Pelosi blasts Lieberman as ‘irresponsible’

From the Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized former Democrat Joe Lieberman on Wednesday for campaigning against Sen. Barack Obama, calling the Connecticut senator’s characterizations of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee “totally irresponsible.”

On a local radio program to promote her new book, Pelosi (D-San Francisco) responded to a caller who had asked what could be done to keep Lieberman from undermining Obama’s bid for the White House.

“You are right. Joe Lieberman has said things that are totally irresponsible when it comes to Barack Obama,” Pelosi said.

“Here we have a leader for the future, really a great leader for the future and one that comes along only every now and then, and [Republicans] know it, so they have to undermine him. And one of their best weapons, of course, is someone who is considered by some to be a Democrat.”

Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000 but has become an independent and a strong supporter of Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee-in-waiting.


He has been mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain.

Lieberman has questioned Obama’s positions on Israel and Iraq and contrasted the Democrat’s lack of military experience with McCain’s status as a Vietnam War hero.

Pelosi said during the radio interview that Senate Democrats are in a tough spot -- they need Lieberman to maintain their 51-49 majority -- but that “it will be interesting to see what . . . the Democratic leadership in the Senate does [after the election] in terms of Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship of his committee.”

Lieberman is chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

If Democrats bolster their Senate majority this fall, they could strip Lieberman of the chairmanship.