Joe Lieberman (search) said Thursday that he would be the strongest Democratic candidate to compete against President Bush because "they can't run the normal Republican playbook against me."

Lieberman, who was in single digits in the most recent polls taken for Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, has been criticized for supporting too many Republican initiatives, including working with the White House to write the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq.

On Thursday, the Connecticut senator said his record would vex the GOP.

"They can't say I'm weak on defense. Obviously, I'm not," Lieberman said. "They can't say I'm a tax and spender because I'm a tax cutter and a budget balancer. They can't say I'm weak on values because I'm clearly strong on values, including faith-based. And they can't say I'm a flip-flopper, which Republicans love to say about Democrats."

Lieberman said he's not thinking about polls, which show him with only 4 to 7 percentage points and trailing rivals John Kerry (search), Howard Dean (search), Wesley Clark and John Edwards.

Those candidates were to meet Thursday night for the only debate before Tuesday's primary.

"It's an important moment, but it's not a make-or-break moment," Lieberman said. "My strategy for tonight is to be myself."