Lieberman watch

HARTFORD — Anti-Iraq War sentiment heated up at the state Capitol Tuesday as 11 state lawmakers endorsed a planned rally against U.S. policy in Iraq.

State House Assistant Majority Leader David McCluskey, D-West Hartford, got so whipped up about U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s strong support for the war that he made a comment he quickly regretted.

“In spite of all the many good things Senator Lieberman has done, this (Iraq war) is the overriding moral issue, and if he doesn’t change his position, I cannot be with him in good conscience,” McCluskey said during a news conference to promote Sunday’s rally.

“He needs to come to Jesus on this one,” McCluskey said. A short time later, McCluskey apologized for making a comment that might offend Lieberman, a devout Orthodox Jew.

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McCluskey said he thinks there will be a lot of Democratic officials who won’t show their unhappiness with Lieberman until they go to vote. “I don’t believe every public official is going to come out and support Ned Lamont. But I believe in the voting booth they will,” McCluskey said.

State Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, who also endorsed the upcoming rally, dislikes Lieberman’s position, but hasn’t decided whom he will support in the U.S. Senate race.

“I have a lot of respect for Joe on a lot of fronts,” said Sharkey, a longtime critic of the war. “I’ve been very disappointed with his steadfast support not only for the invasion but for his support for the premise for the invasion.”

From the New Haven Register. Complete story here.