June 5th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Lieberman launches grassroots organization

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.lieb.gi.jpg caption="Lieberman launched a grassroots organization Thursday to appeal to Clinton's supporters."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman – who has taken on increasingly high-profile campaign roles on behalf of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain – announced Thursday that he was launching and heading a new grassroots organization, "Citizens for McCain," making a direct appeal to Hillary Clinton’s disappointed supporters.

“The phones at the campaign headquarters have been ringing with disaffected Democrats calling to say they believe Senator McCain has the experience, judgment, and bipartisanship necessary to lead our country in these difficult times,” Lieberman wrote in a message sent to the Arizona senator’s supporters. “Many of these supporters are former supporters of Senator Clinton.”

Over the past few weeks, some supporters of Hillary Clinton – whose campaign announced Wednesday that she would be suspending her presidential run this weekend - have said that they would consider voting for McCain if she were not the Democratic nominee.

Lieberman highlighted McCain’s “very good working relationship with Senator Clinton” – which he said would continue in the future – and his comments praising her in a speech at a Louisiana campaign event Wednesday.

"Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage. The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans, and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes received,” said McCain. “As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend."

He called on supporters to “reach out to Americans who are not currently involved in the campaign.

“Will you help us by recruiting your friends, family, and co-workers who may not consider themselves members of the Republican Party and ask them to join the Citizens for McCain organization?” wrote Lieberman.

“I am confident we will find many Democrats and Independents who, like John McCain and me, put country before political party and will support a leader with a real record of bipartisanship…. Together, we will make history.”

On Wednesday - the first day of the general election campaign – the very first Republican conference call attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama featured Lieberman.

Lieberman has been increasingly critical of Obama. 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.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. 49 old ladies love the movies

    New Borat (sorry, I meant “Barrack”) Movie Soon to Be Filmed in Denver:

    “Learnings of Everything Undemocratic for Make Benefit Glorious Obama DNC and for Make Poo-Poo on American Voter!”

    June 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Brian, Oregon

    Leiberman is all Isreal all the time. That's why he is such a strong supporter of the Iraq war and McCain's saber rattling with Iran.

    Look at where he gets his contributions. He's just buttering his political bread. Unfortunately, over 4,000 young American's have died helping him do it.

    June 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Southwest FL

    FL Independent – I would have voted for Clinton. She is not as liberal as Obama. Now I will vote for McCain.

    We can't leave national security to a newby. If you think the economy is bad now, just wait to see what happens if there is another domestic terrorist attack. McCain is on top of this issue. Hopefully he will add Romney to the ticket. Romney has the economic experience. Plus, Romney is also very presidential.

    I am a Citizen for McCain. We know this guy and can trust him.

    June 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Clinton, no, McCain Supporter

    Where do I sign?

    June 5, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. gary


    June 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. Laura

    Green Party.

    June 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. steven

    two dummies MClieberman.

    June 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Nick TX

    Liebermann is a shyster. Traitor. Should be forced to walk the plank.

    June 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Haas

    Can Clinton be on McCain's ticket? Good God, I hope not. That's the last thing this country needs.

    June 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Chris H. Illinois

    You know, he might as well just join the Republican Party. I had so much respect for Sen Lieberman, and now...I don't know, the man was a Democrat now he's doing everything he can to make sure the presumptive nominee loses in November. I have a feeling that this is going to come back and bite him in the butt when he's up for re-election...unless of course McCain wins then he'll have himself a Cabinet post I bet...

    June 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Sue in MI

    And just how similar are Hillary and McCain's views? Not very. This is ignorant. While I think this was stolen from Hillary, and I see Obama as a very weak candidate, McCain is a joke. He can't wait to overturn Roe V. Wade-that's Hillary? Americans are not that stupid, although I do wonder about the Obamabots. Hillary is so much more electable...maybe when Obama starts looking at some of the poll numbers, he will realize that he needs her badly. Then I hope she says no, and gets to be Sec. of State.

    June 5, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. suz

    Former Clinton Democrat here, now McCain Republican. I simply will not vote for a liar who thinks I'm too stupid to know he's lying - that would be Obama. So far we have 4 racist or criminal friends of his–Wright, whacko priest, Ayres, and the newly convicted Chicago fundraiser–all linked to Obama. Every time some new crackpot, criminal, or racist friend pops up, Obama has his speechwriters put together something to spin it off. Some Americans buy it now, but they won't forever. John McCain is an honest man with nothing to hide. He and his wife are classy people. They don't bang fists (like "bangers") when they're happy. They actually hug like normal people. Cheers to McCain, next President of the U.S.

    June 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Who Am I

    "...hey Joe... where you goin' with that gun in your hand??"

    June 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Will in Richmond, VA

    This guy's amazing. A closet republican and turncoat. Of course you can trust anything he says. Of course Hillary's supporters want McCain's policies. They are going to be so wealthy and prosperous if they vote for him, right? RIGHT?

    June 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Bob Ohio

    I have been reading these posts and the Obama supporters would be a lot more convincing if they would tone down the retoric, learn to spell and to learn the proper use of the english language in forming a sentence. The simple words like is or are, was or were and others arent that hard to learn how to be used. Read them and you will understand what I am saying. If you dont understand then you will probably vote for Obama anyway.

    June 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Will in Richmond, VA

    We should all follow what is said by this enemy of free speech.

    June 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Nia

    Something tells me Hillary is behind this. I would think she would tell him not to do such a thing since they are so close....intresting

    June 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Helen, NY

    Joe, you are doing the right thing. But still, you should know that democrats came to power because of you. They are ungrateful. Anyway I am confident that Obama will disappear in November. God save the motherland.

    June 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Jane, MD

    LIEberman and McWar sure are the two angriest men I have seen in a long time (not counting Cheney). Would hate to be stuck in an alley with either at night, don't you think?

    June 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. Trollmaster

    Democrats were right to vote for Ned Lamont and turn their backs on this guy.

    Are these Hillary supporters dumb enough to want to see a president that agrees with Bush 95% of the time?

    And forget about this "experience" card that keeps being played. Despite McCain's experience, he voted for one of the biggest mistakes in this nation's history by voting for the Iraq war.

    June 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. NTM

    This is one election where, despite the hurt feelings and wounded pride of some folks on both sides of the aisle, I don't think we as a nation can actually lose. Let's look at some key points here:

    1. We need a leader, obviously. Someone who can take a disaster and turn it into a success.

    a) McCain. He took what was an all-but-dead primary campaign and turned it into a raging success. People were already throwing dirt on the coffin and he used expert management and organizational skills combined with the knowledge of what the public wanted and turned a wake into a victory celebration.

    b) Obama: Faced with the so-called "inevitable Clinton landslide victory" (not to mention a few missteps of his own making) he managed to stay on message and run a dignified and steady campaign that eventually won him an honored place in history. Win or lose this cannot be taken from him. This too speaks of an ability to read what the public wants and lead people toward that goal.

    Result: No shortage of leadership ability there.

    2. We need someone who can rebuild our image on the world stage and regain the leadership role we once had.

    a) McCain: A man with a great deal of knowledge and experience about how things work in the world. Someone who can see ahead at the consequences of action and inaction and can draw conclusions based on the realities that exist at the time, not the ones some folks would prefer existed to justify their views.

    b) Obama: Largely untested in this arena. But, if his style of quiet dignity and unwavering focus and dedication to the cause is any indication what he lacks in experience he'll make up for in overall respect from the world community. He'll no doubt be able to hire experts in the intricacies of each country and culture and will encourage the kind of loyalty and dedication required from these people to bring about some badly needed changes in our foreign policy.

    Result: No matter which way you slice it, our image is destined for a face-lift. Whether it be by prosecuting and winning an unpopular war (claiming victory and the pride that goes with it, not to mention letting a number of countries breath a bit more easily) or by withdrawing back behind our own borders and staying out of people's business (claiming the moral high-ground and letting a number of OTHER countries breath more easily) it's almost inevitable that we'll be viewed more favorably by SOME segment of the world...even if not the WHOLE world (baby steps people....baby steps).

    3. We need someone who can look across the entire country and not see Democrats or Republicans, men or women, black or white, rich or poor, Christian, Jew or Muslim or any other artificial dividing line we've manged to create between ourselves. He'll need to see, above all else, people. People with different beliefs, opinions, needs, desires, hopes, dreams, etc. People with definite, sure-fire ideas of how "fix" the country and those with no clue and no hope for (or no interest in) finding one. He'll need to ignore these artificial societal divisions and work toward the greater good off ALL.

    a) McCain: McCain has shown himself capable of respect and honor toward people of all shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs and ideologies. He's not without his blind spots and gaffes (parody of Barbara Ann into Bomb Iran is a definite Bozo-No-No) but he shows the ability to recognize his shortcomings as they occur, make appropriate amends and move on with minimal drama and near-zero delay. And there's no question of his sincerity...which shows some of the highest regard for humanity one can show.

    b) Obama: This man, without a doubt, raised the bar in terms of dignity, honesty and integrity in politics...maybe even in life in general. No sooner is he declared the nominee than he declares that the DNC will no longer accept contributions from lobbyists. Granted, this doesn't amount to a very large percentage of the overall campaign treasure chest but when was the last time you saw THAT one? I've been around for nearly a dozen presidential elections and I can't remember it happening even once. A man so firm in his convictions that he's willing to jeopardize his own personal success by refusing a source of funding that, while not large, could prove critical in a campaign that is currently out-funded by it's opponent. Principle above personal gain. A role model for the masses, no matter where your mass may be. This too is a sign of high regard for humanity.

    Result: No downside here either. Neither man represents himself as far-right or far-left of anything...even each other. Granted: they have diametrically opposed viewpoints on a number of topics but that's what this adversarial process was designed to highlight for all to see. The difference here is that neither one has begun (or hopefully WILL begin) the name-calling, mud-slinging, back-stabbing kind of exchange that has plagued our presidential campaigns since the first Clinton administration. A return to sanity and intelligence. If that's not respect for all people, what is?

    In summary: We can't lose here folks. I know which way I'm voting (and I'm not telling) but I have to say in all honesty, if my candidate doesn't win I won't be disappointed or angry. I'll just set my expectations to a slightly different set of improvements and be grateful for them.

    End of long-winded commentary...:)

    June 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. susa

    McSame – Like Bush, but older!

    June 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Michael S.

    There are 27 life-long Democrats in my very lage family and, to a person, we will be voting for McCain in November. The DNC is a tyrannical organization who stuck a knife in Hillary's back. And the media, with the DNC, haven't been telling us about how radical and Marxist Obama is.


    I refuse to give Obama the opportunity to have tea with Rev. Wright and Farrakhan on the front lawn of the White House as they throw darts at pictures of whitey presidents.

    June 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. Jim

    Thanks Joe. Count me in!

    June 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Former Democrat

    Until recently, I was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party – all the way back to campaigning for Walter Mondale (before I could even vote). Unfortunately, I'm no longer part of the Democratic Party. It's not that I left, it's more that the Democratic Party left me.

    The Democratic Party, unquestionably, has taken a dramatic leftward shift – certainly since the Bill Clinton years. Where is there a place in the Democratic Party for Centrist Democrats?

    As far as Senator McCain being the same as President Bush, I disagree. This is the same man that was (supposedly) considered as a VP choice for Senator Kerry. Do you honestly believe Senator McCain has changed so dramatically in 4 years?

    June 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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