Monday, August 14, 2006

Lieberman should drop out of election race: Dean

Lieberman should drop out of election race: Dean

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman should bow out of the November's congressional race altogether after his defeat in Connecticut's Democratic primary, a top Democrat said on Sunday.

Lieberman, a three-term senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, lost to political newcomer Ned Lamont in Connecticut on Tuesday and said he plans to run as an independent in the November election.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Lieberman should support his party -- and Lamont -- rather than running against him to defeat the Republicans.

"I know how hard this is for Joe, and he is a good person, but the truth is I lost one of these races and I got behind my party's nominee and I think that is what you have to do if you want to help this country," Dean, former governor of Vermont, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"The way to help this country is to limit Republican power."

Democrats see Lieberman's loss as a referendum on President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, while Republicans says it shows that Democrats are soft on national security issues.

Lamont defeated Lieberman by 52 percent to 48 percent in the August 8 primary but polls taken around that time showed Lieberman ahead in a three-way race with Lamont and the Republican candidate, former state legislator Alan Schlesinger, who is not seen as a strong threat.