Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Lieberman Vows to Run As Independent
Joe Lieberman Vows Independent Run After Primary Loss Despite Democratic Opposition
By ROBERT TANNER AP National Writer
Aug 9, 2006 (AP)— Hours after losing his Democratic primary to an anti-war businessman, Sen. Joe Lieberman vowed to continue his run for a fourth term as an independent, saying Wednesday that he had to do it for the good of the country and no one could persuade him to drop out.
"I'll always take the calls of friends, but my mind is made up," Lieberman told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday. "I'm going forward. I'm going forward because I'm fed up with all the partisanship in Washington that stops us from getting anything done."
Asked if there was anyone who could call and get him to change his mind, Lieberman replied:
"Respectfully no. I'm committed to this campaign."
Voters in Connecticut on Tuesday rejected Lieberman for political newcomer Ned Lamont in the nation's first major test of the depth of anger over the Iraq war. Lamont won with 52 percent of the vote, or 146,061 votes, to 48 percent for Lieberman, or 136,042, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
A jubilant Lamont told supporters: "Tonight we voted for big change." The millionaire owner of a cable television company has held local political offices in Greenwich, Conn., but never at the state level. His campaign focused on Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq and his perceived closeness to President Bush.
Lieberman conceded the primary but, undaunted, said he would file papers Wednesday morning to run as an independent.
"For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," Lieberman said.
Democratic Party leaders in Connecticut and Washington aimed to change his mind. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and other officials are expected to endorse Lamont. New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg last week suggested that his colleague drop plans to run as an independent if he loses by a wide margin.
"I think he really has to take a look at what reality is," Lautenberg said.
Two other incumbents in Congress lost their re-election bids Tuesday.