Democrats should put aside their objections to how he was invited and attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress in March, says former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, now a political independent.
"Whatever anybody thought about Speaker [John] Boehner's invitation [or] Prime Minister Netanyahu's acceptance, the prime minister is coming," Lieberman said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
Boehner invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress about the Iran nuclear threat without consulting the White House. That action was slammed by Democrats as a breach of protocol, and Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats have said they will not attend the address, slated for March 3.
But Lieberman said Democrats should "get back to the important stuff and forget the nonsense." The greater concern, he said, is the U.S.-Israeli relationship and concern over Iran's nuclear program, which he has called an "existential threat" to Israel.
Netanyahu accepted the invitation because he has concerns about how the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program is going, he said.
"Even if you disagree with Netanyahu's position on Iran and the nuclear weapons, or you felt it was wrong for speaker Boehner to invite him, that's not what this is about now," Lieberman told Cavuto. "Also, frankly, you might say it's freedom of speech. Come and hear … Netanyahu's point of view."
Lieberman, who was Al Gore's vice presidential running mate in 2000, lost his Democratic primary bid for re-election as senator from Connecticut in 2006. But he successfully held onto the seat by launching a campaign as an independent.
Lieberman said he expects more independents to be elected to Congress if Republicans and Democrats continue being as divided as they now are. He thinks it would be more difficult for an independent to win nationally, but not impossible.
"Sometime in the not-so-distant future, there will be an independent elected president of the United States," he said.
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