November 9th, 2008
02:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Lieberman can still help Dems, Reid says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Harry Reid says it's up to the Democratic caucus to make any decision about Joe Lieberman's future."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday he's still trying to keep Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman within the Democratic caucus despite anger over Lieberman's support of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

While he has opposed Democratic efforts to end the war in Iraq, "Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators," Reid told CNN's "Late Edition."

"Joe Lieberman is not some right-wing nutcase," he said. "Joe Lieberman is one of the most progressive people ever to come from the state of Connecticut."

Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent, broke with the party over the war in Iraq and ran as an independent after losing the party's nomination in 2006. Since then, he has been the 51st vote that kept the Senate in Democratic hands.

Lieberman also was Al Gore's running mate on the 2000 Democratic ticket.

But this year, he was a fixture on the campaign trail with McCain - and now that Democrats have gained at least six seats in the chamber, Reid is under pressure from many Democrats to punish Lieberman for harsh criticism of Sen. Barack Obama in a speech at the Republican convention.

"Sen. Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But, my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record," Lieberman said at the Republican convention in early September.

Lieberman charged that Obama had not reached across party lines to "get anything significant done" and said that the McCain-Palin ticket was "the real ticket for change."

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. JM

    Most of the democrats in Connecticut are fed up with Joe Lieberman and don't want him representing our state. He hasn't cared about Connecticut for a long while now, anyway–he just takes care of himself. Reid should strip him of all his chairs, and next chance, Connecticut voters should finally say goodbye to Joe "Benedict" Lieberman. Let him move to Arizona and live next door to McCain–or to any of the other 8 neighborhoods where McCain has a house!

    November 9, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Dave

    Funny all the haters on one of a handful of senators who works with both parties on issues. Joe does it, Obama says hes going to do it, but we all know that wont happen.

    November 9, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. New Citizen

    Israel First...We've NOT known Lieberman yet.....Very sad

    November 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    What is despicable about this rat wasn't that he supported his old friend McCain... it's that he lied about not going on the attack against the DNC candidate. I still can not get over how the rat had the nerve to take the stage at the RNC convention and question Pres.-elect Obama's patriotism. What exactly have you done that would qualify you to make this charge, Senator?

    November 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Republican for Obama

    Joe is a traitor and he HAS TO GO!

    November 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Danny in Chicago

    Sure...Lieberman is an Independent. Oh wait..didn't he lose as a Democrat and had to switch to Independent to win his past election?

    And yes, being an Independent means that you have no obligation to either party -yes that is true – however, if you believe that being an independent means that you don't have to deal with the consequences of your actions, then you're just naive.

    We all talk about unifying the country. Looking behind party lines, getting in touch with the better angels of your nature and that truly is great, but I want to remind people that this does not mean that we IGNORE the fine lines that have been crossed. The people who have played BOTH SIDES to secure more power for themselves. These are the people who have hijacked our country!

    Lieberman has overstayed his welcome. And he's just plain old and gives the jewish people a bad name.....

    November 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Marie in California

    Joe Lieberman is a hero. He put country first.

    No one can help the Dems. They are a lost cause. I shudder at the thought of what the next four years will bring.

    Palin – 2012

    November 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. ED FL

    The democratic party would be better off with 54 Senators. Reid and Lieberman should both be kicked out of the Democratic party. We have just had 2 yrs of incometency in the house and senate. Reid and Pelosi have made a sham of leadersip positions and both need to go back to janitorial tasks. They have been the poorest examples of leadership in my lifetime of 79yrs as an always straight democrat voter. The folks of Nevada and California deserve better , so does America.

    November 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. valwayne

    Joe Lieberman is one of the most honorable men to serve in the U.S. Senate. Despite being betrayed by his party he still caucused with them allowing them to take over control of the Senate 2 years ago. They owe him big time, and yet the way they've treated him is despicable. So much for being post partisan. The Republican minority should ask Lieberman to caucus with him and use their substantial power in the Senate to insure that the democrats can't fulfill their threats to to destroy him.

    November 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Zackria

    This Lieberman is the biggest anit-Muslim in the Senate right now. The only reason he was anti-Obama was because he thought Obama was Muslim. Kick this tool out and teach him a lesson. Tell him he is not needed anymore and needs to go home.

    By the way, to him Israel comes first, not America.

    November 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Adam from College

    If Lieberman loses his chairmanships why on Earth would he caucus with the Democrats? While some Democrats may feel betryaed by Lieberman it was the Democrats who betrayed him first. I would not be surprised if he condisdered caucusing with the GOP if the Democrats betray him again. I can see him enjoying a nice fillibuster if the Democrats keep peeing on his leg.

    November 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Ben

    Throw him out of the caucus. he's wishy-washy as it is.

    November 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Ryan

    I think Reid and Pelosi should be sent home. They don't help anyone.

    November 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Pat

    Joe Lieberman should not have a chairmanship!!!! Personally, I don't think he should be allowed to sit with us, but to give him a chair of any committee over a loyal Democratic Senator would be outrageous.
    Lieberman is only in it for Lieberman. He is looking at his "options." What do you think that means? He's looking for the best deal for Lieberman. I don't know how many times he has to undermine you and prove his true colors for you to learn this guy's character. Let him sit with the Republicans. If he is an honest guy, (?), he will still vote his conscious with you. If all of a sudden he votes whichever way the Republican wind is blowing then you have the character answer for sure. If he does not vote the way Ct. wants him too, then they will take care of him. Let him go!

    November 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. David

    Just the kind of "change" we need: partisan politics. I want more independants and less Dems and Reps. The majority of this country sits in the middle of the two parties yet we have to choose between far left and far right.

    November 9, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Dave Florida

    KICK him out. We dont need him. If Hilary remains in the Senate and does'nt want an administration job...Make Hilary the Chairwoman of Homeland Security committee that LIEberman chairs.

    November 9, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    Look exactly how much longer till tis fool is up for re election? We really need to get rid of all the old stupidity in Washington and we can start with this jerk.

    Look Reid you sold out Lieberman not the other way around. In a couple years he will still have a job while you will be on unemployment. And the reason why is simple. Lieberman is willing to work with people no matter what the party. You and your dingbat buddy Pelosi don't seem to graps you work for all americans not just the ones in your party.

    Do you realize more americans approve of George Bush then they do this fool by a 2 to 1 margin. That is how idiotic and foolish he is. Vote out all incumbents for the next 6 years.

    November 9, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. larry sinclair

    No Harry, Joe is not a right -winged nut job but you are definitely a liberal nut job!!!

    November 9, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Molly

    Grow a pair, Reid. Kick him out!!!

    November 9, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Laura, Boston

    Then why are you trying to take his chairmanship away from him?

    November 9, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Texans for Obama

    I say kick the bum out!. He thought McCain was going to win and he would have a place in his cabinet but it did not work out that way. He can't be trusted. I can't stand two-faced people like Lieberman.

    November 9, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. GK

    Quantum Mechanics allows a particle to be at two different places at the same time and Joe Lieberman can be at two different Parties at the same time: the DNC and the RNC.Therefore Joe Lieberman is a Quantum.

    November 9, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. rws

    All of this "WE" and "THEM" shows us just how totally broken our system is. Obama is going to be bipartisan? Good Luck! He'll be fighting his own party as much as the other one.

    November 9, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Simmy

    Funny, I don't hear anyone mocking the functions of 'Community Organizers' now! When you consider that then Barack Obama worked to get people registered to vote – a leadership trait that helped during his campaign. All of the knowledge and expertise he gained way back then propelled him into the position he now holds. My friends: 'despise not the days of small beginnings.'

    November 9, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    Just leave Lieberman alone.

    November 9, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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