Bill Clinton slams Joe Lieberman

Published: Tuesday August 15, 2006

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Former President Bill Clinton spoke publicly for the first time on Senator Joe Lieberman's (D-CT) loss to Ned Lamont in last week's primary, ABC News has reported.

Clinton said that, contrary to Lieberman's claims, the lawmaker's position on the Iraq war was one not shared by many of his fellow Democrats. The former president described Lieberman's stand on the war as, "I want to attack Iraq whether or not they have weapons of mass destruction."

"His position is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld position," Clinton continued, "which was, 'Does it matter if they have weapons? None of this matters. ... This is a big, important priority, and 9/11 gives us the way of attacking and deposing Saddam.'"

"Well," he told reporters, "if I were Joe and I was running as an independent, that's what I'd say, too... But that's not quite right. That is, there were almost no Democrats who agreed with his position."

Clinton indicated that most Democrats who voted to give President Bush authority to use force did so to persuade Saddam to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors, and were not advocating an invasion.

Clinton also maintained that, despite statements by Lieberman and Vice President Dick Cheney to the contrary, a vote for Ned Lamont was not made at the sacrifice of national security.