Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Tuesday left open the possibility of running for reelection as a Republican in 2012.
Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's Dana Bash that the move is "unlikely" but did not rule it out.
Asked if he would run as a Republican, he said "I don't know what I'll run as. I like being an Independent. So that's definitely a possibility. But I'd say all options are open."
Lieberman added "It's unlikely I'd run as a Republican but I wouldn't foreclose any possibility. I think the more likely thing is that I'd run as an Independent because that's what I am."
Lieberman, previously a lifelong Democrat, won reelection as an Independent in 2006 after being defeated by businessman Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) in the Democratic primary. Lamont during the campaign harped on Lieberman's support for the Iraq War in 2003.
Now liberals have turned their cross-hairs on Lieberman, a key centrist holdout on healthcare reform, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stripped the bill of the public option and Medicare buy-in proposal. The Connecticut Independent has strongly objected to both the provisions.
Lieberman called suggestions that he opposes the measures due to a sense of animosity toward the Democratic Party "poppycock."
"Well that's just poppycock. I mean, this is all about what I think health care reform should be," he said. "The President and I have a very good, mutually respectful relationship.If I had any sense of vendetta against the Democratic Party I wouldn't be in the Democratic caucus today. I'm an Independent Democrat."
Questions about Lieberman's reelection crept up after it was reported Reid dropped the provisions popular among liberals.
Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairwoman Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) on Tuesday suggested that the Democratic base won't show up to the polls without a public option in the bill.