Former Senator Joe Lieberman said that during the first 40 days of the Trump presidency, people “seem to be more divided than ever.”
Lieberman, a former Democrat who is now an independent and co-leads No Labels, a bipartisan organization dedicated to promoting compromise in politics in order to reach common goals, also warned Democrats against across-the-board opposition to President Donald Trump.
"That is not a good strategy to follow,” Lieberman said. “I hope the Democrats will get over that soon. It takes two to tango.”
Lieberman, who served as a Democratic senator from Connecticut and as a vice presidential candidate alongside Al Gore, said on this week’s episode of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast that “reflexive resistance” from the party is “thoughtless.”
He also said that Trump should also reach out directly to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to help reach compromises on issues like health care, tax reform and immigration.
But he thought Trump’s address before the joint session of congress on Tuesday night was “very hopeful,” and points to a possibility that the new president will help help bring the two sides together on important issues.
“I hope it is the inauguration of a different kind of approach,” Lieberman said. “Will it last, will the president stick with it ... only time will tell, but there is a little hope there last night.”
Lieberman said if congress fails to work across party lines, they’ll be ignoring a large group of moderate liberals and conservatives who are also “mad as hell.”
Among them are more than 800 people who came to Washington, D.C. Wednesday with No Labels to meet with their members of congress to express their concerns about partisan gridlock.
“It’s this group in the middle that really wants the government to start working again,” Lieberman said.
Although he doesn’t know whether or not they are true, Lieberman also commented on rumors that his No Labels co-leader, Republican Jon Huntsman, may be picked to serve as Trump’s ambassador to Russia.
“There’s a lot of rational reasons why one would not do this,” Lieberman said. “If he says he will, it’s because he really feels a call to service.”