Lieberman: Criticism of McCain comment ‘outrageous’

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) leaped to the defense of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe electoral reality that the media ignores Kelly's lead widens to 10 points in Arizona Senate race: poll COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks MORE (Ariz.) Wednesday after Democrats pounced on McCain for saying it is “not too important” how long U.S. troops are in Iraq.

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On a conference call with reporters arranged by the McCain campaign, Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, called the Democratic response to McCain’s remarks “another partisan attempt to distort John McCain’s words.”

“To put it mildly, I’m disappointed by these reflexive attacks on what Sen. McCain said on the 'Today Show' this morning,” Lieberman said. He added: “I regret these comments made today, and I hope we can get back to the facts.”

Lieberman was joined by Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks Senate GOP eyes early exit MORE (R-S.D.) on the call, and both men accused Democrats of blowing the comment out of proportion to distract from Obama’s anti-war stance “because they don’t want to talk about the success of the surge,” Thune said.

The McCain camp responded after Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Warning signs flash for Trump on debates Divided country, divided church TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month MORE (D-Mass.) said on a conference call arranged by the Obama campaign that McCain’s comments show that he is “confused” and out of touch.

Lieberman said he finds it “most outrageous” to suggest McCain is out of touch.