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Despite VP Talk, Reid Backs Lieberman

With the controversy surrounding Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) speaking at the GOP presidential convention and his name being floated as a potential GOP running mate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) maintains that there will be no consequences for the Independent-Democrat.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal published Thursday, Reid appeared to back away from his earlier criticism of Lieberman, arguing that there is more benefit to keeping the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee in the fold than stripping him of his committee and rank within the party. Reid had previously said that he would revisit Lieberman’s status in the party next year, when he expects that the party will expand its majority in the Senate.

“All my close votes, he’s always with me, whether it’s the budget or energy issues. No matter what it is, he’s always with us. He just does not vote right on Iraq. … Why would I want to throw away a good vote?” questioned Reid in the interview.

Lieberman is said to be on the short list as a running mate for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). The Majority Leader said he hoped McCain would not pick Lieberman because the Connecticut governor, who is a Republican, would then have to appoint Lieberman’s successor if McCain succeeded in his bid to win the White House.

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