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. Patrick - Oklahoma City

    I don't see how this comment is any better than Bill Delahunt's comments about Cheney's CoS. If Barack said this he'd be INSTANTLY criticized for encouraging attacks on America, where if a McCain supporter says this the "talk machine" just nods. Also, if Lieberman knows has this magical knowledge he should share it with the rest of us.

    June 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. squirrelfood

    Who can trust what comes out of those two turkey necks?

    June 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. sPoNgEbOb sQuArEpAnTs

    There goes another FEAR-MONGER.....

    These neocons are putting FEAR in voters....
    ........so that when voters think of the possibility of a terrorist attack, then they will vote for the war-hero McCain.

    Sorry Lieberman, Obama will win, and when you ask why your fear-mongering tactics failed, we'll tell you..... it's the economy, stupid.

    June 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Obama or Bust 2008

    Whatever. If the current administration (the policies of which would be continued by McCain if he were to somehow win this fall) is good good at protecting America – if the Republicans are so much better – that this attack will not take place.

    What does that say about your ability to defend? They want it both ways – to defend the Republicans in case it happens by bringing it up now, and to blame the Democrats if it happens when Obama is President.

    "It's going to happen...but not on our watch."

    Attacks are going to happen no matter what. But America is less safe now than it was before we invaded iraq. If we had kept our eye on the prize (bin laden) and never engaged in an illegal war in Iraq, we'd be safer right now.

    June 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. RYAN

    Politics of fear. It won't work this time around. Joe and John 're a disgrace............

    June 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Matt in NC

    Way to monger that fear Lieberman!!!

    How does he know that an attack will happen next year?

    Was he on an al-Qaida conference call???

    And how on earth is a Republican prez going to handle a terroist attack better than a Dem? You've fouled up everyting since our last attack: Osama is still out there, most of our military is devoted to "winning" an unwinnable war, and now the Taliban is as strong as it's been since 2001.

    And you trust these bozos to handle the terrorism issue better than the dems??? Just because a guy has served in the millitary doesn't make him logistical genuis...

    June 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Bill

    The people of Ct are pretty fed up with Joe and unless he can get a position with the McCain administration,if he wins, he's finished in Ct as an elected official.....

    June 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Benny Blanco

    McCain and his little yapping puppy Lieberman would LOVE that, wouldn't they?

    It would give them an excuse to ignore every other issue the US faces, and to attack ANOTHER country that had nothing to do with it

    Why are they so eager to bomb something?

    And Lieberman's whole line of reasoning is faulty anyway- Two incidents do NOT constitute a historical trend.

    June 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. J. Richter

    Shameful speculations on the potential killing of Americans. This kind of talk should be reserved for security meetings and intelligence briefings by those whose actual job it is to risk speculate. Otherwise it is just morbid and Americans should make it clear:

    We do not appreciate speculations on our potentially being killed.

    June 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Kia

    How is it possible that people repeatedly allow these individuals to say and get away with such stupid crap?

    June 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Valerie

    I just love it when the psychics come out of the woodwork and start making predictions.
    I'd rather have the calm, even-tempered, and thoughtful Obama as my President during a terrorist attack than the angry, explosive McCain.
    Thanks for playing, though, Sen. Lieberman.....

    June 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Bushed

    You'd better believe it's likely. The GOP wants to win this election. I'm sure McSame is talking to Bush now about a phony attack. He started a phony war, why not a phony attack?

    June 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Jules

    Time for the republicans to ramp up the fear campaign.

    June 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. No county for old m*n

    So if it's to test a new president, either way ... either candidate makes it likely LIEberman. Sick words from the mouth of a man who ran with Gore. It looks like you will be comfortable next to Mccaca since you are both not the men you were a few years ago.
    Typical republican scare tactics.... haven't you realised ... it's NOT WORKING!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Adrian Veidt

    Typical Republican talk:

    "Terror terror fear fear fear terror terror terror doom fear terror terror terror..."

    June 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Critical Thinker

    What's this? McCain backers warning of a terrorist attack?


    June 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. karen

    Sure! And they are behind it!!!! Just like Bush was behind 9/11!!!

    June 30, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Change

    fear mongerring criminals get over it

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    What a bunch of BS. 9 -11 attack killed 3,000 innocent people and we went to war in Iraq which has killed approximately 4,200 U.S. soldiers and wounded thousands. 3,000 + 4,200 = 7,200 American people. Bin Laden hasn't been captured and now we are planning to attack Iran. For Lieberman to make such a statement that the U.S. is likely to be attacked by terrorist in 2009 then America still has had a failed security policy since 9/11 and he as well as Bush and McCain are part of that failure. These old men are just plain crazy.

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Tafari

    If Joe L can predict a terrorist attack, so can I. In fact any one could.

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Ron, TX

    If a terrorist attack is likely, do we want McCain to handle it? Let's remember McCain is the same guy who refuses to admit we wrongly went into Iraq after September 11. Meanwhile, Bin Laden still roams Pakistan freely. Will McCain make the correct choice this time? Or will he attack the wrong country again?

    Or, do we want Barack Obama, who recognized that we should have never went into Iraq, and knew that we should be focusing our forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the man that -actually attacked us- was hiding?

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Hussein

    Lieberman is a Zionist he is only looking out for his own self interest .. he wants Mc Cain to attack Iran to defend his beloved country Israel ..

    The GOP fear tactics wouldn't work this time

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Montana is Obama Country

    I am sick of fear & war mongering...

    Bring on change....independence.... unity... and TRUST....

    Yes.. WE... Can... Obama 2008

    June 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Woman4Obama

    I am growing more & more disgusted with the media's coverage of the 2 candidates.Why is it that no one questions John McCain 100 year war campaign? It's awfully sad that a former general(Wes Clark) who has no obligation to do any reporting at all had to call McCain on his experience.Especially when we get 2 or 3 days of scrutiny about flagpins & campaign finance.Didn't Scott McClellan call into question the media's oversight to scrutinize Bush's WMD theory & the choice to go to war in Iraq?Instead you guys are trying to beat up the general who has the same if not more experience than John McCain himself.Shouldn't we as americans question John McCain's experience or motive for that matter especially in the face of 100 years as he proposed!

    June 30, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Jazzy

    How sad. Why are we always looking at what could be? What will be, will be. Print more positive information.

    June 30, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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