McCain Wanted Lieberman for VP: Adviser

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:26 AM EDT
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Sen. McCain intended to choose Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as his runningmate, an adviser says.

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When Sen. John McCain was running for president, he did plan to name Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate, but then word leaked out, a McCain campaign adviser said during a Sunday news program.

Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief campaign adviser, appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” for a segment about a new book about the 2008 presidential race, "Game Change," by John Heilemann of New York magazine and Mark Halperin of Time.

Once word got that McCain was leaning topward the Democrat turned Independent who sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2000, it sparked a political blowback, Schmidt said. That is when former Alaska governor Sarah Palin entered the race and became a household name.

Lieberman has since realigned himself with Democrats and continues to caucus with them, but he prompted Democrats to make changes to the national healthcare bill, like dropping the public option.

Lieberman and McCain were recently together for a week, traveling in the Middle East, and Lieberman said he wanted administration officials “held accountable” for mistakes in the attempted airplane bombing over Christmas, CNN reports.

“I think some people have to be held accountable for the mistakes – for the human errors – that the president acknowledged that were made that enabled that Nigerian terrorist to get on that plane to Detroit and we’ve got to change some things in the system,” Lieberman told CNN.

But there was an issue on which Lieberman and McCain disagreed during the interview.

Lieberman told CNN that he does not agree with McCain on “attack ads” released on Thursday that takes on the Obama administration’s record deficit spending, CNN reports.

“You know, every now and then, John McCain and I disagree,” Lieberman told CNN. “I think that the president understands the importance of bringing our government back into balance. Look, he came in at a most difficult economic time, inheriting a national debt that had doubled in the preceding eight years.” 
 

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