June 30th, 2008
11:20 AM ET
14 years ago

Lieberman says terrorist attack likely

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.lieberman.gi.jpg caption="Lieberman is a backer of McCain."](CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent who is a strong supporter of Republican John McCain's White House bid, suggested Sunday the United States will likely face a terrorist attack in 2009.

The controversial comments followed remarks by top John McCain adviser Charlie Black late last week that a terrorist attack leading up the the general election would probably help the Arizona senator's White House hopes.

Watch: McCain adviser apologizes for comments

"Our enemies will test the new president early," Lieberman told CBS Sunday. "Remember that the truck bombing of the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration."

McCain and his supporters have long argued the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is better-suited to handle the country's foreign policy challenges than Barack Obama.

Watch: Lieberman touts McCain

"[McCain] knows the world," Lieberman said. "He's been tested. He's ready to protect the security of the American people."

But Lieberman, who served as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, distanced himself from Black's contention that a terrorist attack would boost McCain's chances of winning the Oval Office.

"Sometimes even the best of them say things that are not what they intended to say," Lieberman said. "Certainly the implications there I know were not what Charlie intended. And he apologized for it. Senator McCain said he didn't agree. And, of course, I feel the same way.

Lieberman, who calls himself an "independent Democrat," endorsed McCain in early December.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Herman in LA

    Hey CNN why can't we comment on McCain's new plane... Your protecting him again.....

    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Old Men Yelling At Clouds

    Well, if the country is attacked we know at least two people who will be celebrating.

    More scare tactics, we're not buying it this time fellows. Go home, sit on your rocking chairs, and yell at the clouds.

    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Craig- Easton, PA

    My initial reaction was "yet another GOP scare tactic", but having read the contecxt of the remarks, it's not an unreasonable point considering the history. I don't agree with Joe's prescription of voting for McCain, but the issue is a fair one. Sme thing goes for Wes Clark's comments. Frankly, I read the remarks and fail to see any attack at all. He praised McCain' service, pointed out that he did not have the kind of executive experience in the military that equates to what he would experience as President, and noted that being shot down in of itself is not a qualification. Yeah, he's leaving out the years in the Senate, but it's not up to a campaign to tout their opponents pluses. I don't get this silly hypersentsitivity.

    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Alice in Florida

    We all know what Obama will do if there's an attack – he'll make a SPEECH about it!!!


    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Linda31

    Can you stop considering Liberman as a Democratic? Having the headline say "Democrat predicts terrorist attack" is very misleading.

    Considering the fact that everytime you see McCain you see Liberman following like a little puppy, I wouldn't believe a single word out of his mouth!

    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. JERRY

    MISLEADING HEADLINE CNN!!! Lie-berman is not a Democrat. He is a lock step, butt kissing, lying rotten, tired old ReThuglican.

    June 30, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. James Doe

    McCain makes it too easy for his candidacy to be painted as a third term of George W. Bush. When you use the same fear tactics as the other guy and hire a lot of the same staff, then, well...it's a duck

    June 30, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. dbacchus


    Sen. Lieberman suggests that terrorists routinely "test" "our presidents" and, that they (terrorists) choose to do it rather early.
    What an interesting perspective!

    My only question is: didn't then the current president, whos support McCain sought, miserably fail the "early test"??

    June 30, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Betty Webster NY

    Please no more homeland security or protection! Its cost a fortune and I can't for the life of me see for what!

    June 30, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Rachel

    Why does the headline on the front page say Democrat says Terrorist attack likely.. when Leiberman is an independent now, who is backing McCain! Why not just say 'Policitian'...

    June 30, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Steve, CT

    This headline is very misleading. Though he caucuses with the Democrats, Lieberman is no longer a Democrat in anyone's book. He supports McCain and the link on CNN's home page should not call Lieberman a Democrat.

    That said, this is reminiscent of the fear-mongering of the 2004 Bush campaign and is a sad tactical ploy being used by one of the now least-relevant senators. I cannot wait for 2010 when Lieberman loses his seat.

    June 30, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Elly

    The usual fear monger tactics
    Pathetic Leiberman!!!!!
    down with MCSame and his turn coat side kick *memory*
    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. More Warmongering

    We want more war !
    We want more war !
    We want more war !

    Same old song, different verse.

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Brian

    I want to be fair with my comment but it just doesn't seem possible. I'm an Independent and while I am leaning left this Election I am still willing to listen and see what McCain has to say. In the past week though you've had 1 person inside his campaign come out and say that a terrorist attack would be "GOOD" for his election, and now you have a former Dem turned Independent saying that we'll "LIKELY" have an attack in 2009?

    I am a person who likes to use my brain and when I hear comments like that, I have to sit back and say "wow". I understand that people say things that they don't always mean, and in politics things can be twisted 10 different ways but those comments are those type of Fear Mongering tactics that won the 2004 Election for Governor Bush.

    McCain calls for Obama to denouse Wesley Clark's Comments regarding McCain's Military service profile, and he should be doing the same for his own supporters.

    Politics, Love to Hate them!

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Michael

    And it will come in October as in "October surprise".

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. RJ, CA

    Joe Lieberman speaks the truth. But Obamanation doesn't want to hear the truth. Obamanation has its head under a pillow. Obamatation only comes up for air when "the great one" spins another yarn.

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. BIG PETE SR.

    mccain will you please add this man to your ticket ;he is prefect for you,and he has been running for the position since dec. of 2007.NEITHER OF YOU HAVE ANY PRIDE,AND THAT IS WHY YOU WILL NOT AND CAN NOT LEAD THIS COUNTRY!HOW DISGRACEFUL!

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. TheNumantine

    Some folks didn't vote for Gore because of his ties to Clinton; I didn't vote for Gore because of his ties to Lieberman.

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. JT, AZ

    "Ticker: Democrat predicts new terrorist attack"

    It doesn't matter how he describes himself, Lieberman is not a Democrat; he is an Independant, and ran against a Democrat.

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Jim

    I hope the media it's him alive for this. And I wouldn't be surprised to see the terror alert brought up to orange or red...what a disgrace...pathetic...please media don't let him get away with this fear pondering, trying to put the U.S into a state of panic, unbelievable...

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Emma, San Jose, CA

    If there will be a terrorist attack in 2009 it will show that Bush, McCain and their GOP cohorts have not done the right things to protect us against terrorism.

    June 30, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Ariana

    trying to scare us...what else is new?

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. RSR

    I don't believe there will be any terrorist attack before the new President is sworn into office. Reason being, that if there is an attack before the election, that seals a win for McCain. Thats the worse thing those thugs want. They want their buddy Obama to win. They know he's weak, inexperienced, and not qualified to fight the war on terror. They know Obama actually sides with terrorists. Here's a fact, research it yourself. In 2006, right before Obama announced his run for President, he visited Kenya. While there, he campaigned on behalf of his half-brother & cousin, Their names, Odinga & Abongo. They are Marxist rebels aligned with Muslim terrorists attempting to overthrow the stable democratic government of Kenya. Obama was supporting this! Google in: Obama, Odinga, Abongo, and see.

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Frank

    This was all said in context with historical data to back it up on a Sunday morning show discussing the issue. You anti-war zealots are a hysterical lot! Millions of men died for our Freedoms so you can write your critical blog comments.

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Mike - Texas

    I am afraid that Leiberman might be right. Especially it the US goes back to its pre 9/11 way of thinking.

    How many times were we attacked during the Clinton era??

    The US at that time was considered a "paper tiger" with no bite. And Obama will have us go back to the same old way of doing business.

    June 30, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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