Lieberman, Lamont trade barbs on Foley

The Mark Foley scandal became Senate campaign fodder in Connecticut this week, with Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Independent campaign charging Democratic challenger Ned Lamont with twisting his position on how House leadership dealt with the former Florida congressman’s improper dalliances with young pages.

Lamont immediately called for the resignation of Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), while Lieberman stopped short of that suggestion and backed an investigation into Hastert and other lawmakers’ prior knowledge of the Foley affair. The Lamont campaign responded by tying Lieberman’s stance to his support for the Iraq war, rapping the incumbent’s “warped vision of bipartisanship.”

“Simply because Joe Lieberman – like [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and [Sen. Ted] Kennedy [D-Mass.] – called for aggressive investigations of who in the congressional leadership knew of Foley’s actions before demanding resignations, Ned Lamont falsely attacked Lieberman for defending Republicans,” Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun said. “This is a vain and desperate attempt to score political points on an issue that should not be political at all.”

Lamont communications director Liz Dupont-Diehl said Lieberman’s Foley rhetoric underscores his Beltway insider perspective. “It shows how he’s entrenched in the mindset of a politician and his inability to see clearly from the evidence that there is a need for change,” she said.