November 7th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Lieberman not happy with Reid's offer, flirting with Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Lieberman was not happy with what Reid had to offer, an aide said."]UPDATE: Democratic source says Reid offered Veterans Affairs chairmanship

(CNN) - An aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman tells CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Lieberman he wanted him to give up his position as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and instead take the helm of a lower profile full committee.

A Senate Democratic source familiar with the meeting confirms that account and tells CNN that one of options Reid gave Lieberman in a private meeting Thursday is Chairman of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

But the aide to Lieberman says the Connecticut senator made clear that was “not acceptable” to him, and reminded Reid that he was one of the Senators who wrote the legislation creating the Homeland Security Department, and that’s where he wants to stay.

Nothing was resolved in the meeting, and the Lieberman aide tells CNN that although he still wants to caucus with the Democrats, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell has contacted Lieberman about formally aligning with Republicans, and that Lieberman is “keeping all of his options open.”

An aide to McConnell confirms to CNN that the two men “have been talking.”

This Lieberman aide, who insisted the meeting was very cordial, also says that he reminded Reid that he may have been elected an Independent, but that he has voted overwhelmingly with the Democrats.

The Senate Democratic source says this issue will now likely be dealt with by the full Senate Democratic caucus, when it meets on November 18th.

Lieberman was a fixture on the campaign trail with Republican presidential candidate John McCain, and Reid is under pressure from many Democrats to punish him for harsh criticism of Barack Obama in a speech at the Republican convention.

A spokesman for Reid had no immediate comment on the specifics of the meeting, except to say that it was “frank,” and that the two agreed to talk more about Lieberman’s future role in the Senate.

The two met on Thursday.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (559 Responses)
  1. hello

    I don't think he will be Reelected from CT next time.

    November 7, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. mb

    I don't blame Senator Reid. Lie-berman can't be trusted in that position anymore. Easier for him to step aside instead of being removed.

    November 7, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Can't they just fire him?

    November 7, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. PumaHunting

    Joe can apply for the new position as the dog in the white house.

    Here lieberman, here boy....

    November 7, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. HN

    there is a Joementum being build up for Joe to go.

    November 7, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Corey

    Lieberman told the people of CT – myself including – that he would caucus with the democrats, and was still a democrat, even though he was running as an independent. It was a change in name only, he said. His behavior in this campaign was hardly that of a Democrat. He betrayed the people of Connecticut and the party he claims to support on an overwhelming majority of the issues. When it was clear McCain would lose, he suddenly backed down his support for McCain and tried to act bipartisan. And now he is complaining about a punishment that is far less than he deserves. He is a coward and is not worthy of serving my state or this country.

    November 7, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Marie

    Lieberman's decision to support McCain was a courageous act. It has to be difficult for him to stand up against the people he had caucused with for many years. He did so based on his convictions on what be believed was the best course for this country. To lash out at him for following his convictions, calling him a traitor, or any other name calling found in these posts is petty. I think Shakespeare said it best: “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”

    November 7, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Dan

    Good riddance.

    November 7, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. kabocho

    In swahili language, Lieberman ni MSALITI `TRIATOR` shame on him!

    November 7, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23