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. Randy Hurst San Francisco, California 94121

    McCain is welcome to Lieberman as far as I am concerned. What does he really stand for–nothing.

    December 16, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Paul N., Greenwich, CT

    Joe Lieberman isn't a democrat turned independent. He was voted out of the party by the democrats in Connecticut. This is a distinction because he didn't have a choice as someone who turns to be an independent does.

    December 16, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Since Joementum is really a Republican I wish Mitt will pick him as a running mate. FAKE + JOKER = LOSERS

    December 16, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Juan, Leesburg, VA

    Anything to support the zionist / neocons. Once a Bushie, always a he will definitely lose his next election – like he should have lost this previous one.

    December 16, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |

    Has everyone forgotten about the last Senate race that Lieberman ran in, and he was not supported by HIS OWN DEMOCRATIC PARTY?

    Now it's time for them to reap their rewards! How soon they forget!

    December 16, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. mark wilkes barre pa

    you losers commenting here on lieberman defecting have short memories. the lefties threw him aside for his agreeing with the president on the war againts terror. He tried to warn you idiots after 9-1-1 that this war was about more than the oil, but you didn't listen, you gave the president full support knowing you would try to impeach him first chance you got. After lieberman won his seat back without you morons help, what did you expect he would do ?

    December 16, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Tom, Rockport ME

    Simply put, Lieberman is a Zionist.How tragic that he has allowed his extremist views on Middle East policy trump every other issue that he could stand for as a Democrat, from health care to the economy. If one good thing came out of Al Gore losing, it was that Lieberman lost too.

    December 16, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. fred

    Isnt this an example of bipartisanship we have been yearning for? Way to McCain.

    December 16, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Jim, Smithtown NY

    Gee wiz, a Zionist supporting the only guy in the world who supports the Iraq war. What a friggin surprise...

    December 16, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Cliff,Baltimore MD

    hmmm suprise....
    Has anyone noticed Liberman (A Jew) is focused solely on the destruction of islam globally. He would like nothing more than to expand this war and turn this fight against terrorism into a Judeo-Christian crusade. Thus his endorsemnt of John MCcain, though Gulliani may have been a better choice.
    Liberman has no aligence with the American people or the democratic party, his religion is his decision. Lets oust this theocrat install a democrat.

    December 16, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. John, Boston, Mass

    Ron Paul is raising millions of dollars as we speak today! Go check it out!

    December 16, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Gungho Joe's endorsement is the kiss of death for McCain.

    Any Democrat who voted for Lieberman in the Senatorial election will have to live with that mistake.

    George W. has two friends in McCain & Lieberman.

    December 16, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Alexander, Washington, DC

    OLD NEWS - Lieberman is log cabin NEOCON, like John McCain.

    BREAKING NEWS - Ron Paul recieves $4.39M endorsement today as of 1930 ET.

    December 16, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. scott,manchester NH

    honestly...what a joke..i'm sooo through taking lieberman seriously; its the exact opposite of Bush:
    For SUCH a smart guy,how can he be sooo out of touch...
    Mccain "friendlied" up with Bush after schmucko stomped on him in 2000 in the election panic ; that whole scenario told me mccain has lousy principles...

    December 16, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Ed winter park Fl

    Lieberman McCain and Larry Craig the GOP's three wise men . It appears that this threesome would make a good President,[ VICE] PRESIDENT, and attorney general for the GOP.That scum bag Lieberman would SUCK up to anybody that would get his name in the paper. One more reason that if the state of Connecticut had any B-lls they would remove that piece of crap from his Senate seat immediatley. What a low life.

    December 16, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. ne,pa.

    Scott, Manchester,NH:

    Couldn't agree more.

    I hope the rest of NH is as smart as you.

    December 16, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Ron Nebraska

    Gee, what a surprise! Who'd have ever thought Lieberman would support the Bush Republican!

    December 16, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. Mike trenton Nj

    McCain is pro-war in the Middle East
    Lieberman is pro Isreal
    Do you think there is a connection?

    December 16, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. Kevin FL

    Lieberman is a undercover Republican!

    December 16, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. remd Chey WY

    Everytime I think about Joe Lieberman, I recall how he sold out the ticket in his 2000 debate with Dick Cheney. Well now I understand. I used to think it was simply a pitiful performance. Now I see it was his way of "endorsing" a GOP candidate.

    December 16, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Art, DC

    Good for Lieberman!!!! It would not surprise me to see him jump parties. The Democrats are a bunch of poll driven, spineless, short sighted idiots that appeal to those of the same cloth. For the life of me I do not understand people that support politicians whose opinions change in the wind and do not have the political courage to make a stand on principle (ie Clinton, Pelosi...), whether it is popular or not. For that I give Lieberman credit.

    December 16, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Kenton , ohio

    Mr. Lieberman get over it, you should know by now that you are out in left field,or I mean Right, no Indpendent, I feel sorry for you.

    December 16, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    McCain and Leiberman,perfect together. The next leaders of Israel.

    December 16, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  24. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Lieberman/Mccain – Another marriage made in Heaven.

    Lieberman is all for Joe, period. Ned Lamont came out of nowhere and threw the fear of God into him.

    Soon he will be standing alone, and he'll come crawling back to the voters of CT begging for forgiveness.

    Meanwhile, the likes of Hannity and Limpbaugh will lead him around by the nose and proclaim him as their long- lost savior.

    A pathetic little man, that Joe Lieberman.

    December 16, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. s., washington dc

    Folks, it is interesting that not one of you touched the issue of Lieberman's religion (except for Sharyn from CT). He is a devoted jew and, with all respect to those, will see the world through those glasses. Unfortunately to the US, this will just escalate all neutral approach to end the war in Iraq. It is also interesting, that many of our leading political figures with jewish descent woould like to solve the Arab world's century old questioins... They will not listen to us!! We need to send envoys with not caracteristically emphasized religious background to mediate in the Arab world.
    I remember before the 2000 election he was asked about his religion (how to solve a national crisis on a given Saturday... He said that he still would not touch phone but would ask an aid to do things for him... he had a hard time to answer) We truly need to separate religion and politics / national issues to deserve a credit from the world to be listened to. We need to give more chance for truly independent politicians, who would not care about party lines but focus on real problem solving. And without religious convictions.

    December 16, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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