November 14th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Leahy says Lieberman should lose committee chairmanship

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Patrick Leahy took a hard line on Lieberman Friday."] (CNN) – A senior Democratic senator has gone on the record saying Joe Lieberman should lose his committee chairmanship when the party's full Senate caucus votes on the issue next week.

"Every senator will have to vote the way he or she believes they should," Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Vermont Public Radio Friday. "I'm one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did.

“I felt some of the attacks that he was involved in against Senator Obama...went way beyond the pale. I thought they were not fair, I thought they were not legitimate, I thought they perpetuated some of these horrible myths that were being run about Senator Obama.

"I would feel that had I done something similar," he added, "that I would not be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.”

Earlier this week, Barack Obama reportedly said he held "no grudges" against Lieberman, who endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had avoided taking any public position on whether the Democrat-turned-independent should lose his chairmanship, but sources told CNN the Senate’s top Democrat had offered Lieberman leadership of a less powerful committee – a proposal the Connecticut senator rejected.

Filed under: Joe Lieberman • Pat Leahy
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Aaron Lou

    I agree with the Senator 100%! Lieberman is a traitor and his plan was to get a VP slot or high profile position in McCain administration. Obama campaigned for Lieberman during his 2006 re-election, but Lieberman stab him at the back. I don't care if he just only support McCain, but he went to GOP convention and said so many bad thing about Obama. So this kind of RAT doesn't deserve a chairman position. I want him to sit like any other indpendant senators so he can get a lesson. He is a no good old sucker.

    November 14, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  2. eugene

    get rid of the bum

    November 14, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    Just so you right wingers know....

    When the Republicans ran the Senate from 2000-2006, all of the committee chairs were Republicans, senators who agreed with Bush and would push HIS agenda.
    Why should the Democrats not have the same advantage? If Lieberman wants to support McCain, it is his right but then he cannot expect his spot to be "protected".

    And "maynard" case you didn't notice, one of the many reasons the Democrats won is because the amazing Obama ground game registered several million more Democrats than the Republicans could register. And no, it was not some ACORN magic. It's the Republicans who have gotten in trouble for voter registration fraud. YPM's director is in jail.

    November 14, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Chappy in Jacksonville, Florida

    How soon we forget that Joe Lieberman gave the Senate back to the Democrats. He is Independent, but serves well as the Chair of Homeland Defense. I am a Democrat who voted for Obama. NOW is
    the time that we can work together for the good of our country.
    Am I surprised that he worked with McCain? NO He did what he thouht was the right thing to do. Maybe, it is that sense of independence that we seek from the two Republican Senators from Maine. Moreover, don't be surprised that Senator McCain would vote
    to end cloture. In Closing, it was a group of Democrats and Republicans that vowed to work together if a filibuster is threatened by
    some Republicans. KEEP Lieberman. It is nice to see someone who thinks for themselves for the good of our Nation.

    November 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. thomas

    A political campaign is a battle and there is a special name for someone who gives comfort to the enemy during a war.

    November 14, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  6. Ben in Dallas`

    Obama has taken the high road here. If the Democrats start acting like Republicans we well loose the momentum we need to deal with the mess they (Republicans) left us.

    November 14, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Ash Reddy

    Get this snake out of the new administration. Lieberman would have gladly gone with Mccain as Veep should Mccain have won. He has no shame.

    November 14, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Mike

    Lieberman just may become the MOST POWERFUL Senator. If the Dems win in AK, MN, and GA that will give them 59 (including Sanders from VT). The GOP will go all out to lure him away to keep them from 60 and Lieberman will probably end up being Majority Leader

    November 14, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  9. Lizz

    If he put a condition that without chairmanship, he will not be with Dems. Then, his stand is clear that he is with Rep. Whether or not he stays in Dems does not make any difference to his standing.

    November 14, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  10. Scott in Portland

    Lieberman is no longer in a position to continue damaging the Democratic Party, so let him stay in the Senate. He is a reminder of the failed policies of the past- and was elected by the voters of his state.

    November 15, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. TexasLady

    Wow, the partisanship is already a huge bubbling high.

    Sounds like the Democrats don't want to embrace any change beyond getting a far left agenda.

    November 15, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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