Joe Lieberman lost credibility among South Florida Jews by backing John McCain, says the Obama campaign’s top Jewish surrogate.
“I am fond of Senator Lieberman, I actually supported Senator Lieberman when he ran for president,” U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) said Monday in a conference call on Lieberman, who left the Democrats in 2006 after he was defeated in a Connecticut party primary during his re-election campaign.
“But Senator Lieberman does not enjoy credibility with my constituents. He is supporting a candidate for president that supports the privatization of social security. And in my constituency, supporting the privatization of Social Security, tying people’s Social Security to the fluctuation of the markets, is not something that is viewed in a positive light.”
Wexler is the top Jewish spokesman for the campaign of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Florida is expected to be a battleground state in the November election, and its substantial Jewish minority may decide the winner.
Lieberman, who went on to be re-elected as an independent, is backing Senator McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, although he pledged during his re-election bid to back the Democratic candidate.
Lieberman, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, in recent weeks has stepped up his attacks on Obama’s foreign policy as “naive,” particularly regarding Iraq, where Obama favors a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.