June 4th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
14 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. Patty Don't

    Tension in the Middle East? Never! Everything is nice and peaceful over there. Its not like we invaded or started any wars in the region.

    Iraq? Afghanistan? Let Saddam and the Soviets worry about them.

    What? 2008? Really?

    June 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. trudy

    people can be funny here, liebermann has to reinform americans he is no more democrat because people think he is so he can lose his seat.

    June 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. NCDem

    The article says Lieberman was the 2004 VP candidate-it was 2000. Edwards was in 2004.

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Really?

    Say it ain't so, Joe. You used to be somebody.

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Justin, Sherman Oaks, CA

    The only judas I have seen so far this campaign

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. John Anthony, MN

    Shut up, turncoat Joe! You and McCain act as if Obama is surrendering Israel to Bin Laden, which he certainly ISN'T. Lieberman and McCain have naively accepted the lying Bush administration's take on Middle East policy, which has been a DISASTER, and all they're doing is building up the corrupt military industrial complex in the process and further damaging our credibility. Lieberman: You're paranoid, and you're dead wrong. DISGRACEFUL!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Jaime

    Joe Lieberman believes strongly and firmly in the best interests of Israel over the best interests of the United States. That's fine, as a Jewish person, there is a religious reason for him to believe this is necessary and he must do what he believes in accordance with his faith.

    He thinks that Israel's interests are best served by the US aggressing Iraq and overstretching its military to the point where it could not confront Iran, who has much harsher rhetoric towards Israel, even if it needed to. I think he is wrong. Israel's interests are best served when America is strong enough to be able to intercede on Israel's behalf. Frankly Israel and America should be more concerned with the current energy situation. Should america's economy and military be weakened too much by lack of energy sources, Israel would find itself in a much worse situation.

    Perhaps if our politicians would think about issues a bit more, we might get better solutions.

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Through the collective conventional wisdom and experience of old politics, the United States has never been more out of control in the Middle East than under the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Clintons, the Liebermans and the McCains. Time for a change….

    June 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Terry in Texas

    A true turncoat has spoken...

    June 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. MAN!

    What is he doing!!??? I mean really. Most Democrats are trying to unify their party, and he's on the other side cheering on the Republicans. Has Anyone ever seen anything like this before?! Im not mad for his position, but just switch sides, so that we dont have to hear it from Fake Democrat....

    June 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Preston

    Here is someone I want to see working at Wal-mart after next election. See how he feels when that's the only job available to this traitor.

    June 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. michael minorgan

    leiberman is your utmost fair weather politician..... a real coward top stand on his own or commit one way or the other now that he back McCain!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Frank

    Hey Joe, you are out of touch. Depart immediately.

    June 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Davis in NC

    Go away Joe Lieberman.

    June 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. KiloWhiskey

    Ah Obama..."Friend of Israel".....with friends like that, who needs enemies!

    He needs to steer clear of the foreign policy stuff if he wants to win...he has no depth there, just "wouldn't it be nice if we were all nice" rhetoric.

    June 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Get over yourself Joe.. What party are you this week??? Who cares what you say. McCain owes favors to a lot of people, I don't think you will be his first choice. On the other hand, putting you on the ticket would surely doom him to failure.

    June 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Carol, WI

    Lieberman is obviously running for VP. I personally, am glad to have him out of the Democratic Party. McCain, you can have Lieberman. Can we please get Chuck Hagel??

    June 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Phil in KC

    Benedict Arnold! He should declare himself a Republican. He's done everything but. I think Ron is right. He's running for VP again. And he'll lose again – if McCain is foolish enough to pick him.

    June 4, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Michelle from Colorado

    I don't really like McSame. And the Israeli issue is never going to be completely handled to anyone's true satisfaction. But Obama is target practice now. Any more 'defending your champ" is a moot point. You've had your say. Now Obama needs to stand up and defend himself.....if he really can.

    June 4, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Rick FL

    Lieberman does not seem to understand foreign policy as well as I thought. Bush's diversion into Iraq has definitely caused more instability for our allies in the Middle East. Joe's allegiance with McCain/Bush on this issue unfortunately appears somewhat delusional and out of touch.

    Obama has the right approach.

    Dem '08

    June 4, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Stephen

    This again highlights the aberrations that come from all single issue politics.

    June 4, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. jd

    If Israel is in heightened danger, it's because of the policies espoused by the likes of Liberman. He's been a traitor to his home, the US, to our allies like Israel, and to the Democratic party that made him a successful politician.

    June 4, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. Bill

    That will hurt what is left of his Democratic credentials. Lieberman apparently has had all the time in office he can muster, no one will vote for him again.....

    June 4, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Samina from WI

    One thing is for sure.. according to all the three candidates, everyone 's a terrorist other than America and Israel. With this kind of attitude(which was eveident at the AIPAC and by the way watched by the whole world), what sort of peace are Americans dreaming of acheiving. Why do they suck up to the AIPAC so much??...Do Americans even know the history of the formation of Israel and why there is resistance from different quarters. From what i know of Americans, I understand them to be reasonable, logical people. How is it hat in the entirre Palestinian-Israel issue , they act as if logic and reason hold no weight. it would help if Americans get educated about the formation of this nation which has caused so much of chaos and trouble . A realization will dawn on anyone who studies history that it is as if someone knocks on your door at your home and asks you to get out as they have been given (by some third party) the right to occupy your house. Will you not resist??.. and should you be called a terrorist if you do? Will Americans give away their state of California as the new jewish state if it ever came to that. Will they not resist? Will they not fight for it?So how is it that America so blatantly supports this injustice and how in the world can it then expect peace?

    June 4, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |

    Leiberman is a joke. How to you trust anyone's opinion on foreign policy who abandoned his own party?

    June 4, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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