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. Kevin Orlando fl

    I meant to say toe the line in my comment.

    December 16, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Garrett McKee Phoenix, AZ

    Lieberman is nothing but a weasel. Forget the party line issue. He's become Washington's other joke.

    December 16, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Jerry, Crossville, Tennessee

    Joe just can't kiss enough Republican ass, just like he did at Bush's state of the union speech! Joe just loves bush just like dick.

    December 16, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Rich G, Los Angeles, CA

    Four more years of Bush....

    They need to be wiped out.

    Ron Paul for President.

    Take Back America from the Jews.

    December 16, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Reality Check

    Does anyone actually care who midget man Liberman endorses? American has told Liberman over and over that we don't give a hoot what he thinks.

    McCain is yesterday's news. He stands no chance for a GOP nom. His supporters need to find a new candidate or Billary will be back in the oval office.

    December 16, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Ajay Jain, Dallas, Texas

    Why in the "Jewish hell" is this so called Independent Lieberman attending strategic Democratic meetings with a chair on the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in a Democratic Congress?

    Joe is now an open embarrassment 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.

    If his endorsement is true to the published senior GOP source reports then he needs to be stripped of the Committee chair assignment now.

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

    For now go Joe if you have the guts resign your Senate seat BEFORE the McCain endorsement, join the Republican Party now for your next ticket so the CT voters can truly trash you as an Independent and see you in your true colors.

    December 16, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    I love all the brain-dead idiots on here saying "you can have Lieberman." First of all, moderates like Lieberman are the reason the Dems have control of the Senate right now. Without Pro-gun John Tester and Jim Webb, anti-abortion Bob Casey Jr., and pro-war Joe Lieberman do you know what you brain surgeons have? You have a 53-47 Republican controlled senate. That's why the Democrats got drubbed till Howard Dean took over, Howard Dean realized that the Democrats NEED moderates on their side. So, you all just keep raging against people who don't hang pictures of Karl Marx on their walls, hopefully you all take over the Democratic party and we can watch it go down in flames at long last.

    December 16, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Tom, Hollywood, FL

    Such a traitor Joe; but it's ok, we knew it was coming as soon as you went "independent".

    December 16, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Pat, Memphis, TN

    Anyone who would endorse a Republican, much less a supposed Democrat should be ashamed.

    December 16, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Chris, Toledo, OH

    A lot more people are endorsing Ron Paul today – and with their pocketbooks.

    December 16, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Bob Barkley, Worthington, Ohio

    Lieberman is a Republican and always has been. He represents the worst among members of Congress. His hawkishness is disgusting and almost infantile. He belongs with McCain, and hopefully we won't have deal with their silliness much longer.

    December 16, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Terry, Miami FL

    I'm a democrat who could feel good about McCain – I truly could – had he not compromised his integrity by campaigning for Bush in 2004. That was a betrayal.

    December 16, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Joe's not really a Democrat, nor has he really ever been one...So, this doesn't surprise me.

    I suspect his constituents in Connecticut, however, are having a bit of buyers remorse...

    December 16, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Terry, Miami FL

    bret, atl, ga:

    Lou Dobbs, is that you?

    December 16, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. fito barosy

    joe liberman is no longer relevant and will be even more after the next election.
    He typifies the word "traitor"

    December 16, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. timbuck, houston, tx

    well, there is no longer any doubt, mccain will never be president, and that is a very, very, good thing.

    December 16, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Karin Pasnak Vancouver, Canada

    Joe Lieberman should be kicked to the curb by the Democrats.

    What is he hoping for?
    Maybe to become VP? God help you all!

    He is nothing more that a Traitor!

    December 16, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, Texas

    I guess I don't understand the nature of Lieberman's endorsement. He's an independent, votes with Democrats, and endorses a Republican. As a life-long Democrat from Texas, I did vote for McCain in the 2000 Republican primary only because I knew Bush's record as Governor of Texas did not make him fit to be president. Perhaps Senator Lieberman has a similar reason for his endorsement of McCain. This is what makes our country freedoms so great.

    December 16, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. conservative Kearney Ne.

    Lieberman knows what a complete vacuum for leadership the democrats are trying to foist on America in a dangerous world! Wise man!

    December 16, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Sharyn, CT

    I am ashamed to be a constituent of Senator Lieberman's.... This is a disgrace. He needs to be taken down. Ned Lamont may have been a single issue candidate, but it's a hell of a lot better than Lieberman. And this is a jew saying this!

    December 16, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Michael, Cambridge, NY

    When is Loserman going to switch to the Republican Party, he's been kissing Bush's butt for seven years, he might as well make it official.

    December 16, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. harold

    Lieberman likes the War effort...he is jewish and seems to really hammer down on this issue to the detriment of the U.S. Why continue the war, when the Iraq population is split? If he likes the war effort so much then go to the front line..i n Iraq!

    December 16, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    Yeah, we need a Jew's opinion like we need another Bush!!!

    December 16, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. destardi, chicago, il

    Shouldn't it say "warmongering jew" who went against anti-war dems?

    December 16, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Prateek Kumar, Cambridge, MA

    Folks, I just don't get it. If Sen. Lieberman wants to be VP so badly, then why doesn't he endorse someone like Romney or Giuliani, who are both still frontrunners in the GOP primary? Why doesn't he endorse Hillary or Obama, who also stands a good chance of winning? Why instead does he endorse the guy who's behind in so many polls? I'm a huge McCain supporter because I believe that McCain stands by what he believes in, even though I don't necessarily agree with all of it. I think that Sen. Lieberman is doing the same thing as me on this one, picking the only person who can really reach over the aisle to make this country united again.

    And for those who think Lieberman is just another Republican:

    December 16, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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