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. Bob Way

    Lieberman has the infatuation with "Global Terrorism". The real national security threat is the cost
    of this war which is happily underwritten by the Chinese who in turn
    have gotten increased leverage over us.
    So how can we can we fight "Global Warming" when we have no leverage over
    the biggest polluters being the Chinese
    who have in the past, threaten to dump
    their positions in U.S. Treasury Bonds
    threatening our economy. The biggest threat to America, not Isreal is China.
    The real enemy is China..........

    December 17, 2007 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. Brent, Gulfport MS

    As usual, anyone willing to think for himself rather than mindlessly following his party's rhetoric is branded a traitor.

    This is the sort of close minded thinking that sunk the Republicans in 2006. Wise up, Democrats, or you're next.

    And then maybe we can get a good, strong independent candidate who can think for himself and is not beholden to party lines. Just what America needs to balance out the far right evangelical crazies and the far left socialist bozos.

    December 17, 2007 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  3. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Hmmm... A person I can respect endorsing a person I can respect...

    How unusual...

    December 17, 2007 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  4. MN, Atlanta, GA

    Lieberman didn't leave the Democratic Party, the party left him. Come general election time, that'll make a pretty good theme for Republicans. A lot of moderates who haven't drunk the liberal kool-aid still respect Lieberman. I can hear the pitch now: Heap praise on Lieberman, then point out that he wasn't the kind of candidate the Democrats want... so do we want to go with someone they do find acceptable?

    December 17, 2007 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  5. Jacob, Chattanooga, TN

    On Sunday, 12/16/07, Ron Paul broke campaign fundraising records set by two prominent Democrats - surpassing John Kerry's 2004 record of 5.7 million, as well as Hillary Clinton's [disputed] record of 6.2 million in a single day. If the GOP wises up, they will realize Ron Paul's viability against the Democrats - or , more importantly, his superiority to the hollow, pre-packaged choices being offered by both parties. The GOP may just have to view Dr. Paul as a "necessary evil". That's what I have had to do with my vote for the last eight years.


    December 17, 2007 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  6. Rick Cain, Tulsa, OK

    Lieberman was a turncoat from the beginning, a Tory of the worst kind working with the enemy. To this day I still can't figure out what was in the mind of the Ohio voter when they put this clown in office. They should have known he was just a GOP agent, and he is singlehandedly responsible for switching sides and hamstringing Democratic progress in the Senate. Its not a do-nothing congress....its a congress held back by the GOP nutjobs that gave us endless war, ignored terrorism, made enemies of our former friends, put is in crushing debt, abandoned New Orleans because it was mostly black, ignored federal laws, tortured, gave tax money to mercenaries and cronies and now has given us the wonders of the mortgage crisis. That was just a quick summary, the true list of crimes is too long to post here.

    December 17, 2007 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  7. ken, caldwell, nj

    Liebermann is a self serving back stabbing idiot who has been in bed with Bush since before the 2004 election. Once the dems get a more solid majority in the senate after 2008, they should spit him out like bad meat. In fact, they should just strip him of all leadership posts now, and let him become a republican, and let CT wake up to his ways .

    December 17, 2007 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  8. Jlwdbad Clarksville In.

    Democrats are terrorists... killing babies, marrying men, and cloning humans = human race Eradication.. Either you’re with us, or against us. McCain is the only one. Unless...................bush 08 bush 08 bush 08 bush 08

    December 17, 2007 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  9. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Why Harry Reid would say that he has "the greatest respect for Joe" is beyond me. Time and time again, Joe Lieberman has proven to be dishonest and dishonorable. Joe Lieberman has been, in all but name, a Republican at least since the begining of the Bush administration. To say he is not endorsing the party, is a lie. Joe is also doing this to cement his power should the Republicans win the White House. If the Democrats have any brains or backbone, Once they pick up another Senate seat or two, they will strip him of all leadership responsibility and exile him to political Siberia. He is a dispicable human being.

    December 17, 2007 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    P.S. – Joe is not from Ohih or N.H. He's from CT. People need to get their facts straight when laying blame for this Political abortion! The voters of CT have spoken and without doubt, lyin' Joe will be re-elected in 2010.

    December 17, 2007 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  11. john, nyc, ny

    liberman was born a trader.

    December 17, 2007 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  12. Susan, Branford, CT

    First, I'm voting for Hillary so the endorsement doesn't matter to me. Second, I live in CT and am disgusted that Joe has used the support of this wealthy and very educated state to support his own personal agenda. True Democrats here are ashamed of his war support. Who cares who you endorse, Joe? You're only in the news because you're such a turncoat!

    December 17, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  13. Les, Boston, MA

    Lieberman has more integrity and character than most on Capital Hill, especially on the Democrat side of the aisle. Apparently the Democrats cannot tolerate independent thinkers in their Party. Just look how they all follow the Party line that they formulate once they get popular support from the American people. Democrats support an issue if things go fine, but if events change, they withdraw support on a dime. Where's the conviction from these weasels? First they supported the war, now they don't; first they supported CIA interrogation techniques, now they don't; first they supported Lieberman, now they don't.

    December 17, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  14. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    Lieberman and McCain are yesterday's news. Ron Paul in 2008.

    December 17, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  15. Blayze Kohime, Columbus Ohio

    I certainly think less of Lieberman now.

    December 17, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  16. ne,pa.

    Lieberman is looking out for Israel and war monger McCain is his man!

    Two pathetic men!

    December 17, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. Jack, Atlanta, GA

    Hmmm. I don't know about that one. I'm a left-leaning independent, but I like McCain. Even his Iraq stance is somewhat appealing to me. But his rhetoric is nowhere near as bellicose as Lieberman's in regard to Iran. VP candidate, perhaps?? I think so.

    December 17, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. Kim, Dallas, TX

    What a huge surprise, they both love war. Geez, our country is heading for a potential disaster if McCain gets elected.

    December 17, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  19. Yvonne Calhoun, Houston, Texas

    "Friends, Romans, Countrymen!" I'm sorry. For some reason Julius Ceasar comes to mind. Boy, what loyalty! Why would anyone care about the opinion of a traitor? Anyone remember Zell Miller?

    December 17, 2007 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  20. JB Boston MA

    You people should be ashamed of yourselfs. Joe was a leading dem for many years. He was loved by the party.

    Joe didn't bail on the dems, the dems bailed on him. He had to become an I.

    If all dems and reps were like McCain and Lieberman, we would be way better off than we are today

    And Joe is from CT not NH. If you are going to make mean comments, at least know what you are talking about.

    December 17, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. Terry, El Paso, TX

    How about an independent moderate ticket: McCain-Lieberman?

    What could it hurt? It would give Republicans a decent ticket to vote for and would bring some new issues to the race.

    December 17, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. Jules, Illinois

    Does anyone really care what a political never-been thinks?

    December 17, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  23. Theo, Manorville, NY

    You people ripping Joe are clueless........he just doesn't want to support a Dem loser!!

    December 17, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  24. brewdog

    From an independant from Bristol Ct.


    December 17, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  25. JB Boston MA

    Re: The Ron Paul posts

    WHO CARES! So he raised some more money. The guy is a loon. I like the IDEA of what he preaches, but, he is way to out there.

    Getting rid of medicaid/medicare. You just lost every senior citizen/poor persons vote. Doing away with the FDA?

    Who will watch over the drug industry?

    No DOE. Skyrocketing energy costs!

    Pulling all troops out of every county. Bad idea!

    He is going to be on Russert next sunday. This will be the last we hear from him. All it will take is a few up front questions, and people will write him off.

    December 17, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
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