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Lieberman: ‘It’s Possible’ I Could Be ‘A Good Old-Fashioned New England Moderate Republican’

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"Lieberman: ‘It’s Possible’ I Could Be ‘A Good Old-Fashioned New England Moderate Republican’"

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During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) supported Republican John McCain and attacked then-candidate Obama while speaking at the Republican National Committee. Though he currently caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, Lieberman has repeatedly stated that he views running for re-election in 2012 as an option.

In an interview on Connecticut’s Face The State program this weekend, Lieberman once again said that it was “possible” he could run for re-election as a Republican. Noting that “it would be harder, to be honest, to get the nomination in the Democratic party,” Lieberman said that while he is “most likely” to remain an independent, he could see himself as a Republican:

HOST: Could you see yourself being a Republican or is that…

LIEBERMAN: It’s possible.

HOST:…far-fetched.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, yeah. No, it’s possible. A good old-fashioned New England moderate Republican.

Watch it:

Lieberman has also suggested that he would “support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the elections in 2010.” In a separate part of the interview, Lieberman suggested that he was open to endorsing Republican Linda McMahon in a Senate race against Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal if she wins her primary with former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT).

It’s not clear, however, how helpful Lieberman’s support would be for any candidate in the Senate race. A recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that Lieberman had “a 25 percent approval rating with 67 percent of his constituents giving him bad marks.” To demonstrate how disliked Lieberman is by CT Democrats, PPP notes that “Barack Obama’s approval rating with Connecticut Republicans is higher than Lieberman’s with the state’s Democrats.”

Transcript:

HOST: Should you run again, there are three routes you could take. You could be an independent again.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah.

HOST: You could be a Democrat or even a Republican.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah.

HOST: Let’s talk about these three possibilities.

LIEBERMAN: Right.

HOST: Where do you see yourself going? Is there a way back to become a full-fledged Democrat or is that a bridge burned.

LIEBERMAN: No, I don’t think it’s burned. You know, I’ve been a Democrat all my life. I mean there is a way in which — look, at the beginning of the ’06 campaign, it was really at the end of ’05, people working my campaign, interestingly said to me in a private meeting after some polling, you should think about running as an independent. Because it’s going to be real hard in the Democratic primary based on the position I was taking on the Iraq war, which I know it was an unpopular position in the Democratic party, but I felt, it was what I felt was right for our country. So I said, no, you know, I’ve been a Democrat all my life. The party on this issue really doesn’t agree with me, but I’m going to put my confidence in the people and the party and I’m not going to leave, walk away from the party. If they want to kick me out, that’s there decision. That’s obviously what happened. At least they decided not to nominate me again. So, and let me come back to you question. I’d say, I haven’t really focused on it, but I’d say from the get go, anyone of these…it’s good, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s good to be an independent. It gives me latitude. I could run possibly on any of the three. Probably it would be harder, to be honest, to get the nomination in the Democratic party. Not impossible, it’d be harder. But I must tell you that at this moment in our political life, which is so partisan and almost tribal, you know. And it’s not good for the country, not good for our state. I like being an independent, so if you ask me, I’d say that’s probably the most likely of the choices.

HOST: Could you see yourself being a Republican or is that…

LIEBERMAN: It’s possible.

HOST:…far-fetched.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, yeah. No, it’s possible. A good old-fashioned New England moderate Republican.

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