HARTFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent who supports Democrats in Congress despite his backing of the Iraq war, said on Thursday he was not ruling out endorsing a Republican in the White House race.
The 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate said he also wants to see if an independent enters the crowded field of 2008 presidential hopefuls.
“I’m going to chose whichever candidate that I think will do the best job for our country, regardless of the party affiliation of that candidate,” the Connecticut senator told reporters in the state capital Hartford.
“I’m not going to get involved until after both parties have their presumptive nominees and, frankly, to see if there is a strong independent candidate,” he said.
Lieberman was re-elected to a fourth Senate term in November as an independent in Connecticut after his support for the Iraq war cost him the backing of the Democratic Party. He continues to caucus with Democrats in the Senate.
Many Democrats last year abandoned Lieberman in favor of his Democratic rival, Ned Lamont, a millionaire and political outsider who ran on an anti-Iraq-war platform focused on public discontent over President George W. Bush’s policies.
Lieberman, 65, described the 2008 presidential race as the most important election of his adult life.
“There’s a lot on the line both in terms of the terrorist threat that we face but also all the things here at home that seem broken: our health-care system, our education system, the environmental problems we have,” he said.