December 17th, 2007
08:55 AM ET
15 years ago

Lieberman: McCain best able to break through partisanship

Lieberman officially backed McCain Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat turned Independent, announced Monday he is backing Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, an endorsement that could help the Arizona senator court independent voters in the crucial primary state of New Hampshire.

"I know it's unusual for a Democrat to be endorsing a Republican," Lieberman said at a New Hampshire press conference with McCain and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in New Hampshire. "It's even unusual for an independent Democrat like me to be endorsing a Republican."

"You know, political parties are important in our country," he continued. "But they're not more important than what's best for our country, they're not more important than friendship, they're not more important than our future. And that's why I'm proudly here to urge Republicans and Independents in New Hampshire to come out on January 8 and make John McCain the next president of the United States."

Lieberman, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2000, said McCain is the presidential contender best able "to break through the partisanship that is poisoning our politics today and stopping us from getting anything done in Washington."

In accepting Lieberman's backing, McCain said, "It is one of the great honors of my political career to have known him, to have worked with him, and to have received his endorsement."

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: McCain can reunite our country

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Jon Gill,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania

    As much as I love Al Gore, and wanted to see him as president I am now glad he lost. What a disgrace it would have been to have nutso Joe as Vice-president. He has not only displayed total disloyalty, his choice of John McCain has showed an appalling lack of judgement.

    December 17, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. Robert, Vivian, LA

    Too bad ALL senators are not independents! Then we wouldn't have to worry about partisanship.

    By the way, where's the news of Ron Paul's record breaking fund raiser?

    December 17, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Rodney Dallas TX

    Lieberman obviously has something up his sleeve. Why would any life long democrat endorse a republican. Lieberman would not be an Independent had he won his states primary. He lost the dem nomination and therefore ran as an independent.

    December 17, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Lieberman is known for his independance. I would have hoped that he would have stayed out of this until it was further along. I don't know that McCain can really cut through the partisanship. I agree that there is far too much of it, but I don't know who will really cut through any of it; if any one can, I don't think any of the contenders can do that are currently running.

    I believe that Liberman is one of those people that can't really be pegged as either a liberal or conservative. You have to ask about the issue. Although, I think he is beginning to lean more to the conservative side than before.

    December 17, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |

    "You know, political parties are important in our country," Lieberman continued. "But they're not more important than what's best for our country, they're not more important than friendship, they're not more important than our future."

    Wow, that is on point!

    Thank you Joe for reminding everyone how to get on track.

    December 17, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Shirley Stewart, Bethlehem Twshp, PA

    All I could think about while watching these two men is the fact that they should retire. Neither one seems to have a grasp on reality anymore and they should step down. It's sad how many politicians, no matter how irrelevant they have become, just can't give up the power.

    December 17, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Santosh-Phila

    What's interesting is that Lieberman is the reason that Al Gore even had a chance at winning Florida in 2000 and in essence the election. Without Lieberman Bush would have won much more easily.

    But those Jewish voters in Florida who were probabaly upset at that time that Lieberman's ticket had lost must feel better knowing thta they still have a pro-Israel security hawk in President Bush. And now with Lieberman supporting Bush and McCain on the biggest security issues, that whole voting bloc of Jewish voters along with "Scoop Jackson" Democrats (security hawks) is clearly behind the GOP as long as McCain or Giuliani is the nominee. Florida is really not a battleground anymore-it's a Red State.

    December 17, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Mike G. NYC

    "I know it's unusual for a Democrat to be endorsing a Republican," Lieberman said at a New Hampshire press conference with McCain and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in New Hampshire

    You're a Democrat again, Joe?

    December 17, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. Rose Hann New London, CT

    As a resident from Connecticut my dissapointment in Leiberman couldn't be stronger. Joe is a Democrat who changed to Independent status to win his Senate seat. He promised the good people of Connecticut he will always be a Democrat. I'm ashamed he chose to endorse a Repulican for President. He should have NOT endorsed anyone if you are going to betray Connecticans. Good luck Joe next election! The word disengenuous comes to mind.

    December 17, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    Lieberman and McCain are yesterday's news.

    December 17, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Matt, Chicago, IL

    With this, I see Senator Lieberman demonstrating calculation and fraternal camaraderie. There is no substance to what I read, other than seeing Lieberman forget McCain losing his resolve on Bush somewhere between 2000 and 2003. McCain was once an encouraging hope, but he has relegated himself to being unoriginal. That simply shows his age, as does Lieberman’s age speaking on his behalf. It’s all too “Good Ole Boy” for me to take seriously.

    December 17, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    It's somtething we have come to expect from you Joe. You are a liar and totally dishonorable human being. Change parties and be done with it would you? Republicans deserve you.

    December 17, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Emily, Swansboro, NC

    I think Joe Lieberman needs to start putting US interests ahead of Israel's.

    December 17, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. hey allons,tn

    he is a traitor a to face hypocrite democrats and republican don't wan't him so he jump on anything that he thanks that will get him a head.

    December 17, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. C Spurgeon

    This is Lieberman's get even with the Dems who voted him out and payback to the Republicans who voted him in as an independent. What a nothing...Makes me lose repect for McCain too who I did really hold in high regard. This man only thinks of himself. Bah Humbug....

    December 17, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Rose Hann New London, CT

    Joe is the US Senator from my home state. I supported him but will not again. i consider his support for McCain a slap in the face of the Democrats he promised to always be. It would have been better to support no one then to go against the good people of Connecticut. I will NEVER vote for him again.
    Had he spent more time supporting Democrats in the Senate, they could have had the votes to over-ride Bushes pen power. I hold Joe responsible for his betrayal.

    December 17, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Thanks Joe

    Thanks, Connecticut, for bringing back this loser.

    December 17, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. john Peekskill N.Y.

    I think its about time that leaders of our country finally try to unite for the good of our country. Maybe this will be the beging of something thats long overdue.

    December 17, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Joe, Phx AZ

    Not unexpected at all. Warmongers seem to seek each other out.

    December 17, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Robert, Pensacola, FL

    I have the upmost respect for Senator Lieberman. The man realized that none of the Democratic candidates know a thing about national security so he breached party lines to endorse someone he knows will.

    I was discouraged by some of the comments on the earlier story by readers calling him "traitor" and whatnot. If you ask me, Joe Lieberman is the closest thing to JFK in the Democratic Party since JFK. I respect the man and the way he is not an anti-war sheep like every other Democrat I have ever met.

    December 17, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Nads, Atlanta GA

    Lieberman is still calling himself a Democrat? That's hilarious.

    December 17, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. Rose Hann New London, CT

    I did add a comment and have yet to see it. I have said as a Connectican, I see our Democrat Senator turned independent to win his race to the Senate made a promise to the good people of CT he would always be a Democrat. Yeah supporting a Republican really demonstrates that. Next election, I'll vote for the opponent. Joe, you have betrayed us.

    December 17, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Ginny, Byron, CA

    This Bush Suck-Up's opinion packs no weight. He pretended to be a Democrat, then, when he was dumped as their candidate last election, duped the people of CT into voting him back in as an Independent, then stabbed them in the back by aligning himself with the Republicans. He's just a greedy politician who couldn't accept stepping down 3 years ago and sacrificed any integrity he may have once had. In spite of this endorsement, and although I'm for Clinton or Edwards and won't be voting for McCain, I hope he does well.

    December 17, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Heather, Chicago IL

    So McCain has the AIPAC and CFR vote, what's new?

    December 17, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Respect both of these two immensely, I wouldn't mind a VP nod on the Republican ticket for either of them.

    Imagine an ENTIRE political party filled with Lieberman types that looks at ideas and issues from both sides and makes decisions based on what they think is best and NOT party affiliation.

    Maybe someday........

    This is a great endorsement for McCain.

    December 17, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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