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. LIZ

    Everyone should ask Obama about his knowledge on foreign affairs........He is so not ready for this.
    God help us!

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Daniel Schlafer

    Senator Lieberman just does not seem to get that never-ending occupation and American debt is not the real solution to Iraq ? He seems to get his marching orders from former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud leader , Benjamin Netanahtyu . While he hasn't yet met a Bush / Cheney / McCain Iraqi policy he does not like , why hasn't he looked at the surrounding neighbors for regional stability ? Is he that much in the Bush/ Cheney / McCain " tank " , that he will never talk to Iran or Syria , while Al Queada has had to smuggle money and terrorists through Saudi Arabia and Jordan . Senator Lieberman must think that while General Petraus has relieved Iraqi violence through petitioning and bribes , we are winning ?

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Nia

    Apparently Lieberman is bitter about losing Obamas indorsment more so then Obama's foregn policy....

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Carolyn

    Lieberman is a crook who go off...He should be in jail. But because of George Bush he's not. So go away Lieberman. You can't be trusted. Lieberman is a liar just like all of Bush and McCain followers.

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Randy - Denver

    Iwsn't it interesting, before we invaded Iraq, Iran was not considered a major player in the Middle East. While there was some concern over them developing a nuclear weapon it was a low level concern and they were being easily prevented from building one. The entire world, including the Middle East, was against them getting the bomb (Russia went so far as to offer them fuel for their power reactors but demanded they return ALL spent fuel to prevent them making the bomb, Bush opposed this measure and by THAT action (supported by McCain and Lieberman) forced Iran to become more militant about wanting power reactors and their RIGHT to have them which led us to where we are now). The policies of the current administration are DIRECTLY responsible for the growth of Iran. By invading Iraq they gave Iran a legitimate "cause" to support, by preventing Russia from selling, and reclaiming, nuclear material for power reactors they managed to turn Russia from and "ally" in the region back into an antagonist in the region, by constantly verbally attacking the legitimate leaders of Iran and by talking about "regime change" there like they did in Iraq they have caused public opinion in the Middle East to support Iran more than before.

    Lieberman and McCain are purely WRONG on this issue. Maybe if we had talked with Iran we would not be where we are but we did not and we are where we are now we need a leader who can see beyond yesterday and who is willing to find out what needs to be done to fix the problems caused by the cutrrent administration. McCain/Lieberman is not the ticket that could ever do that.

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. nitro

    Does anyone know why this turncoat is still allowed to live in Washington D.C. He did nothing to help Al Gore 8 years ago and he only here to play get back to the democrats. Hes nothing more than a looser that crys over spilled milk. Please take your ball and go home because I dont want to play with you anymore.

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Danel

    Why is it that it is a 'MUST" for a presumptive nominee of either party to be demanded by Israel lobby to toe the line for Israel or you're toast?

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. JP

    Lieberman is a chump!!! He is just mad he lost to Lamont so he switched to independent!!

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Lieberman you do not even know who you are. You have lost your way and should try to find yourself again.

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Nick

    Ladies and Gentlemen - This is why the Democrats in CT booted this clown out of our party in '06.

    June 4, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. ben

    Hmmm... The Illinois Senator getting heat from the Israeli Senator. Lieberman should just join the Republicans already, he's always been one at heart.

    And to CNN- He was the VP nominee in 2000, not 2004.

    June 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Carl

    McCain is lucky to have you – since he knows nothing about Iraq. Lucky you were there to correct him on national TV. So, you go ahead and criticize Obama if you want but just remember that if you turn your back for one second, McCain will say yet another dumb remark.

    June 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Are we going to have to listen to this gutless traitor all season? What a coward!

    June 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. mike

    The senior senator from the great state of israel!

    June 4, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Jonasthan Swift

    What is wrong with this man? He is one of those people that brings out the anti-semite in me- and I am a Jew. There is something attractive about the notion of being an Independent and not tying yourself to one political party, but in Lieberman's case I really don't think either party wants him. He has become this sort of whining mouthpiece for conservatism.

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. DJ - Texas

    Sounds like... ole Joe... is bitter...

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. ProudVet

    the sniff dog, who let him loose?

    where were you last night? mc c could have used your help, the speech was thousand times pathetic

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. john

    Lieberman is even weaker than Mcwar...

    But ill bet money that he is McSames VP

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. boered1

    Lieberman will be the only person in recent history who has lost a vice presidential run for both parties we can already tell he is McCants choice for VP after all he is following him around like a puppy whispering answers in his ears

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. joe

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

    Lie-ber-Man, There is no one factor that can describe something. There can be many that attribute to the situation. They can be positive from one side and negative on the other side. Now tell us why you wouldn't think American foreign policy of invading Iraq for their own reasons hasn't strengthened Iran and other terrorists in other parts of the world. Tell me Joe

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Andrea E- Atlanta

    First of all, Joe Lieberman doesn't know if he is a Democrat, Republican or Independent and the same goes for McSame. That's my true members of the GOP aren't supporting McSame. Senator Obama just made history in fact the American people has made history. We are letting the GOP and whoever else have supported the leadership of our country into a recession for the last 8 years that we are fed up and we're not going to take it anymore. Some say what you wan Mr. I don't know what party I belong to because the Democrats will be united and we will win back the White House.

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Mitch

    . . . old, tired, AND WRONG!

    June 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Lieberman, you old fart

    Get a life Joe, you're a disgruntled man without any party backing. Your statements are a showing of your small mind; how did stirring things up in the Middle East help Israel? It got the Arab world pissed off, and who's the closest US ally in that region who would reap the whirlwind of this agitation...Israel. You old fart, shut up!

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Vic of NYC

    So sneeky, slippery, slider, hack Joe Lieberman wants to attack Barack Obama on foriegn policy? Seneator Lieberman, did you not have to remind your candidate, McBush, who the real terrorists in Iraq are? Is it not the failed Bush-McCain war in Iran that gave Iraq its new prominance in the first place by creating a vacuum of power in the middle east?

    Gosh Joe, how long have you been around? It seems you're getting a little slow at story spinning. "There's a sucker born every minute" said P.T. Barnum. While I'm sure there are plenty left in the Republican Party, this former Republican isn't buying. The well is dry – Joe.

    We've had many firsts in the primary season. Maybe you and McBush can team up as the first AARP candidates for President!

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. john

    Lieber Who?
    McCains Brain of course.
    McCain wants to attack Iran, yes well this will give the Chinees and Russians the chance to tryout their new missile and other military technologies against America's without danger to their own armed forces.

    How dumb can you get the Iranians already have two supertankers on site ready to sink in the hormus straits right in the supertanker shipping lanes bye bye middle east oil what price Oil $400/barrel??

    Obama has to be a better option than these two aunty sally's.

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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