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. Helene

    Barack Obama is a gentleman and obviously a Christian soul. For him to forgive that weasel Judas Lieberman is an exemplary lesson. I hope Lieberman is ashamed of himself.

    November 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Amber




    Or is REVENGE more important to everyone than the UNITED states?

    November 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    Let the voters decide his fate.

    November 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Swiftboat my a$$

    Hey Guys, Maybe Joe has an opening in Alaska in 2010! Let's say Ted the felon Stevens wins.. and he's kicked out by the other sens, then Gov Palin will have to appoint someone... a traitor to replace a felon... thats what alaskans need!

    November 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Matt

    Sure, no grudges. We all need to work together...but can I still call him Jowly McJowlyface?

    November 11, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. boered1

    Why should Obama care about what position Leibermann has? They work in different parts of the governemtn now. I think it is the right thing for Obama to say this is up to the Senate.. it shows he is NOT trying to rule the party.. but instead attempting to LEAD the NATION!

    November 11, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. joann

    @3 stikes....

    go blog on somewhere else, we are sooooooooooo tired of you negative remarks....just shut the freak up!!!! you're a real hater and you need the seek theraphy along with some of these other haters of Obama....didn't your mother teach you if you have nothing good to say, don't say nothing at all....YOU ARE ANNOYING!!!


    cnn please post please...thank you!!!!

    November 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Lieberman is in no position of not accepting another position in the democrat party and he knows this. It would serve him well to accept what he is offered because it is more than what the Republican can offer him because they would put him in the bottom ranks. Lieberman's choice is to take it or leave.

    November 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Steve in DC're still talking about Hillary friggin Clinton??? about not knowing when to let go....your gonna get cramps!

    November 11, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. proud army and navy mom

    Joe's a traitor and a warmonger.

    Strip him on his chairmanshi democrats, man up!

    We don't need him and we cannot trust him.

    November 11, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Observer

    Obama is showing that the Democratic Party can truly be a big tent for differing viewpoints. What a great start to unraveling the partisan rancor that has paralyzed American politics for so many years! Go Obama!

    November 11, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. VC-BC

    Re: Swiftboat my...

    Wow some comments are amazing!

    A differing political opinion characterizes Joe Lieberman as a traitor? So, do near approximately half the voting public need to worry about retributions?


    November 11, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. DeVone

    Obama is an intelligent human being, why be upset with
    Lieberman he is a man that will go where he think it suits
    him 2000 he was with Al Gore this time he thought
    McCain was going to pick him and he got shot out
    oh well thats politics

    November 11, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. CathyW

    The whole idea the Senator Lieberman is a traitor is simply idiotic. He SHOULD support the candidate he thought was best for the job. He SHOULD vote the way he thinks is best. That is what he is elected to do!

    On the one hand we smack down McCain for voting with Bush 70-95% of the time, and on the other hand, we also smack down Lieberman for crossing party lines (and most of the time he DOESN'T). He votes Democratic the vast majority of the time.

    You can't have it both ways. Either it's a good thing for a candidate to cross party lines occasionally, or it's not.

    November 11, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. LeeAnn

    Noah I find it hard to believe that you are definding Bush for keeping us safe after 911. Bush was the president during 911. He had a security briefing saying 911 would happen and ignored it. He chose to get us into 2 unending wars and get most of the world even our allies to hate us. How has Bush ever kept us safe?

    November 11, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. karen raleigh

    Lieberman is not that important and he will be watched -did he help Mc Cain?????? He thinks he's important–big ego–Obama will not be dealing with these big egos!!!!!

    November 11, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. 3strikes

    man, nobama democrats cannot take any fire eh? everything has to go your way? just pure simple mindedness

    November 11, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Accountability

    Joe needs to go.....Can you say John Tyler?

    November 11, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Rob Johnson

    Once again, Obama shows that he is a better person than many of his supporters.

    How are you going to work with Republicans if you can't even work with a rogue member of your own party? Obama understands this, even if many of the posters here don't.

    I don't like Lieberman either, and I wouldn't cry one tear if he lost his chairmanship, but if he wants to stay in the Democratic caucus, it's not unreasonable to try and work with him.

    November 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. The Rising of the Sun

    Anyone who can help move the country forward, should be considered, but Lieberman has burnt a whole lot of bridges and there is very little goodwill toward him.

    I didn't care for him when Gore picked him, but now he really makes my skin crawl.

    Libermans main concern seems to be how things effect Isreal, when his main concern should be the USA. Pushing him down the ladder a little can't hurt.

    November 11, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. k

    I respect Joe Lieberman for supporting his long-time close friend. What did you all expect him to do throw him under the bus to tote the party line? Some things are more important than political differences! If he spouted off some Obama negatives in the process, so be it, that's the nature of the game, kind of like Obama playing nice with Bush after all the horrendous things Obama has said about him. Thankfully Pres Bush is not the gutter politician Obama is though. They hate each other, but have to do what they have to do.
    As for Reid, I wish you would wither away and rot in hell, but my dumb fellow Nevadans will keep you gainfully wreaking havoc for elections to come...thanks California transplants!

    November 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Grog in Ohio

    Very magnanimous of the president-elect. But many of the rest of us think Joe Lieberman betrayed the people that voted for him at minimum and should be removed from chairmanships... at minimum.

    70 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    November 11, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Donna from Colorado Springs

    I think that Obama should throw the bum out! He's a disgrace and a traitor to the democratic party. How could ANYONE ever trust him or anything he says again? We don't need his vote that bad!

    November 11, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Frank

    No grudges for LIEberman, just no Chairmanships. If LIEberman is unhappy with that, he can join the Republicans and get voted out of office. He won his election because he swore he would support a Democrat for President. Joe Lieberman did what he does best, LIE. So Mr. LIEberman, take it or leave it. You lost quite a bit, the election, your credibility and your clout.

    November 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Deb

    No, 3 strikes, it is not that Obama can not take any drama it is just he promised bipartisanship during his campaign and is trying to make good on his promise.

    November 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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