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Friday, August 25, 2006

No help from Joe

Non-Combatant" Lieberman Won't Back Democratic Candidates

by Melinda Tuhus | August 25, 2006 06:15 PM | | Comments (0)


D
eclaring 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.

The comment was significant because analysts from both major parties believe that Lieberman's campaign could help the three Republicans keep their jobs in the face of tough challenges. Lieberman's strongest support -- 75 percent in the most recent Quinnipiac poll -- comes from Republicans. If he succeeds in drawing more Republican voters to the polls to support his candidacy, that could help the Republican Congressional candidates. Those three races are considered among the 10 most competitive Congressional races in the country; both parties consider the races key to deciding which party controls the House in 2007. National Republican strategists and donors have come forward to help Lieberman's campaign; party leaders have abandoned the nominal Republican in the Senate race, Alan Schlesinger. Prominent Republicans like Shays and former Republican House leader Newt Gingrich have endorsed Lieberman.

Lieberman laughed Friday when asked if he was endorsing the three Republican Congressional candidates instead. He subsequently said they hadn't asked for his endorsement.



The knife in the back is coming

posted by Steve @ 6:03:00 PM

6:03:00 PM

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