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. Marcella

    Kick him out. H cannot be trusted. He is a TRAITOR

    November 7, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Conservative business owner in NY

    Reading these comments makes me sick.... Are Democrats really this ignorant and angry?

    November 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. b gwen

    Honestly, folks, what does he expect? It would be one thing to break rank and endorse McCain; but this man served as an active campaigner and prop (so ineffective -what was the RNC thinking?)
    along the campaign trail. Has Mr. Lieberman dropped some marbles along the way?

    November 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Ray

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |

    Just Shows how much PARTISANSHIP exists in the Democrats position... *****************************************************************
    Lieberman has some Great Middle ground SOLUTIONS and since the Dems would have to NEGOTIATE they shun him...

    McCain might have voted 90% with the Republicians but Obama voted 100% with Democrats.... at least Bill Clinton understood more and governed more from center to get things done.... Let's Talk in 4 years... then we will see that YES, YOU CAN AND YOU ACTUALLY DID. (unlikely) or NO, YOU DID-ENT

    November 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Polly

    lol...The Prince of the Air may have come from The Windy City...or he resides in the mouths of these angry democrats...just kidding...

    November 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. RK

    A warmonger like Libermann definitely belongs to Republican. He should leave the position of his own. I do not know why he needs to be pushed out.

    November 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. hmm


    November 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Sue in MI

    I don't like either one of these guys, frankly!

    November 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Judy B

    Joe should follow his "heart" and don't let the door hit his backside on the way out. Good riddance.

    November 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. alpha_nu_916

    matt November 7th, 2008 2:25 pm ET:

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

    wow, republicans sure can be a cantankerous bunch after getting swept out of washington.

    it is one thing to support mccain during the presidential election; it is a whole other animal to attack the presidential nominee of the party you profess to be a part of and caucus with.
    senator liberman will work with the senate and president elect obama in the future, in a bi-partisan manner, but he should be on the other side of the isle.
    on the plus side for republicans, the democrats will only hold a 57-43 advantage.

    here's to the new new deal

    November 7, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Virginia

    You go, Joe!! Give them heck and stick to what you want in your career. I admire you for not going with the mainstream in this and in your efforts to support Sen. McCain in his presidential bid. It should have been you on the ticket, but maybe next time you and Sarah can run together!!

    Keep up the good work!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Frank Huck

    From all the comments on the Joe Lieberman case it is clear that the democratic party rank and file don't see any advantage in keeping this man in the caucus, let him go caucus with the Republicans. Why is he being offered any Chairmanship? If they give him a Chairmanship again it will only prove to the electorate that we have no say in what goes on in Washington or who represents us. Harry's offer makes it obvious that the Democrat's Balls are in a Jar in some lobbyist's office.

    November 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. deb in Colo


    He's already french-kissed them....

    November 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Necie

    Nothing is more frustrating for people to flip-flop. Pick a side and STAY there. He has lost respect with me (like it meant anything) and I wish he'd just go away.

    November 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. James

    Paul C. November 7th, 2008 2:21 pm ET Really James? See the nation just told people like you a resounding no on Tuesday so again another right winger living in Denial.//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Sorry dude to call John McCain a right winger is a stretch any way you look at it. What the nations said is that they perfer a younger man with new ideas over a 72 year old man. By the way if you consider any Republican a right winger there were 16% of us Republicans that helped get Obama in office. But it is appearent that Dems like you can not handle anyone who disagrees with them.

    November 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Paul from Kissimmee

    Funny how Obama was supposed to be a uniter and put an end to partisan politics. Are you people finally starting to realize that he is not the messiah you thought he was? Democrats won the election, and now want to punish anybody who spoke out against Obama. Scary.

    November 7, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Devon Cloud

    I am a LIBERAL, capital letters to just to make sure people know I am way on the left.. but on this one, I say let it go. Obama preached througout his campain to reach over to the other side of the isle to those who had different ideals than his. How can one make such a claim and then oust someone for doing just that? I don't like Lieberman.. never really have, and I think that he probably belongs with the Republicans anyway, but it is time to see if Obama will practice what he preaches. I think he would miss a huge opportunity to show how serious he is about uniting the country if he did not let it go.

    November 7, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. LOL

    JOE----GO, you traitor!

    Palin/Leiberman 2012! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Ed in Harrisburg, PA

    Joe needs to go. It's important to remember that he can't be trusted. Garbage you find in the gutter is worth more than Joe's word. In the 2006 elections, he promised Bill Clinton that if he did not get the nomination in CT, that he would not run. On that condition, Clinton campaigned for him. What happend when Joe did not get the nomination you ask? Very good question. Joe decided to go run as an indie.

    The comments by the republican supporters here criticising the bipartisanship of the Democratic Party...OMG, that is rich!

    Let's keep in mind that Joe supported a candidate for VP whom we now realize did not know that Africa is a continent, that South Africa is a country, and did not realize who the participating North American nations of NAFTA are.

    Way to go Joe!

    November 7, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. sj

    I've been reading these comments and it's disgusting. Can't anyone state an opinion without calling people scumbags, traitors and morons. Can't you find anything constructive to say?

    November 7, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. A. T.

    There are some guys out there who are only comfortable when they find themselves in the challenging team, the loosing squad or even more the position of counterpower. I am not surprised this guy led Al Gore to defeat because at the end of the day he might love to be a looser. Let him become what he wants. If he aims at leaving the majority team, let it be! This has surely nothing to do with any negotiation with REID for sure but only with the true Lieberman; another "maverick"!?

    November 7, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Joyce

    Oh yes. Just a sample of what is to come. So much for bipartisanship and working with people across the aisle. You're fine if you don't step on a Democrat's foot. I'm a Republican, but have always respected Joe Liberman. To have him step down from a committee because of who he supported for the presidency is ludicrous. Joe the plumber, a private citizen, couldn't ask a question that might have made Obama look bad without everyone looking into his personal business to see if they could come up with any dirt on him. But of course the main stream media would not ask Obama any questions regarding questionable relationships. Doesn't sound much like the Democrats are believing in freedom of speech anymore.

    November 7, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Leesa -ABQ

    Ah, the real Judas!
    Yes we did says it best! "THE REPUBLICANS CAN HAVE HIM"

    November 7, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    Lieberman, chill out!! The donkeys didnt kick you out. They just simply want you to step down. Learn from Robert Byrd. He's stepping down!!! Shame on you for putting yoruself first!!

    November 7, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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