JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Gore Likely to Select Connecticut Senator as Running Mate
Vice President Al Gore will choose the "moderate" and "self-styled moral crusader" Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) as his running mate, the Associated Press reports. Gore had also considered Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), John Edwards (N.C.), John Kerry (Mass.), House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. The Associated Press reports that Gore's choice "signals an effort ... to win over independent and Republican voters." Lieberman has been branded by critics as a "liberal who votes for abortion rights," but his fellow Democrats have called him "conservative when it comes to issues such as defense spending and family values" (Fournier, 8/7). A Yale University graduate, Lieberman also served as majority leader of the Connecticut Senate and as the state's attorney general. He is finishing his second term in the Senate "where he has developed a reputation as a centrist, New Democrat." The formal announcement is expected tomorrow in Nashville (Connolly/Balz, Washington Post, 8/7).
Record on Reproductive Health
During his 12 years as senator, Lieberman voted 72 out of 74 times in favor of abortion rights. The following are a selection of issues he favored:
- for preserving Roe v. Wade;
- against a federal ban on abortion procedures used prior to fetal viability;
- against requiring Title X family planning clinics to notify a minor's parent or guardian 48 hours prior to the minor having an abortion;
- for repealing the Hyde amendment, which bans Medicaid coverage for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment;
- for establishing criminal and civil penalties for individuals who use violence or threat of violence against clinics under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act;
- against cuts in U.S. funding of international family planning and the global "gag" rule;
- against shifting a $75 million block grant for maternal and child health to a new abstinence-only program;
- for federal funding of fetal tissue research.
More Health Care Votes
Lieberman recently cast the following votes on these health care issues:
- in favor of the Democratic version of an amendment that would create a "procedural obstacle" for any measures that threaten the Medicare and Social Security surplus, a tactic often referred to as a Medicare and Social Security "lockbox." Lieberman voted against the Republican version of this amendment;
- against an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that would make several protections for individuals in self-insured health plans.
- for a Labor-HHS-Education amendment that would include a prescription drug benefit program through Medicare.