Lieberman Appeals to Independents

Sen. Joe Lieberman (search) said Friday he doesn't take "different positions before different audiences at different times," as he sought support among independent voters as well as Democrats in next week's New Hampshire primary (search).

"I'm all about experience. I'm all about integrity in the sense of trusting people enough to level with them," said the party's 2000 vice presidential candidate, struggling for traction in this year's race.

"... You can't be pushed around by interest groups or ideologues or even your own party sometimes," added the Connecticut senator.

LieberI've only taken one position on tax cuts. I've only taken one position on civil rights or a woman's right to choose."

In an appearance at an insurance company cafeteria, Lieberman, who is Jewish, fielded a question about the impact religion would have on his ability to reduce tensions in the Middle East.

"I've traveled a lot in the Arab world," he said. "I know a lot of leaders there. They always treat me with a lot of respect because I'm an American senator and I'm trying to move that conflict toward reconciliation and peace," he said.

Earlier, in an appearance in Manchester, N.H., Lieberman said Bush overemphasized the need to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction in the months leading up to the invasion.

"I think the president put too much emphasis on weapons of mass destruction because the case against Saddam was enough," the Connecticut senator said. "Saddam was a weapon of mass destruction."

To date, no weapons have been found.

Lieberman supported the war, and unlike campaign rivals John Edwards (search) and John Kerry (search), also voted for the president's request for $87 billion in postwar funding for Iraq and Afghanistan.