November 11th, 2008
02:23 PM ET
12 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. Tanya

    Let the people decide whether he stays! My decision would be to let him go. Come on....he knew Obama was winning.. look....he didn't even check the polls before he made that decision. Poor decision maker PERIOD!

    November 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Noah

    JEFF- you are correct. Lieberman's views on homeland security are different from Obama's. Lieberman holds the correct views while Obama holds the naiive and downright dangerous views on Homeland Security. Say what you want about Bush's many failures but one thing he did was keep all of us safe after 9-11, with the help of people like Lieberman. Obama will put us more at risk by significantly reducing the Homeland Security budget and holding talks with Iran and N Korea, among others. Scary

    November 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Lynn in NM

    Whatever!! Do you actually expect us to believe that? Look at the comments above! It's pretty bad when a person can't have their own beliefs in the US. Of course, that's what this is all about, isn't it? He is the only one that will cross party lines to do what is right for his constituents. Maybe if we had some other Senators and Representatives that would do the same, we would be able to make something of this term. Won't happen, though. Everyone is out for themselves. That's what politicians are all about – themselves. Clinton started the divisiveness and it will continue, until everyone that is in office is voted out. Pelosi is in charge now. And it continues.....

    November 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. mume

    who cares about Lieberman we won da election yeahhhhhhh

    November 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Wally©

    Let the caucus decide !!!

    November 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Phil in KC

    If the only repercussion to his actions is the loss of one chairmanship position for another, I think he got off very easy. He's lucky they didn't revoke all positions.

    November 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |

    Joe is AWESOME and a HERO for leaving the foul democrats in the dust!!

    What does it tell the democrats when thier own kind bail for the other side???

    Long live Joe Leiberman !! Your a real american hero!!!!

    November 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Gary

    He should put Lieberman in the Cabinet, right next to the toilet paper and the cleaning supplies.

    November 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. jimmy-ohio

    wow,the election is a week old and already everyone seems to forget the message that the majority of the country voted for,Bi-partisan co-operation.If lieberman supported McCain that is his right to do,if he wants to return to the dem caucus let him.It is up to the voters of Conneticut to decide his fate.BUT PLEASE let's remember what we voted for,an end to this bitter hatred among Americans,an end to being led by the extreme wing of a party ,it is time for ALL of this country to come together.Dems, bury the hatchet.Repubs all we ask is that you keep an open mind and give this a chance before condeming it.Remember this above all else,"united we stand,divided we fall."

    November 11, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. arc, Lugano CH

    Lieberman is a GOP collaborator. Bring out the knives.

    November 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Kick Lieberman to the Republican curb, that would be a big step forward.

    November 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Psbro

    That's just peachy, swell what a guy he holds no grudges against Lieberman. Yet Hillary raised over 10 million bucks for him, made over 200 appearances for him & he still isn't gracious to her. Didn't even help her get the sub-committee chairmanship she wanted for health care. Yep you Bots did a helluva job for our country.

    BTW. For all you Hillary haters out there. The record will show that she did more for Obama than any other primary opponent in the history of either party. But I have confidence in you, you will find a way to mock her for even that.
    Oh & the fun is JUST beginning.

    November 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. U. S. Navy Retired now a civilian

    First giving honor to God and congrats to President Elect Obama. As for Senator Judas Liberman he should step down his Chairmanship duties and sit in the corner since he disgraced himself and went the wasy of a turncoat.

    The other honorable senator should take the lead in this action not the President Elect.

    November 11, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. carmen

    That's the diplomatic thing for the Obama spokesperson to say. But Lieberman was JOE THE TRAITOR.

    November 11, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Mr. Democrat

    How dare you call the president elect a man of treason!!!! you should be hung in your shower and tazed blue until all of the red comes off your devilish butt. President Obama, you did the right thing for being the better man in this situation because if you kicked him out and beings though your black, this would have had so much contraversy behind you. you wouldn't have had got nothing done. Think about it ladies and gentlemen? This was nothing more then chess meets checkers to test this black man and say it aint so, you would harly see him doing any of kicking people to the curve all because he's black

    President Obama, in that white house
    sleep with one eye open even with your own party

    November 11, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. bonna

    he shouldn't, because if his own republicans wouldn,t stand by him somebody had too......but he is someone that you can't TRUST!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO ADMIT EVEN HE DIDN,T THINK THAT THE WORLD WAS READY FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT!!!LOL

    November 11, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Mz Leah

    I think Mr. Obama made the right call. It is easy to be bitter, act according to our emotions and do what's expected.
    But then...that doesn't require leadership does it?
    Any idiot can do that.

    November 11, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown


    November 11, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. me

    casth thee the first stone.

    November 11, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Lady in GA

    For the lies and hate he spewed.... I say kill him with kindness, let him keep his seat, so everyone will remember Obama's goodness and Joe's meanness.

    November 11, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Lisa P

    Obama is right to stay neutral. This is a question for the House Democratic Caucus to decide. Personally I can't see them leaving Lieberman in charge of anything after his words and actions this summer and his current pretense of entitlement. Joe doesn't want to play ball? Fine, go caucus with the Independents or the Republicans - they won't give you a committee chairmanship either.

    November 11, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Jack walden

    So Joe the Judas who said Dems getting 60 seats in Senate amounts to destruction of America now wants to retain his Chairmanship so that he can caucus with Dems... How on earth did CT elect this rotting snake?

    November 11, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Mike in Columbus

    America is a free country, and you can say what you want. However, your words often have consequences. Its no different for Leiberman. Personally, I don't care what they do or don't do with him, he won't be there at his next campaign.

    November 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. David, Ventura, calif

    Lieberman – take a hike – you're a traitor and should be treated as such

    November 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Beverly, NYC

    In other words keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Obama is gouing to own Joe Lieberman for 4 years for saving his political backside.

    November 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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