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. Paul Jones

    Are there any grown ups here? Lieberman (and McCain, for that matter) is in many ways what Obama claims to be but isn't: a "reach across the aisle" politician who picks and chooses his/her positions based on what they think is right rather than what is PC in their party. In Lieberman's case, on most social issues he is on the left side of his party, on most economic issues the right side, and in foreign policy – gasp – he finds himself more in agreement with the Republican party. If the Obama fans out there really believed in Obama's rhetoric of bi- and post-partisanship, they would at least respect people like McCain and Lieberman, who have been there, and done that, in terms of working across the aisle even if they disagreed with them on specifics. "Change we can believe in?" Sounds more like the old my way or the highway politics we've enjoyed for too long already.

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

    Mahalo Joe! πŸ™‚

    And, congratulations to the extreme left media and the foolish Dems who have anointed the object of their love affair. You now have a very cautious, biracial presumptive nominee who has marinated in Black Liberation Theology and racist rhetoric for decades! πŸ™
    Hillary is the best, and I will support whatever she decides. VP would be my last choice unless she knows something I don't?

    But, if she takes it to the convention to secure Universal Health Care and/or if she secures the next Supreme Court position she will continue to serve admirably!

    Joining McCain on his ticket would satisfy many of her supporters as would running as an Independent.

    Anticipating Hillary's decision with hope and prayer!

    Be nice Obama supporters! Hillary has all the options!

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. a sympathetic Canadian

    Hey, Honest Abe! Spare us the joke, called Lieberman. He is not liked and welcomed here.

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Brian

    McCain Lieberman 08... a ticket that will hike its pants up above its waist, and never miss an Early Bird Special or an episode of Matlock.

    Both of them are so out of touch with what America and the world need.

    GOBAMA 08!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Chula

    This democrat agrees with you Lieberman and so do million of other Democrtas.

    If Obama is the nominee.....we will either write Hillary in or vote McCain.

    America deserves a president that will protect her and help her grow....not throw her under the bus and support those who hate Americans.


    June 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Joe Regis

    He did not add anything to the ticket when he run with

    Al Gore.

    Dem turns independent turns Repub. Next time he will deceive himself.

    June 4, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Lilia from MD

    Well, Well, what else is knew......................... I am sure we will hear a lot more about American presidential candidates swearing to the American and Israeli's flag; because, of IAPAC lobying power.

    Don't tell me Obama is "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN" sometimes I wander if Israel and USA is run by one president.

    My vote is for Ron Paul, he has it right.

    June 4, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Churchill

    Lies– by– Man who? Please...... What more can we expect from him?
    Nothing is easier than self-righteousness and self-deception. This man mistakes knowing about foreign policy for knowing foreign policy. There is a great difference between the two and this is where Lie-by-man and John Mccain fall flat.

    June 4, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Jane, College Park, MD

    What does he mean "if Israel is in danger today it's not because of American foreign policy... "
    Then why the heck is Israel still in danger after 6 years of war in Iraq? Iran grew stronger in the last 6 years. Iran has people in Iraq killing Americans, ofcourse that has emboldened them as well. What is with these people? We need to kick their sorry you know what out of our Govt.

    This guy would be a nobody without the Dem party. Can someone please tell me when his seat comes up for re-election again?.

    June 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |


    But give me a break bro, McCain is solidly a republican. No amount of rhetoric can change that.


    June 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Tony Rodriguez

    Senator, your words are prophetic and undeniably true!!!

    You are an amazing Senator!!!

    Let's hear it for the U.S. – Israeli relationship!!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Scott

    Not to be an editor here, but Lieberman was actually the Veep candidate for Al Gore in 2000, not 2004. John Edwards was Kerry's veep in 2004. It took 6 years after the loss for Joe to betray the Democrats when he went "Independent" in 2006, although we all know he's a McCain Republican.

    June 4, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Dave SC

    Senator Lieberman, it is because of you that Democrats got the control of the senate. If you had remain independent, Democrats would not get the majority.

    June 4, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. doug, fairbanks, alaska

    I am sick and tired with our infatuation with Israel...what is the big deal?? They are big boys and girls, let them take care of themselves!!! If we spent half the time and money on our own problems, we would be far better off!..yes, call me an "isolationist" the more the better!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Brian Metzger

    Lieberman, with strong personal ties to Israel, should not be considered a neutral voice on this issue. Iran can only be expansionist if it has somewhere to expand – and we opened up a huge hole by invading Iraq.

    June 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. CATHY

    I will not vote for obama in Nov.I'M WRITING IN HILLARY'S NAME.NEVER obama.

    June 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Keifer S.

    There will be plenty of time for cheap shots from the McCain camp later. Let Barack have his victory dance. He's practising his moves for when he has another in November.

    June 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Michael

    Leiberman, needs to stop trying to protect Mcain. Mcain is old enough to protect himself. πŸ™‚

    June 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. William

    It just boggles the mind, that after all the evidence, after all the losses, Republicans still insist on fear mongering & saber rattling. And to all those who continue to insist that Obama's views and beliefs are contrary to what he states just further the notion that they can't and won't have a legitimate fight.

    People grow up. Let the candidates to their job and quit polluting the airwaves with nonsense. In the end you never change anybody else's mind. Maybe it's time you change yours.

    June 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Karen from Texas

    When you are finished trying to attack Obama, please make sure you run on over to McSame and continue to help him with his mistakes that he makes.

    Obama 08

    June 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. jim

    LIEberman is a tool. McBush's lap dog. Bring on the debates Mr. Teleprompter Reader Keating Five Scandal My Friends My Friends.
    Tools, both of yous.

    June 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. indy dem


    Read the news: The US has compromised Israel's position of power in the middle east by invading iraq. Without a stable govt in Iraq and with the US military's pants around its ankles, Iran can agitate to its heart's content.

    McCain and lieberman are only interested staying in power. All of their experience means nothing if they are strategic MORONS

    Maybe if we hadn't shot our wad in Iraq we could make threats that carried some weight.

    June 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. juan bobo

    "McCain... a 'reach across the aisle' politician who picks and chooses his/her positions based on what they think is right rather than what is PC in their party."

    You need to look at John McCain's voting record: He's voted the Republican Party Line 95% of the time.

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. rice, bryan

    i can't hear you sonny, could you speak up, i thought you said foreign potty.

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. NickNas

    LOL Lieberman??? Everyone to include Lieberman knows hes a puppet who will do and say anything he is told to say. C'mon.

    June 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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