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. arche

    who is this guy?

    November 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. linda

    This guys ideology is known stupid. He is willing to do anything to serve his own agenda. Who care about the USA. He will ride any horse willing to go to war in the middle east. But I think he missed this time. Connecticut will take take care of him very soon...................Don't be surprised to see him doing other thing to push his own agenda. If you don't know his own agenda, you are really stupid...Sorry

    November 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Chuck

    Obama is a man of character. Lieberman is a man for himself. Obama is doing and saying what a man of character does.

    November 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Spider

    I sure am proud to call Mr. Democrat a member of my party.

    By the way, it's kicking to the curb, not the curve.

    November 11, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Felines For Freedom

    Look, as a Dem, I was not thrilled to see Joe support McCain, but I agree with several points made here:

    1) Joe is free to endorse whom he wants. I would like to retain the freedom to vote GOP if I felt it necessary at a given time w/o losing my DEM card permanently.

    2) Obama is already demonstrating his ability and willingness to work across the aisle and with those who don't support him willy-nilly by refusing to involve himself and by suggesting Joe retain his posts. This, my fellow Dems, is good.

    3) To the person who said "Keep your friends close and enemies closer," nail...head. Obama is smart. Scary smart. He has an endgame in sight while everyone else is jockeying for position. Wow, it feels good to have a President who is clearly more intelligent than I am.

    November 11, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. John in Ohio

    Fighting for the military of a foreign country costs you your US citizenship.

    Lieberman fought for the Republicans, and he fought against the Democrats in the process.

    Why is it even a question? Take his chairmanship away, and if he still wants to caucus with the Dems great, if not let the Republicans take him. He campaigns for Republicans. He votes with Republicans. Let him caucus with the Republicans.

    This is not rocket science.

    November 11, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Ken in Dallas

    I just think the Homeland Security chair would be a good place for Hillary for the time being. Punishing Lieberman is ultimately up to the voters, but the Homeland Security chair deserves someone free of major trust issues.

    November 11, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Sabuc in Atlanta

    Strip Lieberman of any seat possible and pressume he is a Republican. He didn't see eye to eye with the Dem party and Obama during the campaign so why should he now? If he wants to play along with the Dem majority now let him and treat his actions as a bonus but dont trust him if you cant get rid of him.

    November 11, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. anyonmous

    « Back to mainPrevious article:
    Obama may reverse Bush policies on stem cells, drilling, abortionNext article:
    Biden speaks at Veterans Day ceremony

    November 11, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Ronny

    I guess no one is trying to rip Lieberman's off his right to choose... But the manner in which he did it. Lets face the fact, we heard and learned a lot from the campaign. He attacked Obama in some personal form that touched democrats including myself. I don't have any problem with Lieberman's choice for the highest office in America, we all have the right to one man one vote. As a leader and former vice presidential candidate with in the Democratic party, he went totally wrong.

    November 11, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    This little weasel, who is more of an agent for Israel than a US senator, should be stripped of any chairmenship and given a lesson about loyalty to both country and party...

    November 11, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Purnell K3 IL

    This is a big Mistake not to get rid of him! Keeping a cobra next to you and expecting it not to strike you is dumb!

    November 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Paul in FL

    You would think that Lieberman would be too ashamed to caucus or anything with the Democrats. Apparently it is too much to expect a career politician to have anything resembling shame.

    November 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. CM

    Lieberman should be removed from committee chairmanships but allowed to caucus with the Democrats if he wants. There should be some consequences, not for supporting McCain, but making uncalled for comments against Obama.

    November 11, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. ran

    He should be strip of any chairperson ship. Let him caucus wherever he wants. If he is a true independent and he cares about this country then he will do the right thing for this country. I feel for the people of CT. They are the ones who have to put up with him untill 2012.

    November 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Edward

    Oh well, Lieberman was helping Republicans so hopefully they think he's ok. Now Obama should use Lieberman to work both sides of the isle, especially since Reps probably trust him more than they trust other Dems. So Obama should show his bi-partisan commitment by making Lieberman do the dirty work of convincing the Reps on certain issues, and if Lieberman refuses or fails to deliver what we need – kick him to the curb.

    November 11, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Maggie from Virginia

    He can caucus with the Democrats but will not hold chairmanship to the committee he wants. For this, he will run to the republicans.

    November 11, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Tiff of lithia springs

    I wish I had as much humility as Obama does. Way to set an example guy.

    November 11, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Katie - Atlanta

    Kick that rat bastard out of there!

    November 11, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Coherent1

    President Elect Obama is scary smart. I believe this is why so many are afraid of him. He thinks things through, meticulously and strategically. His decisions will not please everyone 100% of the time, but he will choose the greater good 100% of the time.

    November 11, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Ed

    Obama might not have any grudges against Liebarman but I sure do! He could have chosen to support his buddy McCain without being nasty about it, but he chose the low route. Let him go, he's not much use to the party anyway!

    November 11, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. besty ross

    Lieberman lobbied to become VP on the GOP ticket... therefore, he should not chair any committee - He should not be kicked out of the caucus, but if he wants to leave .... let him go, it's not like he is a real democrat or anything.

    November 11, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Truth Be Told


    November 11, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Enjoying life to the fullest! :)

    OK then, let's get on with it. Just let him [Lieberman] know he's on loose footing.

    November 11, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Polly

    I would prefer him to stay where he is. I don't see any reason why President-elect Obama should replace him or be influenced by angry Democrats.

    November 11, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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