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. Mark C, Asheville NC

    He's still playing the same game that that pathetic Georgia hillbilly Zell Miller started. If either of them had become Republicans, as they should have, they would have immediately been nobodies. But since they endorse people in the other party they can simultaneously grab splashy headlines and seem "bipartisan," though in Lieberman's case, "sickeningly unctuous" would be more like it,

    Ask yourself if anybody would give a rat's ass who Lieberman supported if it would have been a Democrat. There would have been no headlines.

    December 16, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. John, Willimantic, CT

    So what?
    A failed plotician supports another!

    December 16, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. Jim, El Paso TX

    A religious militant who never served. Very dangerous man. Deceptive.

    December 16, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. hey allons,tn

    hey you can have that looser the A team john mccain joe lieberman VP. hey McCain maby you could ask sen.Larry Craig to endorse you sense you are lowering your standard

    December 16, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  5. Mike, Fox River Grove, IL

    Lieberman, as an Orthodox Jew, has said clearly he supports and advocates military action and isolationism against Muslims and not always just the radical kind. He questioned the peace keeping discussions enacted by President Clinton, doubted the sincerity of Israeli Sharon, and spoke up against any peace talks with Palestinians. Only when convenient, in other words looking for donations or actively running, did he try to sounds sincerely concerned. He's a Chickenhawk that neocons can be proud of.

    December 16, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. Gracey Knowle, Dallas, Texas

    So out come all the Democrat fundamentalists and Howard Dean Nazis to denounce a man who is prepared to think independently for the benefit of America. Stupid Democrats can never understand they have become the fringe of American politics and the only reason they ever get to elect anybody is because voters are voting against someone else.

    December 16, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. Larry, Columbus, Ohio

    It's sad to see so many people castigating Lieberman, when he in fact is one of the few people in Congress who has shown the ability to be objective, thoughtful, and bipartisan. Based on the comments on this board, partisanship is alive and well...which is pathetic.

    He speaks his mind, he's smart, and he's level-headed. The fact that partisan Democrats can't stand him is simply indicative of how pathetic the whole political process is now. I'm a Republican, and we're no better with most of our candidates.

    Put down McCain and Lieberman if you want, but if you took off the labels and looked at what they've done, and what they've said, you'll see they've demonstrated an objectivity and bipartisanship that is absent in most of the other candidates. Or are you so swayed by personality?? Me, I'll take capability, intellect and judgment over soundbites, haircuts and fashion statements when it comes to who is leading our country.

    December 16, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  8. JR, Houston, TX

    Mr. Irrelevant endorsing Mr. Irrelevant!

    December 16, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  9. Charles Hodgin

    Once again Lieberman shows his true allegence is to Israel, not the United States.

    December 16, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  10. Eric, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Excellent post by Prateek Kumar. Sad that so many people seem to care more about the party than the individual. If the primaries don't give us independents a good choice (such as McCain/Graham vs. Biden/Obama), the Unity08 ticket might do very well...

    McCain has a stronger character, but his chief distinction from his rivals is not that he understands the need for immigration reform, reduced subsidies, and commitment where we use force abroad, but rather that he's the one who took political risk to find the consensus solutions we need from DC.

    December 16, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. Gil - California

    John and Joe have one thing in common, they back up their beliefs no matter what their party thinks. I have a lot of respect for both although I doubt Joe's support will help John gain any traction in his campaign. In my view, anyone who votes their party line without respect to the person that is running is just plain foolish. Both parties will let you down in the long run.

    December 16, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Heather, Murrieta Ca

    Joe Lieberman is a good decent person. He has integrity and principles. His endorsement of McCain is a very big deal.

    December 17, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. Mo, San Jose, CA

    some people would condemn anyone who endorsed the candidate they don't like or endorsed candidates from different party. Do they know that Sen. Joe is an independent? He's no longer a democrat. Fellow democrats dumped him during his re-election. He amazed me that he still vote in favor of Democrat in the Senate. without his vote, Democrats would have a hard time to have majority voice there.

    December 17, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    I lost all respect for McCain back in 2000 when he let Bush and his cronies smear him for his military service.
    Mc Cain has no chance to win and now has even less of a chance with irrelevant Lieberman endorsing him.

    December 17, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  15. John Taylor,Toronto ,Canada

    John McCain and ONLY John McCain could save us from world domination of the Islamic people.I am shocked to see the American people asleep on this matter.

    December 17, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  16. hey allons,tn

    hey you can have that good old republican you need him The A team looses

    December 17, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  17. Dave-TX

    A Loserman supports a has been!

    December 17, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  18. Simon, IA

    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?

    Posted By Bill G., Phila, PA : December 16, 2007 3:49 pm

    Obama supported Lieberman. Lieberman is Obama's mentor in the Senate. Hillary was helping Lamont.

    December 17, 2007 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  19. rp, Boston MA

    nobody cares; he's an egomaniac and people are tired of him.

    December 17, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  20. Steve, Lyons, CO

    No shock. Poor Joey's been suffering an identity crisis since Bush gave him the kiss of death after the latter's State of the Union.

    Lieberman sold moderates down the river, and was being paid back by Herr Bush.

    December 17, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  21. McAim

    Is that surprising. One Neocon nutter endorses another? Why does McCain always look like he has a cucumber up his you know what? Did he learn that from the Clint Eastwood school for drama?

    December 17, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  22. RMRN.Y.

    Well lets just say it – Lieberman is for Isreal so fanatically that he would drag this country into any military adventure even remotely endangering Isreal. What this war hawk doesn't get is that Isreal can fend for itself, very well thank you.

    But old blood thirsty Lieberman wants us to send our sons and daughters to die in the sand for his religious beliefs.

    See what lobby driven politics has gotten us.

    In my opinion he is a patriot for a foreign country and a traitor to the interests of this nation.

    He is full of it !!!

    And we are on to him.

    Obama 08

    December 17, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  23. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "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."

    Wrong, wrong and wrong.

    McCain's "national security standing" disappeared when he began rubber-stamping President George "Criminal Traitor" Bush. McCain has become spineless.

    McCain is *not* working across party lines. Lieberman quit being a Democrat the day our Worst. President. Ever. bussed him on national TV.

    If New Hampshire's "independent" voters are really independent, they will not support a man who will not say a bad word about the man who trashed his family and his reputation. That man, of course, was Dubya.

    December 17, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  24. ThanksForNothingCNN

    Don't mention Ron Paul's record haul at all CNN – it's totally irrelevant. Your viewers and readers have no need to know. He is a longshot kook after all, right? Man, I thought Washington was corrupt or are you just lazy journos?

    December 17, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  25. Jose Card

    Senator McCain has a record of working across party lines for decades. He could also work with President G.W. Bush after problems during the election.

    December 17, 2007 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
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