Lieberman: Criticism of McCain comment ‘outrageous’

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) leaped to the defense of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Biden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR 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 ThuneTrump, lawmakers consider app that would conduct background checks: report 'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same 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 KerryLet's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy The Memo: Democrats struggle to find the strongest swing-state candidate 2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster 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.