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. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    Boohoo. He stabs his party in the back and expects no consequences.

    It would have been one thing to simply endorse "the other guy" but to deliver a high-profile convention speech critical of your own party's candidate?

    Whatever happens, I suspect the voters of Connecticut will be showing him the door in four more years.

    November 7, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Kyle

    Thats what they do, you turn your back on them and think for yourself and they disown you.

    Screw the Demoncrats!

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Rob

    Joe Lieberman is a skunk. Get lost loser. You'll fit right in with the Republicans. They suck to.

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Greg, NY

    Your journey to the dark side is now complete.

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. SoCal

    As a good friend of Joe The Plumber, Joe The Lieberman deserves to be chairman of the "Plumbing Affairs Commitee"...

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Milhouse Van Houten

    As one of the original signatories that gave the country the misguided
    piece of legislation known as The Homeland Security,well that alone should be enough to banish Lieberman from caucus.

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Dee

    BUH BYE JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz




    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Where's the new kind of politics? Reid is being very petty.

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. tageis

    This is change in Washington – This is amazing. Reid and Pelosi need to go – they cause problems more than solve them.

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    What did he expect? If there's no chance we're gonna get 60, then we can do without him. What a traitor!

    November 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. val

    I always wonder why Al Gore lost, now I know why. Looking back on that ticket it was pretty weak, yet I voted for them knowing what I know now about Liberman I would have voted Nader.

    November 7, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Lesbian that loves Palin, but voted Obama

    Obama almost effed him up for running his mouth before in the Congressional chamber... show him the door!

    November 7, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Obamahasbigears

    Behold the price of treason!

    Lieberman, Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Powell. All disgraced and soon into obscurity.

    Ah the justice of it all!

    November 7, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Lisa P

    Oust Lieberman from the chairmanship, and from the caucus if he keeps on squawking. He gambled and he lost. There must be consequences for such a blatant show of contempt and poor judgment. I have no patience with people who can't face up to reality.

    November 7, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Frank C.

    I can almost imagine the meeting Lieberman and Reid being something like the meeting between Michael Corleone and Fredo:

    Harry: I know it was you Joseph. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!

    Joseph: I'm your older brother-senator, Harry, and I was stepped over!

    Harry: That's the way Obama wanted it.

    Joseph: It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!

    Harry: Joseph, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our President Obama, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?

    November 7, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Kyle

    Joe Lieberman is the ideal polition American needs. Instead voting falling victum to the republican or Democratic trap, hes willing to vote and support what he thinkds is right. American needs more politions like Lieberman who will put The AMERICAN PEOPLE AND HIS VALUES BEFORE HIS PARTY!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Was it only one one chair in the room during Lieberman's meeting with Reid? I sure hope so.

    November 7, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. FromTampa

    He entitled to his opinions – but so are the Democrats. However, in order to change directions, we must not punish Joe. Keep him around and in limbo.

    November 7, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. ryanstamen

    Joe made his political bed, it's time he lay in it. Just ask the registered Democrats who voted for him in the fist place (such as myself) to see how they feel about his conduct. He should switch parties and end the games.

    November 7, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Scott

    Lieberman stood up for his principles and supported a fine man who sacrificed 5 1/2 years in a Hanoi prison for his country. If that doesn't mean anything to the Dems, then they are a bunch of loonies and he belongs with the Repubs.

    November 7, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Bob Stephens

    Hey "Joe the Traitor", give us all a break and join the party of Bush-Cheney-McCain -Palin, and leave the rest of us alone. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

    November 7, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. butch kenneth

    He lied to the Dem of Ct, do what you have to do Reid

    November 7, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. John in Arizona

    Revenge is seldom very satisfying or helpful Lieberman shoud be allowed to remain on the Homeland Security Committee, but stripped of his chairmanship.

    November 7, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. David - Lee's Summit, MO

    I'd rather see John McCain involved then back stabbing Joe. John has a love for this country, and Joe simply is in love with himself. He made his bed now he has to sleep in it.

    November 7, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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