Ignoring Clintons' pre-primary pledge to support Democratic candidate, Blitzer remarked that "now both oppose" Lieberman's independent candidacy

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On the August 25 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, after host Wolf Blitzer noted that former President Bill Clinton campaigned for incumbent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who lost to challenger Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary, he asked: "So, why is [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton [D-NY] meeting with Ned Lamont today?" Blitzer reported that the Clintons both "supported Lieberman over Lamont in the primary ... [b]ut now both oppose Lieberman's decision to run as an independent this fall, and they are now backing Lamont." In fact, both Bill and Hillary Clinton declared their intentions to support the winner of the Democratic primary, regardless of who that turned out to be, well before Lamont defeated Lieberman.

In a press release highlighted by the Associated Press on July 5, Sen. Clinton said: "I've known Joe Lieberman for more than 30 years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for reelection, and hope that he is our party's nominee. ... But I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary." As Media Matters for America noted, on July 21, the New York Daily News quoted Bill Clinton's spokesman as saying that the former president "respects the primary process and will support the candidate that wins the Democratic primary." The primary occurred on August 8.

From the August 25 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

BLITZER: -- and her husband campaigned for Joe Lieberman. So, why is Senator Hillary Clinton meeting with Ned Lamont today? The answer in today's "Political Radar."


BLITZER: Let's get a quick check of our "Political Radar" this Friday.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is offering additional support for Democrat Ned Lamont's campaign to defeat Senator Joe Lieberman. Senator Clinton met with Lamont at her home in Chappaqua, New York. It was their first face-to-face since Lamont defeated Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary.

No reporters, no TV cameras were allowed in the meeting, but a Clinton spokeswoman tells CNN that -- spokesman, that is, tells CNN that the senator offered to host a fundraiser for Lamont down the road.

A Lieberman spokesman dismisses that as old partisan politics. Senator Clinton and her husband supported Lieberman over Lamont in the primary and former President Clinton even campaigned for Lieberman. But now, both oppose Lieberman's decision to run as an independent this fall and they're now backing Lamont.

We'll see how strongly they actually do back Lamont.

Posted In
Wolf Blitzer
The Situation Room
2006 Elections
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