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. Tim

    Joe didn't change, the democrats did. Country first.

    November 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    I can't wait til he runs again in Conneticut and LOSES. Adios mi no amigos!

    November 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Diana

    Joe Lieberman doesn't represent the Democratic Party. He should voluntarily resign as Chairman of Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and he should join the Republicans.

    November 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. obamacratic

    Shame on you Joe. It was fine for you to indorse your friend john but, what you you said and where you said it is the problem I have. The republicans were just evil during this election process. When no one wanted to listen to their lies anymore they sicked their pitt bull on us. They spent all ther time getting the message out whay not to trust of vote for Senator Obama, instead of using they time wisely by getting their message out of just what they could do for this country if elected. They allowed Rush, Shaun, Joe and other like them to spure fear and hatred instead of hope. Shame, Shame, Shame on you Joe .

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Debby

    Good for him standing his ground to Reid. He doesn't need the Dem. party and they will be down yet another Sen. if he decides to leave.

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. No Fan of Joe's

    Let him got to the Republicans. His behavior has been disgraceful and should not be condoned by the Democrats. And I would feel the same way if it meant losing the majority.

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Dennis

    So, being chairman of the Veterans Affairs committee isn't important to him? Is that an indication of the importance he places on Veterans in general? The war's his agenda but the soldiers aren't!

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Blue in Red AZ

    well really... what did he expect?? He showed that he is not/would not be loyal to the Democratic party or President Elect Obama. It's his own fault.

    November 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Loretta Grandy

    Joe Liberman made his own decision to back Mccain and the Republicans – no one twisted his arm so he should stay with the Republicans. Once a turncoat, always a turncoat!!! He is a disgrace to the Democratic Party and if they let him back in, they deservce whatever they get going forward!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Len in Washington

    "W-a-a-a-h....I want to call you names and then you don't want to let me play anymore. Why? W-a-a-a-a-h!!!!!"

    Hey Republicans! You can have "Joe the Turncoat!"

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Sad Old Man

    YES !! let Hate fill the air !!!
    As long as he was supporting the Democrats he was a nice guy .. but let anyone say something negative about your beloved Obama .. and you can feel the Hate fill the air ...
    and this is the man who is supposed to bring 'Change' !!!
    well .. he sure has achived that .. never before have I seen so much Hate amongst the voters for other members of congress and / or rivals of their pick !!!

    Print this CNN !!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. jeff in MA

    Its a shame being a free thinking politician can get such heat for meandering around between party lines. However, a free-thinking politician should do it out of the betterment of the people he represents and somehow I think Lieberman's moves were done primarily out of self interest.

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Kate

    Republicans didn't want him. That's why McCain was forced to pick Palin. Now, the repubs are desperate - they'll take anyone they can get - even Lieberman. Joe, how does it feel being a tennis ball, back and forth. Ye reap what ye sow.

    Oh, and to those who say this is hate - it is not - this is justice.

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. zephyr

    Its not the right time to get distracted with these trifle things..Democrats can run without traitors like him..lets get going forward..we have a lot of work get done..we got no time to waste..

    November 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Ray

    Let's see....three newspapers that endorsed McCain get booted off the messiah's plane. Then we get one of the most Partisan political hacks, Rahm Emanuel, as White House Chief of Staff. This is a man who has mailed a dead fish to an opponent and has said very disparaging things about Republicans. Now, Joe Liebermann supports McCain and has his Chairmanship pulled.
    So much for "bringing the country together" and "to those who didn't vote for me, I hear your voices."
    Looks to me we're going to get exactly what we said throughout the campaign; an inexperienced, left-wing partisan in the white house.
    Way to go America....

    November 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Gil from Ottawa/Canada

    Oh! I have an idea: just send Joe the Traitor to Ohio, so he can caucas with Joe the Plumber. The losers Rep. can get him from there... Joe Liberman is an eternal loser. Trust me, Al Gore would have won if he didn't put this crap politician on his ticket. By the way his voice is so anoying... Go away Joe...

    November 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. C

    This type of behavior just amazes me. So much for the bi-partisan attitude they promised. I lived in Nevada for over twelve years, and I can honestly say Harry Reid is a big joke. This type of attitude by Reid (and by some of the people posting here) should be unacceptable. What happened to everyone preaching that we could become a united country now that Obama had been elected? What a bunch of hypocrites.

    November 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Ann

    I agree that Liebermann should step down as Chairman of Homeland Security; this is too important of a function, to have him head this important job. He has demonstrated his wishy washy attitutde many times, and he is not strong enough to be making recommendation and following through.

    We need someone in there who has the same forward mission that Obama has, is wise, and not trying to just please the Republicans. Of course, it would be good to be bi-partisan where possible, but this man is not qualified to get something done for Homeland Security and the American people. He cannot be trusted.

    November 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Mike

    The only reason Lieberman is an Independent is the fact that he lost the Democratic primary to get re-elected as a Senator.
    Joe Lieberman looks out for one person- Joe Lieberman.

    Harry Ried offering him a postion on another committee is very gracious. He should be not be allowed any committee appointments.

    I have a feeling that Joe Lieberman's days in Congress are numbered. Connecticut will not re-elect him next time.

    November 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. america wins

    he can,t be trusted.

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Grog in Ohio

    Chairing anything is overly generous. Lieberman needs to be kicked to the curb.

    74 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Mike in Seattle

    Does anyone really care what Harry Reid wants or says or does? He is almost as bad as Nancy Pelosi. She will become the "George Bush" of the 2010 elections. They are both bad for America!

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Dave

    Well Joe, you should have cracked Harry across the mouth. Anyway, all the talk of him leaving comes from fools. This is the USA last I checked and he has every right to do as he feels.

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. James

    Can you say filibuster! Joe says “yes we can!”

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Kirsten

    dirty dirty traitor

    November 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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