From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Liberals have one more reason to love to hate Joe Lieberman.
Politico's reporting that the independent Connecticut senator who caucuses with the Democrats -- and backed the Iraq war and staunchly supported John McCain's presidential bid -- said he would vote with a potential Republican filibuster of Majority Leader Harry Reid's bill because it includes a public option.
Here are the quotes:
"We're trying to do too much at once. To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don't think we need it now."
He'd vote against a plan with a public option "even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line. ... I've told Sen. Reid that if the bill stays as it is now I will vote against cloture."
Which Democrat handed him a gavel again?
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports that Senior aides to Lieberman just confirmed to us again that "Senator Lieberman is strongly inclined to vote with Reid on cloture but would likely oppose a bill with a public option."
That means Lieberman plans to join Democrats on the first vote to get the bill to the debate stage on the Senate floor. Then if a public option remains, Lieberman would likely go against the Democrats and vote no.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Talking Points Memo on what Lieberman might do...
Lieberman is saying that he's pretty much OK with letting senators offer amendments--try to change the legislation, move it in any direction they deem necessary. But when that process is all over, and Harry Reid wants to hold an up or down vote on the final product, Lieberman's saying he'll join that filibuster, if he's not happy with the finished product. Point blank.