June 4th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Lieberman attacks Obama over foreign policy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.lieb.gi.jpg caption="Lieberman had sharp words for Obama."](CNN) - On the first day of the general election campaign, the very first Republican conference call attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama featured his party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Lieberman.

"Senator Obama argued today that American foreign policy in recent years has essentially sort of strengthened Iran," said Lieberman on a conference call for reporters hosted by John McCain's campaign Wednesday. "..If Israel is in danger today, it's not because of American foreign policy, which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way. It's not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state."

On the same call, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor of Ohio said Obama's speech did nothing to dispel doubts about his commitment to Israel.

Both men spoke shortly after Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington. The GOP has been hoping that concerns by some in the Jewish community about the Illinois senator's willingness to diplomatically engage Iranian leaders will allow them to make inroads with that crucial Democratic voting bloc.

Lieberman, who endorsed John McCain earlier this year, has been increasingly critical of Obama - particularly his goal to end the war in Iraq. The Democrat-turned-independent has been a strong supporter of President Bush's Middle East and Iraq policies.

Obama endorsed Lieberman in his 2006 Democratic primary battle against challenger Ned Lamont. But after the Connecticut senator lost and decided to run as an independent, Obama switched his support to Lamont, who shared his opposition to the Iraq war.

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. Ethicist#1

    I guess Joe is getting some attention. The last time he was seen was when he was desperately trying to get his confused buddy John to get it right in where Shia and Sunni live in Iraq and whether Al qaeda was Sunni or shia. America should do what is in its best interest and America should come first in American foreign policy. Uno numero. Israel is an important ally and its survival is of paramount importance to the USA but under US terms and not at the cost of the US becoming an enemy of a country that Israel has not yet made peace with.

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. AJ

    I hate Lieberman but I hate Obama more. GO McCain!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. tony, Princeton, NJ

    Lieberman is a traiter to the democratic party. His alligiance is to Israel and not the United States of America.

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    I wonder how all those "independant" minded people from Conneticut feel about uncle joe now-a-days....

    they stood by him after her LOST the Dem senatorial primary...

    he caucases with the Democratic party as an Independant (which currently allows them the majority in the senate)...

    HE HAS "SHANKED" the party and his loyal constituents in the back!

    And when the dems gain MORE senate seats... he will have outstayed his usefulness.

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Tony

    WQhen is this coward going to remove the sheeps clothing, come out of the closet and declare himself as a REPUBLICAN?

    Lieberman has to be one of the biggest hypocrites in the Congress in the last decade.

    Enough Already Joey Boy, you are as transparent as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and all the other stooges.

    Come on out into the sunshine!

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Tara-MI

    Come on Joe, just like McCain states that he is tired of hearing Obama saying he is running a for a 3rd Bush term......... I am tired of hearing that Obama is so weak on foreign policy that he cannot become the next President of the United States. If the current Bush was able to get elected twice then Obama definitely has more than a fighting chance!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08'

    June 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Peter E

    You still think it's Clinton who's destroying the democratic party? At least she has a voting record that's consistent with her party's stances. Lieberman, on the other hand, is more neoconservative than even the average republican...

    June 4, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Morris

    So, Mr. Lieberman is joining Ms. Ferraro in coming out of darkness with their fangs in full glory.... please, stay where you were. You had your chance already...both of you. At least Ms. Ferraro has not been as blatantly manipulative as Mr. Lieberman....at least she is still a Democrat....

    June 4, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. magicpiano

    Yeah, traitor with VP aspirations.
    McCain/Lieberman? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...

    June 4, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. jc

    Perhaps as the "Senator from the State of Israel", Mr. Lieberman should listen to the amazing speech that Obama delivered to AIPAC members this morning rather than spewing his war-mongering.

    June 4, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Bob H.

    Lieberman was not the Democrats' "2004 vice presidential nominee," he was the VP on Gore's ticket in 2000. Strangely, had Gore won that contest, Lieberman might very well be the Democrats' nominee for President this year. What a thought.

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    FACT: IRAN HAS NEVER ATTACKED OR INVADED ANYONE. THIS IS A PRIMARY REASON WHY WE CAN TALK TO IRAN WHICH WILL KEEP ISRAEL OUT OF HARMS WAY. WHY IS JOHN MCCAIN, LIEBERMAN, BUSH AND SO MANY REPUBLICANS SO AFRAID OF MAKING PEACE BY TALKING WORK INSTEAD OF BOMBING. ARE THEY AFRAID OBAMA IS CORRECT?

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Andrew

    If I'm not mistaken, wasn't Lieberman the vice presidential candidate in 2000 and not 2004? '04 was Kerry/Edwards.

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Greg

    Lieberman was the Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee in 2000, not in 2004. Does anyone at CNN proofread these ticker entries?

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. charlie z

    "Senator Obama argued today that American foreign policy in recent years has essentially sort of strengthened Iran.... If Israel is in danger today... it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state."

    I'm not sure that an unsound, circular agrument really qualifies as an 'attack' against Obama.

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Louis

    McLieberman should save his breath for whispering in John's ear when he makes yet another gaffe regarding Iraq.

    Why anyone would trust Lieberman and McCain to fix Iraq is beyond comprehension–they have already shown their incompetence by supporting an unnecessary war that has killed 4,000 soldiers and 100,000 civilians, created 2,000,000 refugees and cost the taxpayers
    $600,000,000,000. What possible credibility do they have?

    June 4, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Nick - Arlington, VA

    "It's not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state."

    -someone should tell them how flawed this argument is...Iran is fanatical and our presence in Iraq IS what's strengthening them...Iraq was Iran's counterbalance and now Iran is having diplomatic ties with them as the Iranian President visits the Iraqi Prime Minister. Ridding of Saddam has allowed Iran's influence to grow over Iraq.

    June 4, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Motov8n

    " My favorite Martian" and Donnatello for President, boy bye!!!! Neither of you fit in the Equation!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Realist in Maryland

    A McCain-Leibermann Ticket would be perfect for the Republicans.

    Unfortunately, I beleive Leibermann has already stated he is not interested.

    June 4, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Pretty sure Sen Lieberman was the vice presidential nominee in 2000 than 2004. I know this is just a blog, but I'm not commenting on the article but the state of journalism. Say anything, write anything for ratings.

    June 4, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Tony

    Joe Lieberman, the Paris Hilton of the Congress! Never met a camera he didn't like, then when in front of it has nothing intelligent to say!

    June 4, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Enderlyn from Toronto

    Honest Abe, why should Lie-berman come to Canada? We don't need traitors and flip floppers here. Thank you very much.

    Obama 08

    June 4, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Addis - observer

    who is liberman?? Another fool who needs attention??

    June 4, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Maritza

    Sen Joe Leiberman knows very well what he is talking about, the JR. Sen Obama has not even served a full term in office, from where does he draw any knowledge of complex Middle East / foreign policy , part of understanding the very basic fact that you can't negotiate in any rational means and terms with fanatical terrorists , there is no logic from which to discuss and negotiate a practicle solution for the saftey and security in the very complex Middle East, with a raving loonatic that wants to destroy Israel and bring down America, great ,now comes the general election , it's easy to fool many by way of articulation and confusing the issues, but the proof will be that Obama would not even benefit from a crash course given by the experts on the ground in Iraq, much less a first hand view with our brave troops fighting this war , send him to the Middle East , the hard part is the action , and in this ,he has no proof of action only talk.

    Maritza

    June 4, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Dan

    Editorial note: Lieberman was the 2000 VP nominee. Edwards was in 2004.

    June 4, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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