Lieberman on Importance of Massachusetts Special Election to Democrats

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," January 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, in the meantime, did all of this Democratic frustration actually start with a guy name Joe, not supported by his party, all but given up on by his party, and everyone seemed to leave him in his party?

So Joe Lieberman left his party, ran as an independent in Connecticut and won handily, came back to Washington and essentially ruled the world.

Joe Lieberman with me now. Senator, very good to have you. Thanks for joining us.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, I-CONN.: Well, thank you, Neil. And whether that lead-in was historically accurate or not, I appreciated it.

CAVUTO: Well, I wrote it, so it must be.


CAVUTO: But, Senator, my point was and is that you saw something, sensed something, maybe personally were slighted by something that the Democratic Party, you said, had left you, to paraphrase, and that you were going to move on.

What message, if Democrats are in for a beating tonight in Massachusetts, do you think this is sending them?

LIEBERMAN: Well, it's pretty clear that, if Scott Brown doesn't win, it's certainly going to be close, and that in itself is newsworthy. And I think the message is — from the voters of Massachusetts — that people are anxious about the future and they're unhappy about what's happening in Washington. They're anxious about the economy, the continued high unemployment. They don't like all the partisanship and deal-making here in Washington. And they're really skeptical about this health care bill.

I think the...

CAVUTO: Well, they're hyping the deal-making now, Senator. You probably heard that the president met with retiring Senator Voinovich of Ohio. He might be that 60th vote to replace the possibility of a Massachusetts senator coming in who's not Democrat. What do you make of that?

LIEBERMAN: I would be shocked. You know...


CAVUTO: Shocked about what, shocked about the meeting or shocked of Voinovich turning?


LIEBERMAN: I would be shocked if George Voinovich votes for health care reform anywhere near where it is now. I think we're at a point where there are not — there's not a single Republican who really will vote for this bill as it is now or as it was moving to be in the conference committee.

So this is going to be a loud message from Massachusetts. And whether it's right or wrong, I was impressed again by one of the national polls I saw yesterday that said two things. One is, opposition to the health care reform is very large among independents, unregistered with the party voters.

And, you know, Massachusetts is thought of as a blue state and generally does vote Democratic, but almost 50 percent of the voters there are unaffiliated, so they have got the liberty to...


CAVUTO: That's a very good point. That's a very good point.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, and they're moving, obviously, now.

CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you, though, Senator, if, in November, the Senate were to turn — a huge if — and you have traditionally, now, been voting with the Democrats, would you, as the independent crazy fox that you are, switch to the Republicans, or what would you do?


LIEBERMAN: You know, you're a devil, Neil.

CAVUTO: No, I'm not. I'm asking you a legitimate question.

LIEBERMAN: Not a real devil, but just, you know, you're up to a little deviltry, as they used to say. No idea. Really, that's a big hypothetical long away from now.

You know, I was elected as an independent but I remained a registered Democrat, so I'm with the Democratic Caucus.

CAVUTO: Right.

LIEBERMAN: So I'm — I call myself an independent Democrat. I think the independents are speaking loudly around the country today and they're telling us, one, to get together here in Washington, get some things done for...

CAVUTO: And that includes terror, right? That's been a big focus; it will be a big hearing tomorrow.


CAVUTO: You say they have got to get on the stick on that, right?

LIEBERMAN: ... includes terror. Absolutely.

The second thing really is to do something about the economy and move to the center and worry about things that they're worried about.

A lot of the folks out there think we don't listen to them. One of the things they are worried about, besides the economy, is their safety. Tomorrow we're holding this hearing with Secretary Napolitano, the head of the national intelligence office and the head of the Counterterrorism Center. We're going to look at where we are in terms of homeland security today.

I think we've done...


CAVUTO: Would you fire her? Real quickly, would you fire her? Do you think she should be dumped?

LIEBERMAN: No, but I think some people, as the facts come out on what happened on the Christmas Day bombing — the president said human errors were made. If human errors were made, humans made them and some of those humans have to be held accountable or else it will happen again.

CAVUTO: All right. I must devilishly end this, Senator.


CAVUTO: Thank you very much. Always good seeing you. I was just trying to stir the pot.

LIEBERMAN: Great to see you.

CAVUTO: Senator Joe Lieberman, thank you.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, you did your job, as always, well.

CAVUTO: Thank you, sir.

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