Huffpost Politics

Cheerful Lieberman: I Wasn't Punished At All

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Joe Lieberman sat down with Katie Couric of CBS to talk about the Senate Democratic caucus vote in his favor. Asked to respond to critics who are angry at how little punishment Lieberman received for campaigning against Barack Obama in the election, the Connecticut Independent pointed to Barack Obama's appeal against retribution. He added that he thought the Democratic message on the subject was, "it's time for us to reconcile, to close ranks." He added he was "very grateful" and "in some senses feeling closer to the Senate Democratic caucus than i have since the 2000 election." Watch:


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Politico also caught up with Lieberman today, who was pretty cheerful:

As critics complain that he got off with a "slap on the wrist," Joe Lieberman said Wednesday that he doesn't regard his loss of a spot on the Environment and Public Works Committee as punishment for backing John McCain over Barack Obama in the presidential race.

"I don't view it as a sanction," a relaxed and genial Lieberman told Politico as he walked through the Capitol Wednesday.

Instead, Lieberman suggested he relinquished his seat on the committee voluntarily -- "in the spirit of cooperation" -- after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked him to help free up room for the committee for incoming senators.

Lieberman was also asked by Couric about his response to a question posed to him during the campaign, "Is Barack Obama a Marxist?" At the time he said "it's a good question to ask." Watch him try to explain his answer.

WATCH: