Lieberman: George Soros' Views 'Anti-American'
Monday, July 2,
Taking aim at billionaire George Soros, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman
calls Soros' views on America "so negative, so critical, and so often
In an exclusive interview with NewsMax Magazine (in the July edition
now on newsstands), Lieberman described Soros, a major source of funding for
Democratic causes, as representing "everything that's wrong."
Lieberman and his interview were featured as part of the cover story of
NewsMax's Magazine's "Power 25: Joe Lieberman and the People Who Really Run
Congress" — which reveals the 25 most effective members of the House and Senate.
Defender of the United States
In his talk with NewsMax, Lieberman explains why he feels so strongly
about Iran's weapons program and offers a surprising assessment about Sen.
Hillary Clinton. But Lieberman's most pointed critique was aimed squarely at
Lieberman says of Soros, "His view of America is so negative. The
places he's put his money are, in my opinion, so destructive that it unsettles
Soros, who gave $18 million to Democratic advocacy groups seeking to
defeat President Bush in 2004, has said he supports Barack Obama for 2008.
That troubles Lieberman, who says he doesn't respect Soros' values.
"Barack Obama's ideas are a lot better than George Soros' ideas," Lieberman
told NewsMax Editor in Chief Christopher Ruddy and Chief Washington
Correspondent Ronald Kessler in his office in the Hart Senate Office Building.
"This is the danger — somebody who has real potential like Obama gets
co-opted by people whose hostile view of America and how to protect it and
advance it is so different from mine and the views of most Americans," Lieberman
Despite his veneer as a folksy guy next door, the Connecticut senator is
one of the toughest and most savvy players in Washington.
Case in point: Despite being a lifelong Democrat, Lieberman, who was
re-elected as an independent in the November 2006 election, has made it clear
that he would not rule out switching to the Republican side if the Democrats
don't show some modicum of interest in going on the offense in fighting the
global war on terror.
If he were to switch, Lieberman would give the Republicans a majority,
since Dick Cheney, in his role as president of the Senate, could vote to break a
A Force to Be Reckoned With
As a result, Lieberman has to be listened to — and to a degree heeded —
by both sides.
"Lieberman is more influential as an independent for sure," Brad
Blakeman, a Republican strategist and former Bush White House aide, tells me.
"Both parties need him one way or another. Dems need him socially and
[Republicans] need him on the war on terror. He is a power to be courted and
Democrats have other fears. Lieberman is considered one of the nation's
most independent and honest lawmakers. His endorsement in the 2008 presidential
election could help in key states — including Florida and Ohio. Both parties
will want him on their side.
After nearly two decades in the Senate, Lieberman has demonstrated a knack
for winning without compromising his principles, which call first for protecting
America. On that score, Lieberman worries that the Democrats will lose long-term
if they are not perceived to be strong on the war on terror.
"I say to the Democrats, be careful here if you are aspiring to national
leadership," Lieberman tells NewsMax. "Even if the public's not happy with the
record of President Bush and is turning against Republicans, in the end a big
factor in their decision about who to elect for president will be: Will this
person protect me against the terrorists?"
Recently, NewsMax reported that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III warned
that al-Qaida wants to detonate nuclear devices in the U.S. Lieberman indicated
he shared Mueller's concerns.
"I share that anxiety about the capacity of terrorists to bring a nuclear
weapon into one of our great cities or to unleash a potentially catastrophic
biological attack, which is easier," Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says. "Department of Homeland
Security, intelligence agencies, and law enforcers are working 24/7 to prevent
such an attack from happening."
Discussing his present position as an independent, Lieberman says, "I'm
pleased to say that I have developed good personal relations with a lot of my
colleagues on both sides over the years. The personal friendships go on here,
But there's no question that what happened last year in the primary and
my election as an independent created a very awkward situation for not only me
but a lot of my Democratic colleagues. And the awkwardness continues because of
my very different position on Iraq and the war on terrorism."
Lieberman says Republican senators constantly tease him about offers they'd
make to bring him over to their causes.
"Trent Lott [the Senate minority leader] calls me Lazarus and says we could
form a Lazarus caucus," Lieberman says. "He says they thought we were both dead,
but we're back."
Powerful or not, what stands out about Lieberman is his decency. Unlike
most politicians, he refuses to engage in partisan bickering to gain political
advantage. His courtesy and thoughtfulness, his self-mocking sense of humor, and
his adherence to his Jewish faith have given him a glowing image that has helped
him throughout his career.
As Lieberman sees it, he still has a lot of common interest with Democrats
on issues like the environment.
"But the big issue of differentiation is on security," he says. "I want to
stress that I don't have any desire or intention to leave the Democratic caucus
and go to the Republican caucus. On the other hand, it's not impossible. And if
it would happen, it would be around questions related to Iraq and the war on
Because the U.S. has not been attacked in almost six years, "I worry that
many Americans are in denial about the threat from terrorism," Lieberman says.
"To me, this is the central challenge of our age."
Issues That Transcend Party Lines
On the national security front, Lieberman believes Iran is our most
pressing danger, as she could have nuclear capability in two years. He says the
U.S. should be prepared to strike that country militarily if it does not comply
with international demands.
"We have to preserve that option; and if all our economic and political
efforts fail, we must be ready to do it not just in words but to really mean
it," Lieberman says. "Because it seems to me that if Iran, under this fanatical
anti-American regime, gets nuclear weapons, it's a real and present danger to
us, our values, and our interests around the world."
Lieberman says he will support a presidential candidate who, regardless of
party, understands the threat of Islamist terrorism and will be the strong
leader America needs against this enemy.
"I could support a Republican or an independent or a Democrat," Lieberman