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. Ben

    Luiberman...a political flip-flop of our time!..Dont pay attention to this outcast out of touch fellow!

    June 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. tim fitzgerald

    Paul, I just don't think that we agree that supporting Bush's war as well as his extraconstitutional illegalities is a bipartisan act. Nor is supporting McCain over Obama. He lied to his voters in 2006 in order to achieve reelection, deceiving people about his position on Iraq, too.

    Note to writer: Lieberman was the 2000 VP nominee, not the 2004.

    June 4, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. jason

    Cantor's from VA, not Ohio, and they can keep him.

    June 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Sam7

    Lieberman’s agenda is very obvious. He was very instrumental in getting the Iraq war started, and he continues his relentless pursuit in making sure that it keeps on going. It seems that this man’s mission on earth is to make sure that we always have an unstable Middle East, so the likes of Iran and Syria are always detracted for focusing on Israel… even if it meant that more American lives are lost in the process.
    Pursuing peaceful means could somehow lead to an end to this madness, but Lieberman’s suspicious intent will always prevent that from happening…

    June 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Josephine, Miami

    Making noise trying to be McSame VP? As usual Lieberman you lose.
    McSame is not going to be the President .

    June 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. David

    Joe Lieberman has become nothing more that a neocon sound bite. He obviously did not listen to Obama's speech at the AIPAC conference in which Obama affirmed a commitment to Israel and clarified his position of using diplomacy to achieve US goals, but keeping force available if diplomacy fails. The issues in the middle east are very complex, and the Republican strategy of reducing everything to good vs. evil has not and will not work. Guess Joe has not gotten the memo.

    June 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Obama is green, and has just now started wearing a flag pin. What does Caroline Kennedy know about what the people of America want? She has stayed out of politics and the public eye until now? Was she already asked to be Obamas VP? That would explain her sudden attraction to politics. It would also explain Ted Kennedys endorsement over the wishes of the voters in his state. Obama is the presumitive nominee. Until the conventions, no one including McCain, are the nominees. the convention is when the actual votes will be given, until then anything can happen. I will wait until the convention to see the actual results. Out of three possible scenarios on popular votes, Obama is ahead in only one. He is not my nominee. If he is the actual nominee in August and that seems likely, I will at that time know how I will vote in November. I suspect I will have to vote for Hillary, by write-in

    June 4, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. GriotPoet

    Paul Jones: I see Nasa's Phoenix robot spacecraft disturbed you when they found water on Mars!

    June 4, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. therealist

    Fast forward 4 years and it will be Obama's VP disparaging the democrats for not supporting America's M.E. allies. The proofs in the pudding..

    June 4, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Joyce in Florida

    Leiberman, you are a total joke. Who cares what you say or think? Why don't you just go away and leave the campaign to the candidates themselves. Any input from you is ridiculous and we don't care. Bye bye Lieberman. This is probably the last time you will be in the White House.

    June 4, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Elly

    Lieberman is a traitor Democrat !!!
    his opinions mean about as much as MCsames do which is next to nil
    America wants to leave the status Quo behind
    so take MCSame with you and go spew your war rhetoric to each other
    Americans are tired of it!!!
    Obama For President for peace and prosperity!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Doug, Kalispell Montana

    This man is pathetic. He is a clone of the infamous Zell Miller.

    June 4, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Vic of NYC

    Paul Jones: Get the marbles out of your mouth. What's your point? I'm sorry if you're one or those poor Republican fools who really believes these guys are looking out for your interests.

    John McCain represents the same arrogant Republican mismanagement of this country that has gone on for the last 8 years. You talk about "tax breaks" – how much of that are you getting? You've already given it back to the Bush boys in gas prices! The country is going bankrupt because of a foolhardy war no one needed. Who's coming out ahead? Cheeney and the millions his boys have made on Haliburton! Kids are being poisoned with lead paint on their toys – but McCane thinks "good people" can monitor themselves – no need for govenment oversight! Sorry, but this jig is up.

    That's got nothing to do with giving McCain all the respect in the world. We can lavish all the hero's medals on him the congress has to offer. We can shake his hand and listen to his words, and thank him for his service. Then, let's please show him the door!

    June 4, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Lee Rosen

    Leiberman is a disgrace to his former party. Does he think that just because he is Jewish he can speak for all of us Jews regarding Israel. He can't! I voted for him for VP and now am so glad he did not get elected. McCain deserves him

    June 4, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Tracy

    Lieberman is a fraud. He is totally irrelevant and no one with half a brain respects anything he has to say. He is no more than a puppet on a string. Go hide in a geriatric ward please. We are done with your type of politicals and that disgusting, creepy grin that McCain keeps plastering on his 100-year-old face. Makes him look like a creepy child molester.

    June 4, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Jim

    Unlike Obama, Lieberman is someone who represents true bi-partisanship and the ability to work across the aisle. The Hillary-Obama battle is reminiscent of the Lieberman-Lamont primary where all the left wingers including Daily Kos, Al Sharpton, latte liberal bloggers, etc. got behind Lamont in the primary. While they were successful in defeating Lieberman in the primary, Lamont lost the general election to an Independent Lieberman by 10 points. In the end, Lieberman had the broader appeal, similar to McCain does. Lamont won the Starbucks latte drinkers, but not the Joe lunch bucket crowd.

    The general electorate is far less liberal than Democratic primary voters which is why Lamont lost in the general. Those same liberal primary voters have jeopardized the Demcrats chances of winning this year when it should be a slam dunk.

    Obama can not win without core Democratic constituencies including but not limited to blue collar whites. I have a feeling history is going to repeat itself here, except that Hillary isn't running as an independent. However, moderate and conservative Democrats like me have a new choice in John McCain, and for me, that's the choice I plan to make.

    June 4, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. amtFresno,CA

    Lieberman an extension of Bush. McCan't keeps Lieberman close by to correct his VERY FREQUENTLY so called mis-spoken facts. McCan't doesn't know what is is talking about & has proven it each time he speaks. McCan't needs a keeper. No Country for Grumpy Old Men.

    June 4, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. No Obama

    Obama don't know crap about how to run this Country!!!!!!!!!!!!! go back to Africa!

    June 4, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Suzanne

    Shut up Liberman and stick to checking McBush McSame 100yr War McCain's bearings, with all his mistakes he really need you to.

    June 4, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. A republican in sheep clothing

    This guy is amazing. He loves Bush and Cheney. Why isn't he switched to Republican yet?

    Vote Democrat in November of 4 more years of Cheney!!

    June 4, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Stephen

    This is the only good that came out of Gore having the 2000 presidential election taken from him. No Leiberman as VP.

    June 4, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Girl from Louisiana

    Is he for real? He is democrat who is trying to stop the democratic nominee from winning? He should be evicted from the democratic party

    June 4, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Georgia Independent

    Please make Lieberman the spokesmodel for the Republicans. I can't wait to watch...

    June 4, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Lorna, NY

    Is this the same Joe Leiberman that got thrown out of the Democratic party? He should just go away. His words means nothing to anyone who has an ounce of intelligence.

    June 4, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |

    Here is how a staunch H.R. Clinton supporter sees the end of the Democratic primaries.
    Total number of delegates needed to receive the Democratic Nomination 2118

    Obama received 1763 elected delegates; he missed 2118 by 355 delegates
    Clinton received 1640 elected delegates; she missed 2118 by 494 delegates.
    Obama has 18 million popular votes
    Clinton has 18 million + popular votes

    Thus neither Obama, nor Clinton secured the number of elected delegates to win.

    The popular vote goes to Clinton she received more votes than Obama.

    However, the super delegates, anxious to make history by backing the first black American Democratic leader, ran over themselves to back Obama, and gave Clinton a difficult time. SO OBAMA WAS GIVEN THE NOMINATION!

    What the Clinton supporters truly believe that since neither candidate won the designated 2118 for the nomination, THEY SHOULD BOTH SIT ON THE TICKET.

    AND IF NOT; we hte Clinton’s staunch supporters will either not vote at all, or vote to support J. S. McCain.

    That is not an baseless threat, we are Clinton's legion of supporters and how you treat her is how we will feel that we are being treated…

    June 4, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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