(CNN) — Democrats accused fellow lawmaker Sen. Joe Lieberman of misleading the Republican National Convention when he addressed them in a speech Tuesday night.
A senior Barack Obama campaign adviser said Lieberman flat-out lied when he told delegates that Obama never successfully reached across party lines.
“Joe Lieberman ought to be ashamed of himself for some of the things he said tonight, not as a Democrat but as an American,” adviser Robert Gibbs said on “Larry King Live.”
Lieberman attacked Obama’s rhetoric, saying “eloquence is no substitute for a record.”
“In the Senate, [Obama] has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party,” Lieberman said in his speech.
Gibbs stressed that it was a “flat-out lie” that Obama hasn’t reached across party lines during his time in public office. Gibbs cited Obama’s work with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists and with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, on the government budget.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Reid too was unhappy with the tone of Lieberman’s speech.
“As the American people have made very clear, the last thing this country needs is another four years of the same old failed Bush-McCain policies of the past,” Manley said.
Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement that the convention speeches also showed how out of touch the McCain campaign and Republicans are with the American people, neglecting to talk about one of the country’s biggest problems: the economy.
On the defensive: Early this morning, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds announced that the campaign today “will launch a forward leaning effort to counter the shameless smears that have prevailed during Governor Palin’s introduction to the American voter.” Those activities include: […] holding a press conference by Joe Lieberman and Eric Cantor to denounce an Obama campaign accusation that Palin was a Pat Buchanan supporter, and putting female McCain aides and surrogates out for interviews “to demand better treatment for Gov. Palin’s family.” It’s been five days since McCain picked Palin and the campaign still appears to be playing catch up regarding all things Palin. So in its attempt to deal with all things Palin, the campaign is creating straw men regarding attacks on her. They want all attacks to be seen through the prism of “sexism” (see Laura Bush) or simply as “smears” […]
Last night: […] As for Lieberman, his presence in network primetime was what the campaign wanted. While us Beltway types may know Lieberman has been a McCain guy for some time, it may have been a surprise for the casual observer to see Al Gore’s running mate endorsing McCain and whacking Obama. (As NBC’s Chris Donovan reminds us, Lieberman had promised not to attack Obama. ”I would not go to speak to attack Barack Obama,” he told the New York Times in July. ”I would go to say why I’m supporting John McCain.”) The speech itself was flat in the hall. Then again, Joe’s never been a great speaker, even as he enjoys trying to be a modern day Henny Youngman.