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Reid And Lieberman Clash Over Letter

From the Politico:

Harry Reid. Joe Lieberman clash over letter

By: Glenn Thrush
January 14, 2010

For the second time in a week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) finds himself at the center of a political imbroglio stemming from something that he said in private that was subsequently broadcast to the outside world by unnamed sources.

Just as the furor over Reid’s racially charged remarks about President Barack Obama seemed to be fading, a new controversy was brewing over a soon-to-be published story in The New York Times Magazine that quotes Reid as telling unnamed associates that Sen. Joe Lieberman “double-crossed” him on health care reform.

Reid reportedly accused the Connecticut independent of blindsiding him last month when he went on “Face the Nation” and declared that he’d have “a hard time” backing a Reid-brokered Medicare compromise in the health care bill. But Leiberman is pushing back hard — and to make his case, he has provided POLITICO with a private letter he wrote Reid setting out his concerns before he aired them on national TV.

In a preview of a magazine profile of Reid posted Wednesday on the newspaper’s website, reporter Adam Nagourney writes that Reid was infuriated by Lieberman’s Dec. 13, 2009, appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Reid felt betrayed, Nagourney reports, because Lieberman had reportedly given him the impression he would back leadership during a closed-door meeting two days earlier.

After Lieberman’s bombshell interview, according to Nagourney, an incensed Reid fumed to unnamed associates, “He double-crossed me. … Let’s not do what he wants. Let the bill just go down.”

Eventually, Reid — who in early 2009 shielded Lieberman from attempts to strip him of a key committee chairmanship — relented and ditched the Medicare plan to salvage the bill.

The Times’s account of Reid’s behavior squares with what many Democratic aides have been saying privately for weeks: that Lieberman in private had assured Democrats he’d go along with Reid but changed his tune at the moment of his greatest political leverage.

But Lieberman adviser Marshall Wittmann said Lieberman made it “crystal clear” to Reid that the Medicare proposal was a deal killer. He says Lieberman “does not believe Sen. Reid would say the words attributed to him.”

Reid’s office had no comment. And Nagourney stands behind the story, saying, “There’s no question, and no one is disputing, that Reid felt double-crossed by what Lieberman did.”

But Wittmann says that assertion has no basis in fact, and he took the extraordinary step of providing a copy of a private letter written by Lieberman to Reid on Dec. 10, three days before the CBS appearance.

In it, Lieberman voices objections to the deal but stops short of explicitly saying he would vote against it.

“Regarding the ‘Medicare buy-in’ proposal, the more I learn about it, the less I like it,” Lieberman writes in the letter, which was marked “Personal and Confidential” and copied to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

“There are also concerns about what impact this Medicare buy-in idea would have on Medicare solvency and Medicare premiums,” he added. “I have a feeling I will not be the only member of our caucus who will not want to see this Medicare buy-in proposal adopted.”

Democratic aides familiar with the situation scoffed at the letter, seizing on the fact that Lieberman never explicitly made clear his intention to oppose the Medicare effort — and dismissing it as an attempt by Lieberman to preserve his reputation.

“He put it in writing because he needed to find a way to slink back from the previous commitment he made to the leader,” said a Democratic staffer…

Lieberman also took a swipe at House progressives who backed the expansion of Medicare to people older than 55, writing that the Reid deal would be “a big step toward a single-payer system as Congressman Anthony Wiener and others have explicitly said.”

Harry Reid is such a paranoid.

And a liar.

And a racist.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 14th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Reid And Lieberman Clash Over Letter”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Imagine that. Harry Reid upset that someone lied to him.

    Go figure.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    … and a dick.

  3. proreason says:

    where is the integrity?

    It’s just shocking.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    I think Tom was onto something ..

    “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.” –Thomas Jefferson”

    We are so screwed!!!

  5. tranquil.night says:

    Harry, now that you’ve experienced the feeling can you not empathize that over three-fifths of America believes you have betrayed them, just as seriously, just as personally – on this Health Care issue alone?

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    I would love to see a Youtube of Harry Reid with “The Monster Mash” as its sound track.

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