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. Sam Osias

    Well, unless one was born last night or sometime after the mid-term election in 2006, this is a "PAYBACK" to the Democratic Party. If Joe didn't throw his support behind McCain he'd have thrown it behind the guy from Arkansas.
    Good luck Joe Lieberman!

    December 16, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Thomas Wells, Laerton MI

    This is based on conspiracy theory.

    If the false jews that control America want McCain as president, I say game over. Why even bother with the formalities?

    He has NO support. So it will be interesting to see him win. If he does, it is ONLY because of rigging.

    This will be interesting to watch. Especially since he has no ideas that are revolutionary and that define him. He might as well run as George J. Bush.

    December 16, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  3. John New York, NY

    What a weisel- I hope McCain chooses Lieb as his running mate- that way the GOP will surely lose.

    December 16, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. Anon Mid-America

    ... quote: 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." Posted By Anonymous, Somewhere, MI : December 16, 2007 5:29 pm

    ANON in MI – the stupidity of the masses is truly appalling!! The majority of the DEMwits STIL don't have a clue... I suspect most don't even know who Joe Lieberman is, let alone WHY he is so important to the Democrats. After what happened in the primaries I really figured he'd go with the GOP. Of course he ONLY innitially got dumped because of his support for the Iraq war, so either his constituents suddenly had a panic attack after realizing what they'd done or they decided he wasn't so bad after all... Either way just goes to show that the election is never over til it's over.

    As to the med-school drop-outs, they are all goo goo eyed over the new American Idol who hasn't the brains God got a gnat – merely bought into all the media hype during the 2004 Elections... and now thinks he's the new Messiah. Yeah like his visions of hope instead of experience are going to run the country = Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. he's NOT. Oprah's garish carnival hawking of the kewpie doll was a total embarrassment to the whole country and not just the Dems. AND then to proclaim that he was "THE ONE" – and the answer to Dr. King Jr's DREAM made me puke. I doubt Oprahbamarama even know what MLK's "I have a Dream Speech" truly means...

    I think McCain has lived his whole life as a fine and decent man of integrity. I wish he would have won in 2000 instead of being swiftboated by the shameless whisper campaign in SC spread by the Bush operatives. Either we would have never gotten into the Iraq mess (since McCain can actually "comprehend" was he is reading) or he would have gotten the job done right in Iraq as well as Afghanistan from the get go. The only time I thought he showed lack of character is when he reconciled with Bush.

    As far as the Obiwankenobi wannabe goes = the more enlightened Democrats would be celebrating in the streets if he defected to the GOP. Speculation is that he'll probably declare himself an Independent, if he doesn't get the Dem nod and then might run with Bloomberg = Bloomberg/Obama.


    December 16, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. FuddyDuddy, New Mexico

    Us geriatrics need to stick together!!!

    December 16, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Who cares!! It is RON PAUL time, all aboard if you want less govt and more of your earned income.

    December 16, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  7. Mrs. America


    December 16, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    I hope 95 year old Mama McCain doesn't blurt-out anything bad about Jews, like she did about the Mormons last month. Keep your fingers crossed John and put your hands over your ears Joe!

    December 16, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. J, Dubuque, Iowa

    How long will it be until this guy finally decides to be honest with the American people and declare himself to be a Republican? Right now claiming to be independent so he can play in both parties is dishonest.

    December 16, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. Stan Bozarth

    Well, that's the kiss of death for McCain. Having Joe "Rubberlips" endorsement is akin to getting a love letter from Jack Abramoff or Scooter Libby...other fine men of Liebermanns calibre.

    December 16, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Just peachy. And to think I voted for him with Gore in 2000. Another reason to boot "Traitor Joe" out of the party. Most would wait until the general election to reach beyond the party, but not Lieberman. No wonder the Dems in Connecticut tried to show him the door.

    December 16, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Justin, Rochester, NY

    McCain is the only republican with a shot of beating Obama or Hillary. Face it.

    December 16, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. No Obama in the Oval Office

    As a Democrat I WOULD vote for McCain if Obama gets the Democratic nomination... Despite holding a few different viewpoints from the GOP, I would rather have someone in the Oval Office who actually KNOWS the difference between a Driver's License and a Learners Permit. A REALLY REALLY REALLY SCARY THOUGHT!!!

    December 16, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. Dem's are Morons !!!!

    I love reading comments from you Dem's, most of you are so uninformed and blindly follow the Democratic party that it's scary to think you have the right to vote. The Dem's abandoned Lieberman in 2006 and then wine like a bunch of baby's when he doesn't follow the Democratic doctrine or blindly support them for old times sake. You should count your blessings that he is the swing vote in the senate and usually supports the Dems. By the way, since you don't seem to know this I'll clue you in, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are losers. They swich positions depending on what state they are in and will not directly answer questions.. they just do the potomac two step around the issues... But you can't or won't see this, you just vote for whoever your union tell's you to vote for.....sad !

    December 16, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. Juanita Missouri kennett

    Obama and Oprah has pushed civil rights back about 50 years. Obama needs a mama. I guess thats Oprah. This only shows he can not stand a long .In other words he has to stand behide a woman. That just lets me know that i'm going to vote for Hillary.By the way Obama i hope you didn't think that crowd came to see are lesson to you.Oh Please

    December 16, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    don't be surprise people! Sen. Lieberman's loyalty lies with the state of Israel. he believes in his heart that he must do what he can to protect them. It is only natural that an un-stable Iraq can only hurt Israel in the most immediate term. Good for him to be able to support his friend. Remember we wanted the Jewish vote in 2000 that is why we got Joe... too bad he couldn't speak the same hebrew in Florida... then again... maybe he learned it now... VP in the works again for the senator?

    December 16, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. Lorenz, Queens, NY


    December 16, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. JC, Green Bay, WI

    Loser endorses loser. Big deal.

    December 16, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. Heather W.

    Well, McCain is the only sane choice for the Republicans. Second best choice is Huckabee. Guiliani, Romney and Thompson are unelectable.

    My vote is for Obama, if Clinton gets the nomination, I would vote for McCain. Third choice is the third party candidate.

    December 16, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Brian, Eastham MA

    Are you tired of the John and Joe show?

    Vote Ron Paul. Donate to Ron Paul tonight, and be part of history, the highest one day political donation total ever! We're already over 5 million!

    December 16, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. Patrick, Denver Colorado

    Some of you are so blind to your politics its disgusting. People that have the courage to cross party lines should be applauded not attacked. You may not agree with all of his positions but do yourself a favor and at least listen to ONE McCain speech and then make your decision. Blindly supporting or opposing someone b/c of the D or R by their name is about the dumbest thing I can think of. I wish political parties were illegal. Half of you who hate Bush would probably like him and vice-versa.

    December 16, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. john, austin, tx

    Joe lieberman should use his real name,"JUDAS LIEBERMAN".

    December 16, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Sam Lutz, FL


    ps – Obama 2008

    December 16, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    Lieberman has made it official. He is a Republican in a clown suit. Another of the armchair, borrow, and spend war hawks, that would follow Bush to the gates of hell.

    December 16, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. RTH, Bellingham, WA

    This shouldn't surprise anyone – Lieberman may sit in on Democratic strategy sessions but he hasn't been a Democrat in years.

    McCain doesn't stand a chance, unless things change drastically (like he calls someone a macaca), but this ought to cement Lieberman as an outsider.

    December 16, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
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