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. go away mongers- Ventura,CA

    Birds of a feather...........The way he balked at his former party, campaigned for the one who would keep us on the road to nowhere and openly scoffed at the real CHANGE we are about to start- he can STAY with the gop- he has every right to support any candidate he chooses, but to think the Party that he left will let him remain in a high position is pure folly-
    Go away Joe.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Preston

    Buh-bye, Joe. Hope you find the other party to be a better fit. Try to ignore all their hate talk, though. Maybe they don't really mean it.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Helen

    GARY November 7th, 2008 1:36 pm ET


    case in point...Lieberman exhibited division not unity. He goes against what an Obama Administration will stand for

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Sonya

    Yes, the repugs can have him!!! Seriously!!

    I know we need him in our camp or at least vote like us but he went too far when he started attacking Obama like the rest of the Rethugs! No more!

    If he wants to walk, he can walk BUT all I can say to the CT voters is that you better be paying attention!!!

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |



    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Mary - PA

    So much for Washington try to reach across the aisle. For heaven's sake, the election is over. Reid get over yourself and let bygones be bygones. Stop trying to get back at the man for thinking for himself and endorsing who he wanted to endorse. I'm sure Sen. Obama doesn't harbor any ill will and no one else should either.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Tony

    Throw this traitor out!

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Ethan

    Kick this Power hungry Toad Out!

    I never like him even when was running as VP.
    My first thought was what kind of strings was he able to pull to become the VP nominee?

    Nothing about Lieberman said leader and 8 years later we now we know why.

    November 7, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Eugene

    There is working together, and then there is stabbing your old party in the back blatantly and sounding as if it was a surprise that your standing as a Democrat is in question. Lieberman can feel free to join the Republicans if that's where he feels most comfortable. What the accusing posts here completely miss is that Obama is for unity but also clarity. It really is up to Lieberman to decide where he stands and stop the foolishness of acting like Mr. Super-Republican and expect to be treated like a great guy by the folks he attacked.

    November 7, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Tm

    What a weasel Joe Lieberman is!

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Ken

    Hey Joe. Its one thing to abide the smell of the McCain campaign for a few months, but it is quite another to immerse yourself permanently in the squalor and stench of the [R] good-ole boys in the house.

    I will be particularly amused at the irony, when your new-found friends start referring to you as "hey, jew-boy", thus showing off both their and your ignorance and stupidity.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Wow, Joe has got to be the Pariah of Washington. Hated by Dems and too liberal for the GOP. I respect the fact this man stood up for what he believed in, right or wrong (I believe the Iraq war was/is wrong). That got him thrown out of his party and pretty much left out in the wind by himself. I did not even have a problem with him speaking on behalf of Senator McCain at the RNC...but lambasting Barack Obama at the RNC, I did take issue with.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. suzanne, western NY

    I would think that Lieberman would understand the position he has placed himself in. His choices and actions have lead to this point if McCain had won he would have been offered a high level position perhaps on his staff or in his cabinet. Let the chips fall as they may. He is leaning Republican because he is not getting what he wants! What does that say about his loyalty to any party. Hard to belive that 8 years ago he was the VP choice of Al Gore.

    At this point I view him as an opportunist not in the least concerned with his constituents, more with himself. The repubs will take him over as they need all they can get.... What doe that tell you about his abilty to unite....Like McCain he has changed and I dont recognize the old Joe Lieberman...Also if he wasn't good enough for the republican base as a potential VP candidate for McCain, what makes anyone belive he will be effective in a republican caucus.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Michael "C" Lorton Virginia

    Maybe Sarah Palin can offer him a position in her state cabinet.....for his actions and behavior.......he has placed the final nail in his political coffin......and I'm not sure that the Republicans even want him...they are in enough trouble as it is.

    November 7, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. PCM 01

    Mr. Lieberman has hi sown agenda. This agenda has nothing to do with the U.S.A.
    Mr. Lieberman who are your masters? Who is really pulling your chain?.
    It would be interesting to see a thorough investigation of your connections with other countries.
    Mr. Lieberman, enough is enough.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Lee

    I have no great love for Leiberman for his rabid support of the war and he was a poor VP candidate – and he's boring as hell. That said, he is an accomplished senator. I think this is an ideal chance for Obama to say to Reid, "Hey, I know this guy campaigned against me, but it's time to move forward and heal" and let Joe keep his chairmanship. Booting him out, punishing him, driving him to tthe other side of the aisle, that's maybe what's been the traditional tack, and it's certainly what the Republicans woudl do. This is an opportunity for the Dems to practice a new, inclusive politics. It's a time for unity and healing.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Kenneth from Obamaha, NE

    Reid will do a smart thing to cause Lieberman to align himself with the republicans. Then when Lieberman runs for re-election he can split the republican votes and the democratic candidate will win. If this is Reid's strategy it is genius.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    We have a store out here called Trader Joe's. Maybe traitor Joe could get a job there.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. judy

    good riddance!!

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Shane

    Go to the other side, Lieberman! You were a mole from their side anyway. You're the reason Gore lost in 2000!

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Sarah who?

    A True Judas. You can't just throw down bi-partisanship whenever it coveniences you. How dare he go in front of the RNC and spew lies!! What did he expect the repercussion would be? Let the GOP have him. I just hope they watch their backs.

    November 7, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. arlington

    He should be expelled from the party.

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. independent

    Joe Loserman should be waterboarded and then kicked out of the caucus

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. JH from CT

    I can't even handle Lieberman. He acts like a perfect Democrat for years, then thinks he has enough clout that CT will vote him in despite his view on the Iraq war. He loses to Ned Lamont, then runs as an Independent because he knows at least the Republicans will vote for him. That's how he wins... then sides with the Republicans as soon as he gets there. I say Take him GOP! We don't need turncoat any turncoat Dems and Reid should have kicked him to the curb.

    November 7, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. JohnK

    I have never liked Lieberman much. But if he decides to caucus with the Republicans and all of a sudden all of his votes support them; it will just show what a hypocrite the man is. It will only show that he is not in it for his constituents, but only for himself.


    November 7, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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