Couric Pushes Lieberman to Atone for Attacking Obama

With “Any Regrets?” as the on-screen heading, Katie Couric pressed “independent Democratic” Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to atone for campaigning with unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate John McCain and criticizing eventual winner Barack Obama. Couric's first question in the interview excerpt aired on Wednesday's CBS Evening News: “Do you feel as if you owe President-elect Obama one?” Couric next pushed Lieberman to take back an attack: “You said, on whether Senator Obama is a Marxist, you said quote: 'It's a good question to ask.' Are you sorry you said that?” Couric proceeded to relay another Democratic complaint/aspersion against Lieberman: 
What really irritated -- even enraged -- some Democrats was your speech at the Republican National Convention. Did you understand at the time how nervy that might seem to some Democrats? How inappropriate?
Couric's questions, and some of Lieberman's responses, in the “CBS Evening News exclusive” aired on the Wednesday, November 19 CBS Evening News, a session taped at Lieberman's Capitol “hideaway” office:
KATIE COURIC: Do you feel as if you owe President-elect Obama one?

[LIEBERMAN]

COURIC: I know you want to look forward Senator Lieberman, but I feel I would remiss if I didn't mention a couple things that enraged Democrats.

LIEBERMAN: Why did I know you were going to do that?

COURIC: You said, on whether Senator Obama is a Marxist, you said quote: “It's a good question to ask.” Are you sorry you said that?

LIEBERMAN: Well, that's one of those things I wish I'd said more clearly. I mean, obviously Barack Obama is not a Marxist.

COURIC: Well you said it's a good question to ask.

LIEBERMAN: Well, yeah, but then I answered it and said, "no he's not Marxist." I said at the time that he's somewhat to the left of me on some issues.

COURIC: What really irritated -- even enraged -- some Democrats was your speech at the Republican National Convention. Did you understand at the time how nervy that might seem to some Democrats? How inappropriate?

[LIEBERMAN]

COURIC: It was no secret, Senator Lieberman, that in his heart of hearts, John McCain really wanted you.

[LIEBERMAN]

COURIC: Senator Clinton is a key contender, it seems, for Secretary of State. What do you think of that?

[LIEBERMAN]

COURIC: I have covered a lot of elections in my career, and it seems to me, Senator, that every time a new President comes into office we hear the same thing. "We're going to work together. We're going to work for the American people. There's going to be a new spirit of bipartisanship." And quite frankly, it dissolves pretty quickly into bitter partisanship and the same-old-same old.
CBSNews.com's transcript of what aired on the CBS Evening News, along with, as of 8:30 PM EST, a one-minute video clip of a portion of the sit-down which did not air, video which may later be updated.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center