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. Jackson

    To those who question the lack of bipartisanship in kicking Lieberman to the curb:

    If your commitee chairmen are not only not in line with your ideology, but vigorously campaigned against it, to what purpose does it serve to have them head a committee? I love how you use Lieberman to try and sell a point about lack of bi-partisanship, but FULLY ignore the idea that there are several promiment republicans being considered for cabinet positions. But you dont want to talk about that, because it goes against your negativity and baiting.

    Now I see why your party is in shambles. You want to do nothing but find ways to attack, ignoring any and all logoc and facts to the contrary.

    November 7, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Honestly

    Joe's a Republican. At this point, he's only pretending to be a semi-Democrat so he can keep his position.

    But I wonder, is he the best person for the job? That should matter.

    November 7, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Brain in DC

    To where next Mr. Lieberman?

    November 7, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. TjayeInLA

    See ya!!! Wouldn't wanna BE ya!!!

    November 7, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. leon Ma.

    this man has no lolity to anyone but him self he knew he would have to pay a price for standing with McCain if they lost so be a big boy and pay the piper.

    November 7, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Frantz

    I don't have a problem with Joe supporting McCain, but he went out of his way to bash Obama and that to me is unforgivable. The whole Giuliani/Lieberman duo made me sick, some of the things said down there were very personal and I don't think that the Dems can act like it never happened. The Rep party went after Obama's family, Obama's wife, fell short of calling the President Elect a terrorist and Lieberman was in the middle of the whole thing, cheering so does Joe really think it was going to be forgotten.

    November 7, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Bob

    Your old road is Rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin'

    November 7, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Tom

    To the winners go the spoils. Time for Lieberman to leave Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He backed McCain and probably was promised a big Cabinet appointment. That's over with so he has to take his lumps like a man.

    November 7, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. J.- Michigan

    Lieberman is a Democratic traitor! Who cares what he wants and thinks. Let him go to the Republican side. I'm not at all impressed with him!

    November 7, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Unreadable

    Political prostitutes like Lieberman have no place at all among progressively minded people, hence, in the democratic caucus.

    November 7, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Spencer

    I guess a man can't have his own political choices anymore.

    November 7, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. OBeyAMA__Conform.

    I guess the dems hate anyone named "JOE"
    Joe six pack
    Joe the Plumber
    and now Joe Lieberman.... so sad.

    Anyone mesmerized by Obama should look at wallstreet and the confidence they put in Obama... Stockmarkets Dumping.. investors slowing... layoffs...
    in 40 YEARS the stockmarket ALWAYS rose after an election....humm why the drop now...

    65 million of 300 million Americans, ( 21% ) voted for Obama

    20 million of 110 million Germans, ( 19%) for Hitler....

    Yeah, I guess ALL THOSE PEOPLE COULD NOT BE WRONG voting for Obama....sheesh.

    Come to think of it didnt Germany have a resession and didn't Hitler campaign for "Change" ?

    And didn't he take control of the Media?

    Humm...Redistribution... just like Nazi Germany....?

    Too many familiarities ... eek.

    November 7, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Jack Jodell

    Turncoats reap what they sow!

    November 7, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Yes to Obama

    Hey is an updated offer for you: Just LEAVE.

    You are not loyal to Republicans, not loyal to Democrats, we all know you are just loyal to Isael.... here is my offer to you: Get a Permanent Visa for Israel and we will pay for your ticket...

    We love Israel but we Love USA first!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Sam

    The tone in both camps, for or against Joe Liebermann, is just appaling. Please, just present your arguments without insults or invectives.

    The problem with invectives is that it stops the discussion that becomes simply an irrational match.

    Please, leave the insults to Tom Savage...

    November 7, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Bud

    So, Joe is 'threatening' to caucus with republicans if he doesn't get his way? This man, or spoiled child, has NO principles. Most of the comments are correct... Lieberman is an opportunist who will betray whichever party he caucuses with to advance his personal agenda. His drama is serving no one's interest and does not help the country or his constituents during a critical point in time. Come on CT, vote this schmuck out of the Senate.

    November 7, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Red, Red WHINE!!

    He can certainly support whomever he wants for president, it's his right. And it is Mr. Reid's right to take him off of committee's if his beliefs are divisive to the party in control. Lieberman has clearly shown a lack of loyalty and a very chronic case of poor judgement.

    So while who he supports for President is his right, his poor judgement is for the majority elected to judge. He knew he was being a Benedict Arnold and stuck to his guns, for that I have a sick admiration for him. None the less, he made his bed. Time for him to LIE in it.

    He was offered a lesser post of another committee. I think that was EXTREMELY generous and showed great bi-partisan to even do that. Bravo Reid for being above all the childish republican partisan crap on the other side.

    November 7, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. gt

    WHY is his fate even a matter of discussion?? FIRE HIM. It doesn't matter if he aligns with the Republicans. Matter of fact that's what he should do. GOOD RIDDANCE.

    November 7, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Rich from Philly

    Look-there is a huge difference between supporting someone vs actively campaigning for them and slamming their opponent who is from your own party. If Lieberman had just indicated that he wanted McCain to win (like Powell did), then there is no problem. However, when you actively campaign for the other party to the detriment of your own, it is time to leave. Lieberman wasn’t Joe the Politician—he was the Dems. VP nominee 8 years ago.
    Sympathy is different than treason. Lieberman made his bed now he has to sleep in it. So, he better have a brain transplant and get rid of most of what he believed in and become a good R.

    November 7, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Mike

    Don't kick him out. That would be stupid. He had every reason to run to the Replicans and ruin their majority in 2006, but didn't. Yes, he questioned Obama's judgement, but that's no worse than the Democrats in congress did when he decided to run as an independant against the Democrat who beat him in the primaries. He didn't play the spoiled brat after, he came back and played ball for the team. In addition, pushing him out is exactly the opposite of what this new administration should be about. Don't ruin it by getting your feelings hurt. You're starting off by giving the Republicans and perfect example of how y'all are no or less partisan than the past.

    November 7, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. ida

    I would no more trust this guy as chairman of anything as I would that he is either a democrat or a republican. He is the chairman his own interests and looking for the spotlight and opportunity for himself.

    November 7, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Joe The Engineer

    Lieberman, what Reid offered is more than what you deserve as a back stabbing democrat. I wish they get rid of you and never have to see you again.

    November 7, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. lacton

    As usual, the "true" Lieberman comes out. I consider his past actions as more of a matter of trust.....and having lost that trust. It's apparent he will turn his back on any party that doesn't give him his way, regardless of what he's done in the past. Neither party needs a representative that holds these values. I don't live in Connecticut but I might even donate to his opponents campaign if he runs again.

    November 7, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Joe Mo

    just call him "JOE THE CONFUSED"

    November 7, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Jake

    According to all these comments:

    We shouldn't have Republicans in this country and we should only have one party.

    Sounds like Socialism, Acts like Socialism, Must be Socialism.

    GOD help us!

    November 7, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23