In 2006, Sen. Joe Lieberman fled the Democratic party to run as an Independent after losing the Democratic primary.
In 2012, he may abandon the independent label altogether.
The feisty Connecticut senator, who joined former Vice President Al Gore on his 2000 presidential ticket, said late Tuesday that he may run as a Republican in his 2012 Senate race.
“I like being an independent, so that’s definitely a possibility,” the Connecticut senator said. “But I’d say all options are open.”
Will he run as a Republican? “Unlikely,” he said, but wouldn’t “foreclose any possibility.”
“I’ve reached the stage in my career where I’m not measuring every step I take based on how it’s going to affect the next election,” Lieberman said. “I think if you do that, you end up compromising the quality of your service.”
Lieberman angered Democrats when he backed out of a deal which would allow seniors to buy in to Medicare at 55. As he was the crucial 60th vote Democrats need to advance the bill, Democrats were forced to concede the issue and now have removed the Medicare buy-in — and the so-called public option — from their healthcare package.
“I knew some of them were upset about positions I’d taken,” Lieberman told reporters Tuesday. “But like each of them, I didn’t get elected by telling my voters in Connecticut that I would follow the majority of my caucus even if I thought on some things they were wrong. We each have to do what we think is right.”
Connecticut employs thousands in the insurance industry — some 22,000, according to a recent media accounting.