November 11th, 2008
02:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: No grudges against Lieberman

Obama is not holding a grudge against Sen. Lieberman.

Obama is not holding a grudge against Sen. Lieberman.

(CNN) – Barack Obama won’t publicly weigh in on whether or not Sen. Joe Lieberman should keep his position as chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the president-elect's transition office said.

According to Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, the president-elect doesn't “hold any grudges” against Lieberman and thinks the Connecticut lawmaker should remain a part of the Democratic caucus.

"We aren't going to referee decisions about who should or should not be a committee chair,” Cutter said. “President-elect Obama looks forward to working with anyone to move the country forward. We'd be happy to have Sen. Lieberman caucus with the Democrats. We don't hold any grudges."

Sources told CNN Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Lieberman last week that he's considering revoking Lieberman's chairmanship on the powerful Homeland Security committee and instead giving him a chairmanship on another, less important, committee. Lieberman reportedly called that proposal "not acceptable."

The full Democratic caucus will likely vote on this issue when it reconvenes next Tuesday, a senior Democratic aide told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Lieberman, an independent, typically votes with the Democrats on a majority of issues, but was a fixture on the campaign trail for John McCain. Lieberman angered Democrats by attacking Obama throughout the campaign, most visibly in a primetime speech during the Republican National Convention when he called Obama inexperienced and said “eloquence is no substitute for a record.”

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Comrade nom deplume

    KICK HIM OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now that I have satisifed the CNN moderator, lets see a show of hands: How many want to punish and vilify the most moderate, selfless and ethical person in the caucus? If I were a GOP chairman, I would offer Lieberman a place in the GOP caucus, even if he doesn't want to join the party.

    November 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. observer

    Democrats and Republicans,

    Stop fighting with each other. The nation is in critical situation and this is not the time to argue. Election is over and people have voiced up to support Dems. Next election is still far and get work done first before talking about getting new votes.

    November 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    My guess is that they are going to keep Joe Lieberman. I suppose they think that, since they won the election, no harm no foul.

    I don't know if I agree with that, but they are going to need as many senators as possible, so they can push their agenda.

    November 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Stephanie

    Hmmm, holding grudges always seems to work well.... and who is Lauren?

    November 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. RH

    Lieberman is a sleaze. There's a big difference between simply supporting McCain and bad-mouthing Obama.

    November 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    Obama won the biggest prize of them all, so Lieberman is forgiven for his acts. People, keep him around. If you dont like it, run for his Senate seat.

    November 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. yen

    Not easy to understand J.Lieberman's deep political conviction. But it is very strange to see him standing at different places. Perhaps now he should decide finally where he belongs. FI used to admire him when he was a demo.

    November 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    At least Obama will not say anything negative about anyone. So, all you Palin, Lieberman, McCain haters, get over it. If you can't say anythng nice about anyone take a chill pill and get on with your daily lives. OH, I did VOTE for Obama by the way. We have more important things to worry about, like this mini-depression we are in now, and things probably won't get anybetter until the DOW hits around the 7,000 mark.

    November 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Yes, let Connecticut decide his fate.

    November 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. JL

    President-elect Obama is such a good person, if it were me he (Liberman) would have KICKIT-to-the-crub so quick. But...................President Obama is a good man. God bless you President Obama :-).

    November 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Lisa

    Yet again, Obama votes "present". Is this decision also above his pay grade?

    November 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. helen

    Obama is the true statesman to not get involved and keep himself above the fray. Especially since Obama helped and endorsed Lieberman in Lieberman's campaign. Lieberman should feel really stupid right about now.

    November 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    i pray that God should forgive this ugly guy he is nothing but a TRAITOR,God have your punishment you can not get away with it

    November 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Truth

    Even before this, his attempts to stifle free speech in media that he finds offensive is enough reason for him to be given the boot.

    November 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Ken in NC

    Good move Mr. Obama. Let the voters vote Senator Lieberman out of office if they so choose. He spoke his mind which he was free to do in our country and he is accountable to the voters of his state.

    November 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. 3strikes

    typical nobama democrats, tuck tail, run and hide under a rock. over 65 million whiners and complainers voted for nobama, america doesnt need change, it needs reform.

    November 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. twiddly

    Dump this old windbag.
    He, like his buddby McCain, are representative all that is tired, old and _wrong_ with this country.

    Obama is a breath of fresh air; the next generation is finally taking over the controls, and just in time!

    BTW, I'm an old fart boomer and big Obama supporter. I'm quite ready to hand the reins to the younger generation. My generation has screwed up royally, mostly due to religious brainwashing.

    November 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Sandy

    If it's such a free country then why did everyone beat up on President Elect Obama when Rev Wright spoke so poorly and many people jjudged Obama, is Rev not entitled to His opinions? Lieberman can say what He wants and it's no problem.

    November 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Christine

    As a Connecticut resident and a democrat I can tell you that the people of Connecticut will have there day to speak. Joe Lieberman is as good as gone. He made his bed and that was his choice now he will have to lay in it. It's not that he supported John McCain he has a right to support any one he wants, it's the way he tossed President Elect Obama under the bus. We don't forget so soon.

    November 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. MD for Obama

    TO 3strikes:

    That has been our slogan for the past 8 years and now we have reform. I'll say again to all the haters, it's a big world out there, please MOVE elsewhere if you think the USA will go downhill – as if it isn't almost there already.

    November 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Brian NY

    Well sounds to me like he is good as gone. If Obama is saying he doesn't hold a grudge, then that means that he does. And if he does, Lieberman should watch his back because he might be disposed of.

    November 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. kenny cole

    joe, you are a traitor only God will punish you and not OBAMA,shame on you

    November 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. jessiejay

    It would be so easy for President Elect Obama to act like the old regime and seek revenge against Leiberman, but he is far bigger than that and chooses to lead by example. The voters will decide the fate of Leiberman.

    November 11, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Karen

    Obama doesn't waste energy on anger. Isn't maturity in government refreshing?

    November 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    What a bunch of hypocrites. They want to go after Joe Liberman and yet let Hillary Clinton be burned at the stake of sexism. I'd like to know why the media & Pelosi & Co. thinks it can churn out sexist & ageist smears and allow it's audience and talking heads to do the same. Do you think the media whould have allowed racist comments day and night or allowed it's hired guns to say racist things about Obama? As far as I'm concerned this all election was rigged in Obama's favor and feels bought.

    November 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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