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. Ian

    There are more than 100 federal agencies and commisions that are paid for through our taxes, and he's bragging about his creation of yet another???

    November 7, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. The Senator From Israel

    Dump Lieberman. He won't get the Democrats to 60 votes. And he's constantly trying to drag America into antagonistic relations in the middle east. For example . . . I think he recently supported preemptive bombing attacks on Iran. Lieberman thinks that sort of thing would benefit . . . and doesn't care how it would impact America.

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

    OK, so where is the news in this story? I mean he has been a republican so what else is new? Go and enjoy your life a "labeled" republican, stop wasting our time and money living on DENIAL (not the river in Africa). My god, LIEberman this isn't brain surgery were talking.

    November 7, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. CanIcallyouJoe

    I say, take whatever you can get, pal. It's fairly ironic that "Lie" is in your family name.

    Just.....stop trying to make decisions... you obviously can't make up your own mind about what party you want to belong to. Also, why is this liar being given another cushy government job when he obviously doesn't have the skills for it?

    The phrase "Failing Upwards" exists for people like Joe Lieberman and Bush.

    Put him on Garbage Duty.

    November 7, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Hide your money, hide your guns, hide your bibles, Obama won!

    We'll trade-you can have backstabbing Colin Powell and we'll take Lieberman.

    November 7, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Sandra

    If he fells comfortabe with the Republican platform he should join them

    November 7, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Joyce of Akron

    There's an enemy in the camp. He's sitting in our meetings and learning our strategy then spilling his guts to our antagonists. Exile him from our midst... immediately. He does not belong!!!!

    November 7, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Jonas

    Any Politician who wants to run successfuly for office should stay
    away from JOE "The bad luck " Lieberman. Just ask Al GORE and
    John McCain. Here is a boring senator who put Israel's interest ahead
    the USA. If Harry Reid does'nt kick Joe the Bad Luck out, he should
    step down himself.

    November 7, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Truth Hurts from Liberty Island ; )

    1st – Joe-six-packs..
    then – Joe-the-plumber..
    ..and now Joe-lie-berman.

    USA, lets clean up Washington of all theses Jokes!

    November 7, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. ANGIE

    He has supported the Republicans all along bashing Obama,There is nothing wrong with him wanting to be Bi-Partianship but he was back stabbing and cut throat about it, so he acts like a Republican be gone Joe and Join them BYE BYE!

    November 7, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. @ NYC

    Support for McCain was understood and completely within bounds, but why did he have to go out of his way to bad mouth Obama every chance he got. You give no respect, you get no respect. Joe made his own bed.

    November 7, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Deb

    Good riddance.

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. RW

    That is what you get for palsing around with people ........who pals around with Palin.........who pals around with........

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Mary

    DUMP Benedict Arnold

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. WHO ME?

    Really.... Joe, you expected to back and think everything was going to be like before. They are still giving you something. They could have kicked you out completely. You don't go with the opposition and make the comments and statements you made and think they were going to welcome you with open arms. You need to earn the respect and trust of the people you turned your back on and espacially the President elect. Just think, we almost voted you as the Vice President, what were we thinking?

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. NoMcSame

    Take him and stick him where the sun don't shine and I don't mean the North Pole or Alaska.

    November 7, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    Change you can believe in. If you don't agree with us you're gone!

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

    You can have him. He's a disgrace, a flip-flopper. He'd go well with the rest of that corrupt party.

    November 7, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. CJG

    He should go ahead and caucus with the Repubs since he is one anyway. I lost my repect for him at the convention . He has lost his power to be a mover and shaker.. Time ot retire Joe!

    November 7, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Joe the plumber

    joe the six pack, and now the newest joe....joe the lie-berman

    November 7, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Bendedict Leiberman

    He betrayed the Party that welcomed & nurtured him.
    We have seen his true colors. He is a modern day Republican.
    We all can now whitness how he votes in the future from his republican seat.

    Good Riddance Joe.

    Jesus Christ says, "You are either with me or against me." Enjoy eternity in hell.

    November 7, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Matt

    What is so hard to understand for you people? This guy is a source of discord and disunity. You can't look at this in a vacuum and say "oh, the Dems are doing something that's making an Independent cry, so they're being hypocrites." You also have to look at his Lieberman's past behavior. The FACT is, he has been a constant problem over the past couple of years and HE LEFT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. They graciously allowed him to continue to caucas with them in the Senate but then he again turned his back on them in the election. He's not reliable and goes where his own self-interests take him. Removing him from the caucas and his chairmanship will HELP the senate act in a bipartisan manner, not hinder it.

    November 7, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. TimS

    Lieberman has no clout, nor room to negotiate. He has lost any credibility he ever enjoyed, and I for one don't know that he had that much to begin with. He IS Casper Milquetoast.
    Go be a Republican...who really cares?

    November 7, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Frantz

    Joe should be glad the Dems even offered him a chair to seat on. He sold his soul for the VP position and the Reps dismissed him and now he wishes Reid would act in the spirit of bipartisanship, please. The Reps have also some very talented people, work with them, invite them on board but Joe is a traitor and you can't do good work with untrustworthy people.

    November 7, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Lorna, NY

    It is ok to support a candidate. It is not ok to constantly bash the opponent. What Joe did was disgraceful...he is just as bad as Guliani. Get rid of the BUM!

    November 7, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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