November 5th, 2008
01:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Lieberman: Time to come together

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption= "Lieberman says put partisanship aside."]

(CNN) - Democrat-turned-independent Joe Lieberman, one of John McCain’s biggest Senate supporters, congratulated Barack Obama Wednesday on winning the presidential election.

"I sincerely congratulate President-elect Obama for his historic and impressive victory,” he said in a statement released by his Senate office. “America remains a nation of extraordinary opportunity and the American people are a people of extraordinary fairness.

“Now that the election is over, it is time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation to solve the difficult challenges we face and make our blessed land stronger and safer. I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming Administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free."

The statement comes hours after a senior Democratic leadership aide told CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is planning to meet with the Connecticut senator to discuss the future of his committee chairmanship. The aide said that Reid had not yet made a final decision on the question of whether Lieberman will continue to chair the Senate’ Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, alienated many within the party this cycle for his comments on the campaign trail questioning Obama’s judgment and patriotism. Shortly before he spoke at the Republican convention — where he repeated a GOP talking point that Obama had voted to “cut off funding for our troops on the ground” in Iraq - Lieberman suggested to the crowd at a McCain campaign event that the Illinois senator did not “put the country first.”

Last month, he told an interviewer that Republican criticism of Obama for his relationship with his former minister Jeremiah Wright and former radical Bill Ayers was fair because “one of the things you want to know is who have they associated with, because it may help you know who they'll listen to when they get into office."

But about two weeks ago, Lieberman’s tone seemed to shift, as he offered praise for his former party’s presidential nominee.

"When I go out, I say, 'I have a lot of respect for Sen. Obama. He's bright. He's eloquent.' Someday, I might even support him for president," he told Connecticut reporters, according to a report in the Hartford Courant. "But now in the midst of this series of crises, John McCain is simply so much better prepared that that's who I am proud to support." He added that if McCain’s presidential bid were to fall short, he would do everything he could to bring people "together across party lines to support the new president so he can succeed."

soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. JM

    More hate from you people.

    November 5, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Glynda

    Kick him out of the Democratic caucus and shove him right on over across the aisle to his Republican friends,,if they will have him. As far as I am concerned, he can just go home and never darken the political doorstep again. Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing,,,

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Steve

    What a sad lot of people – wasn't the world to be a better place with an Obama victory? Now you treat a life long democrat with all this hatred. You're not an accepting, tolerant party as you suggest. Pathetic.

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. liz

    The democrats don't need you joe. Caucus with the republicans and john McCain . Wake up democratic senators Leave Joe OUT!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. M. Skeete

    I hate to ask this MARY., If we accept, and it's hard to accept this, that Obama is unqualified to be President, then does Palin qualify to be Vice President? I am sure you'll say yes, simply because, and I am sure about this, YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN and things didn't work out for you all. Advice to you and the Republicans,,,, get your house in order.

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Cleavette

    It is time to strip "droppy dog" of his chairmanship in the senate. It was sad to see this clown running aroud all over the country with McCain. The next senate election I would be delighted to see this bum voted out of office.

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Hanna, MI

    Joe, the extreme leftists in the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, have no desire to come together and do what's best for this country. Many of them are still living under the delusion that Bush stole the 2000 election which, in fact, the person who tried to steal it was Al Gore.

    Leftists have NEVER done what's best for America; why would you think they'd begin now.

    November 5, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Scarlett

    This is pathetic! This guy has no backbone, he only says what he thinks will give him personal reward. He read the electorate very wrong, they'll never vote for a black guy he thought, so go against your 'party' and hold unto Mccain! He appeared to be steadfast in his real 'belief' that Obama was not ready, until he began to read the handwriting on the wall,... people don't care what color your skin is, people are looking for real intelligent solutions for the problems we're facing as a nation. Then he tries to reach out in a not to obvious way, just in case his gut feeling is correct and Mccain wins. Now he boldly reaches out to Obama. Enough already, all these greedy politicians who are only interested in furthering their cause, we've had enough of you. We're moving forward and even if you're not on board, we've proven that we can do it if we put our hearts to it. GO USA

    November 5, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Scott, Wichita

    Anonymous November 5th, 2008 1:56 pm ET

    Since Lieberman already commited political suicide, it is time for Democrats of Connecticut to replace his unsavory remains with a real Democrat.

    Didn't they try that already? I think that's why he ran as an Independent...
    I could be wrong, but I don't think so...

    November 5, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Mike

    His pitiful and shameful presence may still be of use to the Democratic party....I say keep him in the caucus but make him the lowest member on the totem pole, strip him of all his chairs and the first time he goes off course...ship him on his way to be a leech to someother party..

    November 5, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Jennifer

    I don't criticize Lieberman for supporting McCain. They are old friends and I can see why he would support him. What I criticize him for is supporting his friend by attacking members of his own party rather than just focusing on why McCain himself was a better candidate.

    I don't think the Democrats should kick him out of the party. As President-Elect Obama has said, we need to come together as a country. That doesn't mean I think he deserves to be chair of any committees. Let him participate if he wants and potentially earn back his leadership role. You can be inclusive without rewarding Lieberman's behavior.

    November 5, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. Don

    The Dems need Lieberman more than he needs them. Without the Republicans to blame, they'll be at each others throats in short order. A lot of Jews have reservations about Obama, and dumping Leiberman would reinforce those doubts.

    November 5, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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