCK AND AWE. Joe "ChickenHawk" Lieberman backs John "TurkeyHawk" McCain. /sarcasm

    Both support global war, both support amnesty, both support destroying this country. I can't believe people even report on McCain anymore ... why do you continue to hang on to obvious dead nobodies who are going nowhere? We're tired of hearing about it. CNN is terrible.

    Please America, choose wisely. Search today on Google for TeaParty07.

    December 16, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    rumor has it Lieberman wants to marry a daughter of Bush.

    December 16, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Richard Henaghan, Gansevoort, NY

    Lieberman is just sad. This endorsement is his pathetic on-going attempt to stay relevant. His first attempt at relevancy was to break away from the Democratic party. He's right up there with McCain as someone who will do anything to get some ink. Is it me or does every sentence out his mouth sound like a whine.

    December 16, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Charlie; Lexington, SC

    He is the best qualified person of either party!

    December 16, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Neocon Trash

    December 16, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Bill G., Phila, PA

    Hillary and Bill must be loving this! Didn't they support him in CT? Hey Dem's, in case you still aren't clued in yet .... Lieberman is not your ally. Why are you treating him as such? Why is Liebermann attending Democratic strategy meetings?

    December 16, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Bob, Salt Lake City, Utah


    December 16, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Ginny, Byron, CA

    Who cares what that Republican suck-up, Democratic turn-coat, whining, hypocrite thinks? I can't believe anyone would court his endorsement. Poor John McCain, a decent, sincere

    December 16, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Texas City, Texas

    Happy to know someone has come to their senses. I am for McCain or Alan Keys. Those others of both parties are gutless wonders;.. I would not nor cannot trust the rest of them to protect this Nation.

    December 16, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Jonathan, Florida

    I actually believe it will sway many independents. Sen. Lieberman is one of the few if only "liberals" in Washington D.C. who actually understands the danger we face in terrorism. He also is one of the few who has not played politics with the Iraq War.

    December 16, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Matthew, Phila., PA

    The return of Zig Zag Zell...

    December 16, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Daniel, NY

    All these signs of life by McCain are essentially bad news for Barack Obama, who needs the independents of NH to vote for him rather than in the Republican field.

    December 16, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Sandi Wareham, MA

    I have always been a Democrat I will be making an exception in the next Presidential election. McCain knows the political ins and outs. As my kids would say he "Rocks". Keep up the endorsements! Congratulations!

    December 16, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    No surprise here. Whoever will keep us at permanant war with the Islamic world, and NOT just catch bin Laden and try him as a criminal (so we can end this madness), would be agreeable to Lieberman.

    Actually Guiliani would be just as good of a fit for Lieberman's quest but he knows McCain better personally and would get rewarded with a cabinet job.

    December 16, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Pepe Le Pue

    Liberman is a weasel.

    December 16, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Mason Myatt Birmingham, AL

    Joe is an embarassment to the Democratic Party and to himself if he were capable of disinterested introspection. He has sold his soul on the premise that the war–which has the support of far less than a majority of all people of both parties–will somehow turn out to be the right thing to have done even if it has been done based on lies, deceptions and a misguided and ultimately superficial neo-con ideology.

    After January 2009, we will not need Joe and as for me, I hope he then shows his true color–RED. And as I think each day, "Better Dead Than Red."

    December 16, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Psbro

    I am sooooooo glad that he is supporting McCain. It saves my party the embarrassament of what to with his endorsement. If Dems remain control when this is all over, they should figure out what to do with that coveted & important chairmanship they allowed him to have over Democrats.

    December 16, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Timothy / Edison, NJ

    Lieberman is not a member of the United States Congress. He looks out more for his beloved Israel than the American voters and taxpayers.

    December 16, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Scott from Freehold

    Joementum has not been a Democrat in years. He lied to his constituents in order to get re-elected and now he is simply following a pattern he set long ago. Joe, you've got this term before Connecticut voters dump you and McCain is not winning, so no cabinet seats either.

    December 16, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Sam, Urbana, IL

    If I remember correctly, after he lost the primary, Lieberman said something to the effect of "I think the voters of Connecticut were flirting with the other guy for a bit, trying to send me a message. Let me say, I got your message". Did you really get the message Joe? Considering you seem to still behave as a Republican in everything but name, I doubt it.

    December 16, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. JS, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    What a POS this guy is! People of New Hampshire ought to be ashamed! Unbelievable!

    December 16, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Lieberman is a useless pile of dong. Why is this news, he is a turncoat.

    December 16, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. unknow, Anaheim CA

    This guy is the greediest guy. He lost his VP chances with Kerry, changed party line after he could not be the democratic nomination in the senate race, he won the senate seat by low margin, and now he is sucking up to McCain so that he can have another shot at VP. Voters who elected him must be so demented

    December 16, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Willy

    So the Israeli Sen.Joe Lieberman who resides in Connecticut endorses a US Senator.
    Who gives a flying intercource, the little knat would endorse Stalin if he thought there was something in it for him.

    December 16, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Mason Myatt Birmingham, AL

    Matt in Portland:
    I HOPE you are correct but McCain is surging in some polls already. It seems that Huckabee's big jump in many polls has the Republican establishment shopping for Depends. As another man who hears no voice but God's, Huckabee would be a loose cannon for the power elite of the GOP who actually care not a fig for the born-again dupes who vote for Republican out of ignornace and fear rather than in their own interests. McCain may be the lesser evil since he at least operates in this world and in our own time rather than in the dispensational epochs suggested in the books of Daniel and Revelation so favored by the "Christian" Right. McCain makes my flesh crawl but if I had to choose between the two, even I would go to McCain. That scares me.

    December 16, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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