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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lieberman campaign tries to cover their tracks over non-combatant statement

WHOA! Hold it now!! Please tell me I'm seeing things...

I was doing my usual checking of my favorite websites when I came across a headline at Raw Story that read "Lieberman still rooting for Dem candidates" and I almost fell out of my chair.

I said to myself, "oh this is a load of B.S." knowing that Joe has been showing his true Republican colors of late, so I clicked on the Raw Story piece and it had this to say.
An aide to Joe Lieberman told The New York Times on Saturday that the senator already endorsed all the Democratic candidates for the House in Connecticut and "still hoped" they'd win, although he doesn't expect to be asked to hit the campaign trail for them after his loss in the primary to challenger Ned Lamont.

"Mr. Lieberman, who during three six-year terms became a Democratic stalwart in Connecticut, acknowledges that his independent campaign has placed him and his former Democratic allies in a predicament," reports Jennifer Medina for the Times.

"Indeed, all three of the Democratic Congressional candidates supported him in the primary but have now endorsed Mr. Lamont," the article continues.

On Friday, Lieberman told reporters that he considered himself a "noncombatant" who "not going to be involved in other campaigns," and would remain focused on his own race.

Two paragraphs enclosed in brackets were apparently added to the article after one of Lieberman's aides phoned the paper.

"On Saturday, a Lieberman campaign aide called to offer a clarification for this article," reports the Times. "The aide, Dan Gerstein, said that the senator had endorsed all the Democratic candidates for the House and still hoped they would win."

"Mr. Gerstein said, however, that in light of their endorsement of Mr. Lamont, the senator did not expect the Democrats to ask him to campaign with them this fall," the article continues.

Alright, Joe's trying to cover his ass on this one and it's painfully obvious to anyone who read my post on Joe's comments in the New Haven Independent piece Friday. Let's go back in time and read the quote as reported by Melinda Tuhus in the Independent.
Declaring himself a "non-combatant," U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, in remarks at a New Haven press event Friday, raised anew the question of whether his "independent" candidacy will help Republicans hold onto three Congressional seats in Connecticut -- and control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lieberman -- who after losing an Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont has launched a third-party bid to hold onto his seat in the Nov. 7 general election -- was asked whether he still endorses Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, three Democrats looking to unseat endangered Republican incumbents Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson.

"I’m a non-combatant," Lieberman declared. "I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race."

Lieberman made the remarks at a Friday morning photo op held in the rain under an I-95 overpass in the Fair Haven neighborhood to tout his role in bringing $50 million to the state to help ease transportation gridlock.

"It's a little awkward for me now" to endorse the Democratic candidates in the general election, he said, "since they all endorsed my opponent," Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont.
Joe not only stated that he's a "non-combatant" when it came to whether or not he still endorses the three Democratic candidates, he clearly stated that IT'S NOW AWKWARD TO ENDORSE THEM NOW BECAUSE THEY NOW ENDORSE LAMONT! He was asked directly if he still endorsed the three Democrats and that was his response (Lieberman NEVER stated that he was misquoted in the New Haven Independent piece and I'm sure someone has audio of him making that statement).

Now, you wouldn't get the impression that Joe threw the Democratic Congressional candidates under a bus if you read the Times piece.
"It's a little awkward for me now,” Mr. Lieberman said on Friday, speaking to reporters in New Haven. “I’m a noncombatant — I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race."
This is not Lieberman's complete quote (if fact, it's not even close). I don't mean to repeat myself but here's his complete quote again from the Independent.
"I'm a non-combatant," Lieberman declared. "I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race."

Lieberman made the remarks at a Friday morning photo op held in the rain under an I-95 overpass in the Fair Haven neighborhood to tout his role in bringing $50 million to the state to help ease transportation gridlock.

"It's a little awkward for me now" to endorse the Democratic candidates in the general election, he said, "since they all endorsed my opponent," Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont.
If you read Lieberman's quote in the Times, you would get a different impression of what Joe actually said which gives room for Lieberman's hitman spokesperson trying to do damage control.
On Saturday, a Lieberman campaign aide called to offer a clarification for this article. The aide, Dan Gerstein, said that the senator had endorsed all the Democratic candidates for the House and still hoped they would win.

Mr. Gerstein said, however, that in light of their endorsement of Mr. Lamont, the senator did not expect the Democrats to ask him to campaign with them this fall.
What?!? Lieberman was asked directly if he still endorsed Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney, and Chris Murphy and what Lieberman said sounded NOTHING like what Gerstein stated on Saturday.

Why is the Lieberman campaign allowed to get away with this B.S.?

How could the Times (knowing about Lieberman's comment Friday) print Gerstein's comment knowing that it's a complete lie. Again, Joe clearly knew what he was talking about when he made the statement Friday...he's washed his hands of any Democrat who is now endorsing Lamont and that includes Courtney, Farrell, and Murphy.

Let's recap:

1. Lieberman has hired Neil Newhouse's polling firm who also worked for Republican Jodi Rell and is currently working for Rob Simmons.

2. Lieberman was with Rob Simmons and Jodi Rell as early as Thursday.

3. Based on Lieberman's OWN WORDS, he's no longer thinking about the three Democratic Congressional candidates BECAUSE they are now endorsing Lamont.

Lieberman is the de facto Republican candidate period. The Times should not have allowed Gerstein off the hook like this NOR should they piece together Lieberman's non-combatant statement. As painful as it is for me to say but The Raw Story let me down also since they should have known about the comment Lieberman made in the Independent versus Joe's quote in the Times and made the connection for themselves.