Today on MSNBC, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) declared that he is searching for a political party that is “very strong and muscular on foreign and defense policy.” Anchor Nora O’Donnell responded, “But, Senator, arguably there’s not one Democratic presidential candidate that is espousing that particular position, right?” Lieberman said, “So far, you’re right.” Watch it:
All of the current Democratic presidential candidates want to sharply reduce or eliminate the U.S. presence in Iraq. Even Republican candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and potential candidate Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) support pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. That is strong and muscular — redeployment will refocus America’s security posture on combating global terrorist networks and the war in Afghanistan. It will restore our military and address the current readiness crisis. It will take away a prime rallying cry for extremists, shore up America’s image abroad, and free up billions of dollars for critical homeland security and domestic needs.
The problem is that Lieberman doesn’t want a strong foreign policy. He wants a belligerent one.
O’DONNELL: Senator, you have broken with your former party, the Democratic Party, specifically on the Iraq war. There have been questions.
Can you rule out that you may switch to the Republican Party?
LIEBERMAN: I wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s certainly not my intention. It’s not my desire. You know…
O’DONNELL: What would cause to you switch to the Republican Party?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I’m not going to set any conditions. But, you know, my real hope here is to stay and fight for the kind of Democratic Party I joined when John F. Kennedy was president — which was progressive on domestic policy and very strong and muscular on foreign and defense policy.
We’re at war here.
O’DONNELL: But, Senator, arguably there’s not one Democratic presidential candidate that is espousing that particular position, right?
LIEBERMAN: So far, you’re right. I mean, obviously, it’ll be more than Iraq. It’ll be: How do they feel about Iran and the rest of the threats that we face?
But look, the central challenge to our security in our time is from radical Islam; the people who attacked us on 9/11.
And to be as direct as I can be, Norah, in this question of who I will support for a president, I’m going to wait until both parties have their nominees and I’m going to support the candidate that I think is best for our country, regardless of party.
And, obviously, the positions that they take on the war on terrorism will be very important to me.