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Remarks: Sen. Joe Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., points into the crowd before speaking at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 2, 2008. (AP/Ron Edmonds)

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery: U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman:

Thank you for that warm welcome. I am honored to be here.

We meet tonight in the wake of a terrible storm that has hit the Gulf Coast but that hurts all of us, because we are all members of our larger American family.

At times like this, we set aside all that divides us, and we come together to help our fellow citizens in need.

What matters is certainly not whether we are Democrats or Republicans, but that we are all Americans.

The truth is, it shouldn't take a hurricane to bring us together like this.

Every day, across our country, millions of our fellow citizens are facing huge problems.

They are worried about their homes, their jobs, and their businesses; they are worried about the outrageous cost of gas and of health insurance; and they are worried about the threats from our enemies abroad.

But when they look to Washington, all too often they do not see their leaders coming together to tackle these problems.

Instead they see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for the American people.

Our founding fathers foresaw the danger of this kind of senseless partisanship. George Washington himself -- in his Farewell Address to our country -- warned that the "spirit of party" is "the worst enemy" of our democracy and "enfeebles" our government's ability to do its job.

George Washington was absolutely right. The sad truth is -- today we are living through his worst nightmare, in the capital city that bears his name.

And that brings me directly to why I am here tonight. What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?

The answer is simple.

I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.

I'm here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward.

I'm here because John McCain's whole life testifies to a great truth: being a Democrat or a Republican is important.

But it is not more important than being an American.

Both presidential candidates this year talk about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through the partisan gridlock and special interests that are poisoning our politics.

But only one of them has actually done it.

Only one leader has shown the courage and the capability to rise above the smallness of our politics to get big things done for our country and our people.

And that leader is John McCain!

John understands that it shouldn't take a natural disaster like Hurricane Gustav to get us to take off our partisan blinders and work together to get things done.

It shouldn't take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don't care much if you have an "R" or a "D" after your name.

What they care about is, are we solving the problems they are up against every day?

What you can expect from John McCain as President is precisely what he has done this week: which is to put country first. That is the code by which he has lived his entire life, and that is the code he will carry with him into the White House.

I have personally seen John, over and over again, bring people together from both parties to tackle our toughest problems we face --to reform our campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws, to create the 9/11 Commission and pass its critical national security reforms, and to end the partisan paralysis over judicial confirmations.

My Democratic friends know all about John's record of independence and accomplishment.

Maybe that's why some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else.

I'm here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don't be fooled.

God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.

If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have taken on corrupt Republican lobbyists, or big corporations that were cheating the American people, or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money.

But he did!

If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or to do something about global warming.

But he did!

As a matter of fact, if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I'm Michael Moore's favorite Democrat.

And I'm not.

Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record -- not in these tough times.

In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party.

Contrast that to John McCain's record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.

Governor Sarah Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer who has taken on the special interests and reached across party lines. She is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington.

That's why the McCain-Palin ticket is the real ticket for change this year.

The Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can't build a pen strong enough to hold these two mavericks.

And together, you can count on John McCain and Sarah Palin to fight for America and to fight for you! And that's what our country needs most right now.

What we need most is not more party unity in America but more national unity!

Especially at a time of war, we need a President we can count on to fight for what's right for our country -- not only when it is easy, but when it is hard.

When others were silent, John McCain had the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. When others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, when Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground,

John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor!

Before I conclude, I ask the indulgence of those in this hall tonight, as I want to speak directly to my fellow Democrats and Independents who are watching.

I know many of you are angry and frustrated by our government and our politics and for good reason.

You may be thinking of voting for John McCain but you're not sure. Some of you have never voted for a Republican before and in an ordinary election, you probably wouldn't.

But this is no ordinary election, because these are not ordinary times, and John McCain is no ordinary candidate. You may not agree with John McCain on every issue.

But you can always count on him to be straight with you about where he stands, and to stand for what he thinks is right regardless of politics.

As President, you can count on John McCain to be a restless reformer, who will clean up Washington and get our government working again for you!

So tonight, I ask you whether you are an Independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat: This year, when you vote for President, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to.

Vote for the leader who, since the age of 17, when he raised his hand and took an oath to defend and protect our Constitution, has always put our country first.

So, let's come together to make a great American patriot our next great President!

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 2, 2008; 10:42 PM ET
Categories:  Conventions , Primary Source , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Remarks: Former Sen. Fred Thompson
Next: In the Convention Halls, an Energized Base


what i know about Palin:

bans books and threatens to fire the librarian (just made the NY times - no trash tabloid there!)

requires loyalty oaths

says NO to global warming - it simply is not a problem we have to address

mayor of SMALL town (folks i am a hick and my town was 5 times bigger!) now $27 MILLION in debt

KEPT and SPENT the bridge to nowhere money - pure hypocracy - NOT maverick

better than Bush in ignoring the environment

NO Foreign POlicy experience - oh wait she lives close to russia (thanks cindy mcsame)

member of AIP that wants to leave the US

vetos alternative energy plans - yes that is right in line w/ mcbush/mssame

been out of the country ONCE

few weeks ago did not know what the VP did for crying out loud

laughs out loud w/ radio host6 while he calls another woman a "bi--h" and cancer when the woman is a cancer survivor! very very compassionate there

mcsame melanoma 4 times wants this a heart beat away - not for this woman!

Posted by: lets talk palin | September 3, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Palin's church says "Jews deserve to be victims of terrorism."

Palin's church leader (Brickner) also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as "God's judgment of unbelief of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity." Palin was in church that day.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Im not a lib, I'm a GOP member. Lieberman is not someone I would ever trust.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This is great. Liberals being liberals.

Can't you see the love? The compassion? Oh yes, and the tolerance.

Any Jewish folks in the audience? See the love the left has for you?

Any gay folks? See how your fellow leftists REALLY feel about you?

Keep talking libs. It's very revealing...

Posted by: Observer | September 3, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Liarbearmanpig should return to the pack of wolves that raised him and McCain!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

King Judas is still in politics!?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I am glad the Americans can remember the last eight years because after watching last night you would think the Republicans think we are stupid. John McCain has no impact on the Nation outside of his military expereince. That is sad because it has been 40 years since that time.

Posted by: concerned | September 3, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Here is my question to you: Should the 18 yr old kid that got Gov. Palin underage daughter pregnant be charged, with a crime like other teen in this Country? There are teen in this Country currently serving jail time, for commenting the same offense of having sex with an underage minor that this kid is being accused of. Why isn’t the law being followed in this case? Is there a double standard for a VP candidate?

Posted by: Dan | September 3, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

To begin, I love most of the comments above. Last night was a whole lot of sucking up!!!!! I give my respect to McCain heads down for servicing our country... I look up to him for it, and would like to do the same one day. But I do not believe that everyone who serves a country has the right to be a president. Everyone who spoke last evening spoke of his service, which is not a problem, but that not what being a president is all about... I sat with my family to watch the last night, and watched in disbelieve... I can’t believe what the speakers were saying. Most of them believe that the eco is good. But I have 3 brothers, and 3 sisters, and my parents brought all of us here to have the American promise. We were doing fine until about 7 years ago, when my mother got pegent with my little brother... Lil Johnny was born 3 months early due to complications with my mother’s blood pressure, and doctors telling her the baby was growing when it was dead flesh growing, and not the baby. Anyhow, our lives have changed, my mother was told by the government that she could no longer work, and if she did the government would not take care of my little brother. The only way that she can work is if she divorces my dad.
Just like Obama said in his speech, it’s not their fault they just don’t get it; they just don’t understand what’s going on.
Joe, you are a trader of parties, but its ok. We will change, and I have hope that Obama will do so. I say thank God now that you did not win when you run, because all of us would have been confused in the middle of your term. God works in ways will never understand, and I know he will work now.

Posted by: Mary-Jane Williams | September 3, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

natasha, you just posted an angry comment from someone on the left making fun of the Republicans for condemning the "angry left."

Posted by: David | September 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Tonight was like watching "Night of the Living Dead" with all the geezers out there gumming away their praise and full of senile hostility condemning the "angry left." WOW.

Posted by: natasha | September 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman proved that he is first and foremost an Israeli than he can be anything from a neoconservative to a gay lover of john McCain[or McSame]. I would rephrase what he said to independents reagan-democrats I want to say to u that i'm for abortion and same-sex marriage and loves caucusing with democrats I want your children's blood america's blood for israel the reason we went to war on Iraq and I support it even based on a lie that there were'nt any WMD gov.Palin what a woman she is althoug i disagree what everything she believes in but Israel first sorry country first

Posted by: asd. joe | September 3, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Typical traitorous heeb who cares what some freak lefty thinks. Lieberman just wants us to kill off more towelheds so the jews can take over but here in america he wants to let the beans and the wetbacks in the country which is ruining everything. THANK GOD for the ICE raids, I say beat them, imprison them , then send them back

Posted by: Frank | September 2, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

He should have just spent his 20 minutes licking a picture of McCain. Man-crush.

Posted by: DemoDevil | September 2, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Didn't he just copy the main tenants of Obamas speech when it come to talking about America being one??

Personally I prefer to vote for Obama as he is actually leading in this area rather than one old man turning up to his fellow pensioners party

Posted by: JO L | September 2, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

HEY LEWISSHAPIRO : Idiot Jew Boy it's not spelled racsium it's racism you moron. How about you & fag lover liebermann go take your jewy arses our of here

Posted by: Greg | September 2, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Here is the real problem
Its not Mcain nor the new VP on the block, its the old Cheney, Rove, and Rummy in the background
They really messed this country up and will still be there,
Sad thing is I don't trust Obamas inexpereince, possiby Bidens

Posted by: Larry | September 2, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

You folks just need to bend over and take where you like it: Right in the pooper! First, you Liberals campaign against Joe Lieberman, because he supported The Surge. He lost his primary, back in '06. Heck, even Hilary and Schumer campaigned against him. He ran in a heavily Democratic State and won as an Independent. He still votes 88% of the time with the Democrats! If someone in this Senate votes 88% of the time, with George W., you Liberal Trash would label that Senator a war criminal, pig, facist, nazi, torturer, etc. (look at Turban Dick Durbin!). So, you've got an Independent Senator that votes with you 88% of the time. What has happened since Mormon Harry and Mafia Nancy took over in 2007? Absolutely Nothing! They promised, "Peace in our time." It's the least productive US CONGRESS SINCE 1861, folks. At least those legislators had an excuse! Now what? You've got a Jewish Senator that leans left and all of the sudden, it's screwing up your buzz, because he's not towing your Party Line! Do yourself a favor: Put down your pipe for a while and put away the KY Jelly! You Loved It When Lincoln Chaffee jumped ship, didn't you! Well, bend over and enjoy it! I'm sure you know how!

Posted by: mikewoolsey | September 2, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

WOW you all are really fair and balanced ;)...I don't like any of the politicians but I do vote and I do not vote party lines. I vote for who is the best for our country. Now i still have not figured that out yet but I respect what Joe L had to say. He may have lost his primary but he still won the election and to me that says something about him. As far as Israel is concerned...there is a reason why no politician will touch that comment - figure it out. The Republican Jesus comment- even Christians will tell you that God makes that judgment not humans or Jesus. Turncoat??? 1st the dems didn't support him in his primary and 2nd they didn't support him because he sided with the right on some issues. Reality is that this is a blow to the democratic party and Obama's run for president but it may not be the best thing for McCain either. This election comes down to who is more into their party and Joe proves it. The republicans are more republican and would not vote for any Democrats but the Democrats are not as strong and will end up voting for a republican. Not to mention their is still racsium in this country and the reality is that the media is to PC to talk about it. My vote is for Powell he should be our president. The problem is he is to smart to run.

Posted by: LewisShapiro | September 2, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just... wow. What engenders such hatred among you folks? Don't you all realize that this irrational us-v-them knee-jerk jingoism is the result of mass manipulation?

You have allowed yourselves to be distorted by partisan rhetoric, as surely as any member of the John Birch Society ever was. Get a handle on yourselves! Your rage is foolish and counterproductive.

The world and its complications are subtle -- as intelligent people (I hope), you should be embarrassed by the superficiality and foolishness of the comments preceding.

Joe Lieberman is a man of conviction, experience and political skill -- one of the few of his generation who has stood tall, alongside some of the great political lights of his time. I disagree with many of his policy ideas, but he was the final reason I voted Gore in 2000, which was tough for me.

Men like him and Ted Kennedy and some few of their generation transcend the short-term thinking of partisan power plays to represent true statesmanship, and I salute them.

Posted by: Ned | September 2, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman says to Democrats and independents:
"You may not agree with John McCain on every issue. But you can always count on him to be straight with you about where he stands, and to stand for what he thinks is right regardless of politics."

OK, let's say that's true. But if I disagree with him on most issues, while I agree with the other major-party candidate on most issues, should that count for less than the fact that McCain will always be straight with me? And what if I feel that the other major party candidate is also being straight with me also?

Posted by: yrral | September 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Who cares, Joe is still a FAG lover and a baby killer and WETBACK aider so he can screw off

Posted by: Tim in Atlanta | September 2, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman has officially become a republican, evidently, a 100% republican. (with his Palin endorsement.

Posted by: I hate them | September 2, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I thought Joe wasn't a Democrat any longer so how can he ask what a Dem like him is doing there? What a fraud.

No it's Joseph Lieberman (Opportunist - Connecticut)

Posted by: A democrat | September 2, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

What did McCain promise Lieberman? He certainly wasn't for "post-partisanship." Secretary of State maybe?

I wonder why Lieberman even bothered running against Bush in 2000. They're so much alike.

Posted by: aBigSAM | September 2, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Joe is a Democrat that I have always respected. And He knows John McCain. Joe is willing to take the heat to back McCain. It says a lot.

Posted by: Kevin | September 2, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

These men, McCain, Lieberman, Thompson, Old Bush, and deceased Reagan, of course, are irrelevant. They are old men of another day. This is 2008!!!

Posted by: pkb | September 2, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Snatch up the McCain/Palin buttons because they are going to be rare.

Someone must have a McCain/Who? button by now.

Posted by: K Ackermann | September 2, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is going to hell in gasoline drawers. His comments were thinly veiled but I heard them loud and clear. Disgusting!! "this is no regular election" and "McCain is no regular candidate" calling on voters that are struggling to vote for Obama to not "break the mold" and vote the same demographic. Disgusting, I did not want to believe he was a bigot and turncoat but he proved it tonight. Lieberman is an independent and should turn in his democratic creds. Loser!! And will there be an original thought in the whole convention this week? If I hear "executive experience, tough, commander of her national guard, stronger resume than obama (that makes me throw up in my mouth), she cannot begin to touch Obama in education or experience,Obama has more executive experience in running his campaign than Palin does in being a mayor and governor. Everyone gets on the mike and says the same things about Palin and McCain. Their plan is to steal the election not to earn the majority. Their mission is to divide the country and sqeak out a majority. It's been done twice before.

Posted by: janinej1 | September 2, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

What a noob.

Posted by: ClariTee | September 2, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Joe Liberman is a fizzle. He's the spare tire that is flat, you carry around because everyone is supposed to have a spare tire.

Posted by: Uoughtano | September 2, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

McCain and Lieberman put country first. Unfortunately that country is Israel.

Posted by: James | September 2, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Now we know their strategy, pretend they are not republicans.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Holy Joe LIEbertoad! - Sarah Palin thinks you're going to Hell ... unless you come to her Republican Jesus.

As a Jew that kind of thinking bothers me. To say the least.

It's a disgrace that it apparently doesn't bother you, you little arse wipe

Posted by: Bush + Cheney = McCain | September 2, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I have been struggling in my decision to vote for Obama or McCain. Tonight Liererman made my decision for me. I could not bring myself to vote for anyone that would allow a turncoat to represent him.

Posted by: Mountaineer | September 2, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm listening to Lieberman live right now. Who is this guy? Really. I'm just shaking my head watching this weasel praise everything about John McCain and SARAH freakin' PALIN. Everything that he has believed in his entire career is directly opposed to these two, with the exception of the Iraq war. He's become a one-issue joke.

What are Lieberman's constituents thinking? He should have had the grace to simply stay out of the election.


Posted by: jyhume | September 2, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joe,

You're just bitter because you lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut.

Best Regards

just kidding, I hate you.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Will voters watch the Republicans with the same attention they gave Obama? Does Lieberman inspire anyone besides Republicans? And does the POW overload backfire for McCain? Questions...

Posted by: matt | September 2, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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