Berman boasts of backing from McCain, Lieberman, Graham

Rep. Howard Berman, locked in a tough redistricting-induced reelection battle with fellow California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman, has been endorsed by a hawkish trio of U.S. senators.

Berman’s campaign announced the endorsements of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday.

The three senators work together closely in advocating for an interventionist U.S. foreign policy and lately have been pushing for a more aggressive U.S. approach to Syria and Iran. Berman, for his part, currently serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Foreign Policy magazine recently called him the “most influential House Democrat on foreign affairs” and wrote that he “has carved out a perch for himself on the hawkish wing of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment."

With no Republican candidate advancing into the general election battle for the San Fernando Valley seat, Republican voters may hold the key to determining which of the two Democrats will emerge victorious. Berman’s press release touts the endorsement of the three senators as “a major coup” and a gesture of “unprecedented support from across the aisle.” (Berman already enjoys the overwhelming support of Democratic members of California’s congressional delegation, as well as the backing from leading state and local Democrats; Sherman though finished solidly ahead of Berman in their nonpartisan primary battle, which advanced the two candidates with the most votes to the general election.)

Here’s what the three Senate compadres had to say about Berman (from his campaign’s press release):

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“Howard Berman understands how to reach across the aisle to get things done on behalf of our nation,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  “He works hard every day to advance America’s agenda and has been instrumental in passing laws to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, stop arms sales to nations that support terrorism, and keep our country safe.  We need his effectiveness and bipartisan leadership in Congress.”

"When it comes to defending America’s national security, upholding America’s values, and standing up for America’s most important allies, Howard Berman has been an invaluable and principled leader,” said Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT). “Time and again, Howard has been my partner in confronting the toughest foreign policy issues facing our country. Howard has led the fight to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons — working across the aisle to pass the toughest Iran sanctions in history. San Fernando Valley residents can also count on Howard to fight to keep our ally Israel safe. When Israel’s leadership needs a friend in Congress, that ally is Howard Berman.”

“Howard Berman is a man of determination and honor.  He works to keep America safe, and our country is stronger with him in Congress,” said Senator John McCain (R-AZ).  “Howard and I have worked on a bipartisan basis on issues ranging from human rights to missile defense.  He’s smart, tenacious, and someone who has a record of bipartisan accomplishment and effectiveness.”

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