By MANU RAJU, Politico
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday heâ€™s open to supporting Republican Linda McMahon over Democrat Richard Blumenthal in his stateâ€™s Senate race, a move that would land him in hot water with Democrats back home and in Washington.
â€œI said Iâ€™m open,â€ Lieberman told POLITICO. â€œIs it theoretically possible? Yes. I probably know Blumenthal better, but I know Linda McMahon â€” she was on the state board of higher education, and I met with her a couple of times in that capacity. This is the great privilege that voters of Connecticut gave me in 2006 as an independent. Wait and see.â€
Asked whether heâ€™s concerned about a backlash from the Democratic Party if he supports McMahon, he said: â€œIâ€™m just saying Iâ€™m not eliminating it as a possibility.â€ Lieberman said he was undecided on which partyâ€™s candidate to support in the Connecticut gubernatorial race as well.
A Lieberman aide said the senator was simply repeating what he had said previously â€” that heâ€™s undecided whether to get into the race and, for the moment, is not endorsing anyone.
But if and when Lieberman does decide whom to back in the Connecticut Senate race, itâ€™ll be a window into whether he believes heâ€™s better off ingratiating himself with right-leaning voters in his state or shoring up his support in the Democratic Party ahead of 2012, when heâ€™s up for reelection.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) downplayed Liebermanâ€™s endorsement talk, noting that Lieberman has been saying he may endorse McMahon â€œfor months.â€
â€œHeâ€™s an independent â€” what do you expect him to say?â€ Reid told reporters.
Asked if heâ€™d be upset if Lieberman endorsed McMahon, Reid said: â€œI doubt he will do that, but itâ€™s up to him.â€
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