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. Paul C.

    Really James? See the nation just told people like you a resounding no on Tuesday so again another right winger living in Denial. McCain was a moderate but betrayed his moderate credentials when he, and God how many times do you have to be told this, voted with BUSH 90% OF THE TIME thickhead! So out goes your argument right there. Now that the Dems have a greater majority I for one would like to see this man dumped out of the caucus. And this started for me back during Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate when "Joe mentum" was very judgemental and nasty towards Clinton. So good riddance in my opinion.

    November 7, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Leah from FL

    OK -so what?? He's arethuglican spy. Bye-bye Joe. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

    November 7, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. BJ in NC

    With friends like Joe Lieberman, who needs any enemies. I am tired of him jumping from pillar to post. He wants to be on the side of whomever is winning but the venom he spewed during the election makes me wonder if he can be trusted. Once a snake, always a snake, and a leopard does not change his spots. We do not need any chamelions in charge at this time. I am delighted that there is retribution for his actions. To let him get away with this would invite trouble later on. Think about if McCain had won. What would Lieberman be saying and doing when that party took office. Hindsight is better than foresight where Lieberman is concerned.

    November 7, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Terri Canada

    Flirting with Republicans? Wow. From what I witnessed during the RNC, much to my sickened stomach, I could have sworn he had already been to bed with them and was now into a serious relationship.

    Call it as it is, Mr. Liebermann. You seemed to fit right in there with the Republicans on that stage in August. Maybe you can learn some tips in "street thuggery" from Rudy.

    I hope, at the end of the day, you too want a better America, a united world, and you find a way to make a positive contribution to the cause.

    November 7, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Turner, USA

    If he's not satisfied with the new position he's been offered, fin! Give him no position and send him home to watch the world change and blog about it like the rest of us!

    November 7, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Sheila

    He'll be PERFECT for the GOP, party of the scumbag losers.

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

    Thank God for you Barack. I know it's going to be hard to get things back in shape in America. Like you said , it's going to take all of us to do this . With prayer and you being our President, we as a nation will be strong again!

    November 7, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Retired USN, Norfolk VA

    Let him electric slide his butt to the republicans

    November 7, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. FrankinPhilly

    Democrat or Republican - he leans whichever way suits his career interest at the time. I myself am a liberal. I realize that as a whole both liberals and conservatives want the best for the country; they just have different ideas about what that means. And although I don't agree with the conservative point of view I can respect those people who have those ideals and stick to them. Lieberman, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any ideals other than pandering to whoever can keep him in his seat. Apparently Lieberman has no shame either.

    November 7, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Reality

    The moment a politician stands up for what he believes in and brakes party lines the dems turn on him. Pathetic.

    Is this the CHANGE BO is bringing to Washington? Seems like typical Chicago politics to me. Typical Emanuel-style spite and vindictiveness. Oh that's right, Emanuel is chief of staff.

    Ha ha ha. Change he said! America was duped.

    Leiberman deserves our respect and gratitude for putting what he thought was right ahead of petty party politics. Bravo, sir. You set a standard that our president-elect should aspire to (but probably won't).

    November 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. even tempered

    The Democrats will show that there is no consequence to his enormous betrayal of the party if they allow Lieberman to keep his post. And now he resorts to threats of caucusing with the Republicans! Let him caucus with the Republicans; he will be voted out of office at the next election anyway. This man has no honor.

    November 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Joe the plumber has to go and Joe the "Lieber man" has to go
    Joe to the dpths of the drain
    And Lieberman out of our we'll feel no more pain

    November 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. CT born, living in VA

    Get OUT Joe!

    Why my beloved blue state of CT re-elected you is beyond me. You can't campaign for McCain, say shameful things about Obama, and then expect Democrats to like you.

    You tried to please everyone, Joe. But he who tries to please everyone pleases no one.

    November 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. KK

    The guy should be roasted. He is "palling around with right wing whack jobs"!

    Lost our trust!
    Now you are dust!

    Bye Bye "Joe the traitor"!

    November 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Love USA

    Sad old man (2:18),
    Please go lay down. It's time for your nap....(the long one)

    November 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Shara

    get him out he is a traitor
    the republicans can keep him

    November 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. matt

    Hey dems, it's called bipartisanship. So much for the "change" in Washington.

    November 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. JIM...TX

    Can him! Joe does just what's good for Joe and nothing else...his vote on issues should be overcome by Obama reaching across party lines.

    November 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. RH

    The Democrats don't need a spy in the caucus. He'd still be free to vote with them, of course.

    November 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. John - Houston

    I like how democrats on this page don't understand that each individual has a right, but if something is against Obama, then they must go, sounds scary, sound like National Socialism all over again.

    and by the way Chertoff was the only US attorney not fired during the Clinton Administration.

    November 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. J. Dean


    November 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. mitch

    let him go republican! he's out of office after this term,anyway!

    November 7, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. DT From CT

    Say No To Traitor JOE

    This is plain simple. There is a consequence for every action that you make in life. Traitor Joe decided to align himself with Mcain hoping that he would get a cabinet position.That would have been absolutely ok, but he went out of his way to bash Obama, and the Democratic party and now after the loss, he wants to realign him self with the Democrats?
    All i have to say is .."No How , No way, No Traitor Joe".

    November 7, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Alex @ VA

    You people are saying nasty things about Joe Lieberman are not TRUE DEMOCRATS! A true democrat would embrace Obama's unity message. Look, it is simple, the Democratic Party let Lieberman down and he had to run as an Independent. EVEN Obama went out there to help him campaign.

    Look you Obamabots (those Democrats who are just Mean Spirited and Brainwashed) you are not the Democratic party, you are a bunch of bandwagon fools who haven't served your Democratic party one bit other than vote for our current President (we appreciate that by the way). But you need to REALLY realize that this is not an US versus THEM. Some of you are the same idiots who were so fanatical about HIllary that you said "Obama is gonna lose if we don't have Hillary as our candidate" or "Hillary needs to be VP or you will lose!" Guess what! Didn't happen! Stop trying to be morons and get on the Democratic Unity Bus, unless you are just trying to destroy the party from within.

    America is GREAT because we allow for differences of opinion. Obama said this over and over!!! So stop being idiots, and realize that in order for our country to move forward we need to work together. Lieberman, you are a great man, and all REAL Democrats respect you and thank you for your service. I will lobby my Senator in VA to keep you in your spot.

    November 7, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Not happy campers

    It turns out the Democratic Party tent is a pup tent.


    November 7, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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