August 20th, 2008
10:35 AM ET
14 years ago

Lieberman to speak at the Republican convention

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Democrat-turned-Independent Lieberman will speak during the opening night of the GOP convention."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, will speak on Sen. John McCain’s behalf at the Republican National Convention, a source in the McCain campaign tells CNN.

Lieberman, who became an Independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary in his Senate re-election bid, has been a high profile surrogate on the campaign trail for McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Lieberman, who won re-election to his Senate seat, hinted earlier this month what tone he would strike at the convention being held next month in St. Paul.

"I'm not going to go to that convention, the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama,” Lieberman said in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I'm going to go there really talking about why I support John McCain and why I hope a lot of other independents and Democrats will do that. And frankly, I'm going to go to a partisan convention and tell them, if I go, why it's so important that we start to act like Americans and not as... partisan mudslingers here in Washington."

While Lieberman is campaigning on behalf of McCain, he has not cut all ties to the Democratic Party. This year, he donated $115,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, matching what he contributed to the political arm of the Senate Democratic Caucus in 2007.

And he continues to be included in the Democratic head count that gives them the majority in the Senate by the slimmest of margins – one vote. In turn, Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — a powerful perch with wide jurisdiction over the Bush administration.

Lieberman was first elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1988 and 12 years later found himself standing alongside Vice President Al Gore, as Gore's running mate. Six years later, it looked like his political career had come crashing down. His support for the war in Iraq prompted businessman Ned Lamont to challenge him in the Democratic primary.

After losing the primary, Lieberman vowed to continue running, a decision that caused many prominent Democrats, including fellow Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, to endorse Lamont. The endorsements weren't enough to seal a victory for Lamont — Lieberman was elected to another term.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • John McCain
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. Steve L.

    As I read these comments I realize why I do not connect with democrats, they always preach tolerance but are very ignorant. Lieberman was elected by his constituents not the Democratic Party. One could argue that Arnold is a democrat in disguise. The nation (both parties) need to work together. The American people must accept who wins by the majority and then move on and work together instead of the constant whining. Mc Cain and Lieberman are trying to show how it can be achieved. Chill out and work together.

    August 20, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Ben Dover

    Go Alf Go

    August 20, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Gadissa

    He bought a chairman position for $115,000.00 he contributed to the demo.

    August 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. sam

    Sheep under a wolf will favour Bush ( sorry Mccbush)

    August 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Bill Tampa

    Hey, Conneticut, are you guys re-electing this guy next go around?...Seems like you're not getting your money's worth. He's missed more Senate days than McCain and Obama and he's not running for Preseident. It like he's playing hookie from School.

    August 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. John in Ohio

    Zell Miller irrelevance.

    Nobody likes a turncoat. People use traitors, but they don't trust or respect them afterwards. What happened to Zell Miller afte rthe '04 RNC convention? Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Soon as the Democrats get 1-2 more Senators into the Senate, Lieberman is out. And he'll definitely be out next time he's up for reelection.

    August 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Peter (CA)

    Country before party? How is that? By supporting the guy who says he doesn't know the economy-the number one problem in this country? The guy who hired Carly Fiorina and Phil Gramm as his advisers?

    The one who is willing to stay in Iraq? Go after Iran? And send UN troops to Georgia (oh yeah, the country one of his top advisors lobbies for)?

    Did you guys vote for Bush in 2000? How about in 2004 after his true colors came out?

    And aren't you the same guys who were ticked at Chuck Hagel when he went to the Middle East with Obama?? I guess bipartisanship is good only under certain conditions.

    August 20, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Ray O'Vac

    Let him sing songs from Yentl to McCain

    "Papa, can you hear me?"

    August 20, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Mitchell

    Traitor? What happened to the importance of being bi-partisian? You libs should think about how Joe vote, why and who really abandend whom.

    August 20, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. JDC // Ohio

    Now I know I will NOT watch this convention at all!

    August 20, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Lost (maybe) in CNN Moderation

    I wonder what night Hillary and Bill are speaking?

    August 20, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. proud army and navy mom

    that sad little man has already engaged in mudslinging against sen obama. Please don't tell me he's senile too!

    I hope the mcwar selects lieberman to be his running mate. they will make the perfect pair.

    August 20, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Brent

    Joe Lieberman (I)....when he says "put country first" he's talking about putting Israel first...he's a Mossad agent in your have the Connecticut republicans to thank for him still being in office.

    August 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Erika, KS

    This would be the seal of death for McCain to choose him. Liberman is not a republican. And he's not a democrat. No one can trust him on either side of the aisle.

    August 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Rainer

    So basically McCain and Obama supporters are just making things up to post at this point... Kind of sad.

    August 20, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Garth

    I felt Lieberman had gone over to the Republican side some time ago. I guess this shows it. Time to move his desk across the aisle. Oh and find a good Democrat to replace him when he stands for election.

    August 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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