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Tags: sen.lieberman | connecticut | democrat | rove | dole

Former Democratic Sen. Lieberman: GOP Heavyweights Aided 2006 Campaign

Former Democratic Sen. Lieberman: GOP Heavyweights Aided 2006 Campaign

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., right, speaks with a reporter as the Senate prepares for a key test vote on the For the People Act on June 22, 2021, at the Capitol. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 October 2021 06:24 PM

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., writes in a new book that influential Republicans helped him win the 2006 election.

Lieberman says that Karl Rove, chief political strategist for then-President George W. Bush, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, helped him win reelection in '06, the Hartford Courant reported Monday.

Lieberman, who was known as a conservative Democrat, did not seek a sixth term in 2012.

In "The Centrist Solution,” scheduled to be released Tuesday, Lieberman, 79, says that Rove told him he would do anything possible to help in the 2006 election, a three-way race that included Ned Lamont, an anti-war Democrat at a time when the Iraq War was highly controversial.

Rove's help was crucial in defeating Lamont and Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger, Lieberman says.

Lieberman received 49.7% of the vote that year, with Lamont getting 39.7% and Schlesinger 9.6%.

Rove called Lieberman on the afternoon of the Democratic primary and offered Republican support if he stayed in the race. The senator told Rove that, at the time, the primary outcome could go either way. (Lamont won the primary.)

"That's what we have heard," Lieberman quoted Rove as saying. "And that's why the 'Boss' asked me to call you and tell you that if you don't win today, he hopes you stay in as an independent.

"[Bush] thinks the country needs you in the Senate and knows that the political problems you are having are because you have stayed strong on the war in Iraq. So, he wanted me to tell you that if you lose today and run in November, we will help you in any way we can."

A stunned Lieberman soon learned that prominent national Republicans were raising money for him and contributing to the campaign.

"After the Rove call, it is hard to believe the White House didn't encourage Connecticut Republicans to stay out of the Senate race," Lieberman says in the book.

"Also, in a twist of fate, the chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee that cycle was Sen. Elizabeth Dole, wife of [former Sen.] Bob Dole. They were both close friends of ours. Elizabeth later told me proudly that her committee had given no support, financial or otherwise, to Schlesinger."

GOP support came because the conservative Lieberman was close to Bush, and Republicans did not want another anti-Iraq War Democrat in the Senate, the Courant reported.

Lieberman, who angered liberals when he endorsed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president in 2008, played a centrist role similar to that being performed now by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is opposing President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending bill because of its cost.

"I admire what he's doing," Lieberman said of Manchin. "As another great Democratic leader might say, I feel Joe Manchin's pain. He's been really targeted by people in the Democratic Party, but he is fighting for the type of government that he has fought for most of his life. So they’ve got to accommodate him."

Lieberman also writes that he met with then-President Donald Trump in 2017 about becoming director of the FBI.

"I'm glad it didn't happen," Lieberman said in an interview. "I really didn’t want to."

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Politics
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., writes in a new book that influential Republicans helped him win the 2006 election.
sen.lieberman, connecticut, democrat, rove, dole
535
2021-24-18
Monday, 18 October 2021 06:24 PM
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