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. Tyrione

    From the unfit, unintelligible comments on this board, it's clear that both the Democrats and Republicans overfloweth with ignorance.

    November 7, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Alan

    Chickens are coming home to roost, Turncoat Joe. Maybe John McCain will give you a job at one of his houses... something in valet parking, perhaps.

    November 7, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. ida

    Joe the Traitor.

    November 7, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Chris

    So much for the post-partisan politics Obama and the Democrats promised.

    November 7, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. FJ from Atlanta

    Get lost you rat!

    November 7, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Tammy - KCMO

    He's an independent that is only in this for what he can get out of it. He is more interested in ensuring we remain closely aligned with Isreal over what is in the best interest of the United States.
    He is a divider, not a uniter and the Democrats need to cut the jerk loose.

    November 7, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. That Other Jerry

    These comments just go to show that some people are a lot more interested in being a party hack than admiring a thoughtful, intelligent, independent. Don't worry about what might be good for the country, or the state that elected him. Don't worry about what might even make plain old common sense. Just get those toes right up to the line and hold out your hand for the Kool-Aid cup.

    November 7, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Cyrus

    So much for country first! Lieberman is worse than those Republicans.

    November 7, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I have no problem with Joe Lieberman reaching across the aisle and disagree with Democrats. What Lieberman did was unloyal. McCain reached across the aisle but he remained loyal to his party and did not start campaigning with the other party. Lieberman not only reached acrossed the aisle but he stayed there. And maybe that's where he belongs.

    November 7, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Paco - Tucson, AZ

    Yeah, I don't expect to see many tears over this loss. Unless they're tears of joy...

    November 7, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Tylenol666

    When was it his Call to Stay or Not

    Step Down ,, there's no place for you here anymore!

    November 7, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |

    Lmao every time I see the grin on his face, it reminds me of Smithers from the Simpsons lol

    November 7, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. SX

    Sorry Joe you got to go!

    November 7, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Chris from Boston

    Go away Joe. You made your bed now go sleep in it with the Republicans.

    November 7, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Joe-6-Pack

    This guy has lost his bearings

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

    Just go already.

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


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

    You don't give someone a slap on the wrist for sharply criticizing the candidate for President from the party he caucuses with. Kick him out. We can get Ron Paul! Haha.

    November 7, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. J.- Michigan

    It's men like Lieberman that give politics a bad name! Jerk and traitor. And wipe that stupid smirk off your face!!

    November 7, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Randy

    Joe get the heck out of here. Republicans play that old dirty trick of running under a certain party to get re-elected. I'm speaking of George Wallace of course. Those days of old southern politics are over. You may have bamboozled us Democrats in 2000, but your true colors showed when a black person was picked to head our party. We're going in a newer direction now and you obviously are not. Spoken in Obama's Hawaiian tongued, " aloha (hello)President Obama!!! Means aloha ( goodbye!!!) traitor LIEberman."

    November 7, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Voted for Obama/Biden

    He should switch to the Republican party – he was never a true Independent because if he was he would never have been involved in all the hate spewing rhetoric of the McCain/Palin campaign – backing a candidate is one thing – aligning yourself with their far right hate messages is another – Sorry Joe you need to look in the mirror – you are a Republican.....

    November 7, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. ben k

    Throw the MF under the bus. He cares more for Israel than his own Connecticut constituents.

    November 7, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Sara

    he IS a republican!!!

    November 7, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. coleopter

    As much as I admire Lieberman, I think he should be punished. I think the Democrats should have someone on the right flank on security issues; however, Lieberman isn't a hawk so much as a kamikaze. More to the point, I think it's important to have some party discipline. The leadership needs to demonstrate that there's a price to be paid for toying around with them. In order to enact healthcare and other reforms, the Democrats will have to get their ducks lined up, as it were. Lieberman is a good man (I voted for him in the primaries in '04), but business is business.

    November 7, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. jeffrey

    i dont have a problem uniting with lieberman to move this country forward so long as he's no longer chair of any committee. if he wants to work under mitch, so be it.

    November 7, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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