Lieberman Recounts How Bush Offered to Help Him Win Senate Race Amid Iraq War Support

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman describes in his upcoming book how he was able to win reelection in the 2006 Connecticut Senate race as an independent candidate, and that someone from then-President George W. Bush's administration helped him secure that victory, the Associated Press reported.

Lieberman initially ran for reelection as a Democrat but lost in the primary to now-Governor Ned Lamont, the more left-leaning of the two candidates who, unlike Lieberman, opposed the Iraq War. The night of his failed primary bid, Lieberman received a call from Karl Rove, who was serving as the top strategist for Bush at the time, according to the AP.

In his book The Centrist Solution, which will be released Tuesday, Lieberman wrote that Rove used the call to offer his aid in the Connecticut Senate race, the Hartford Courant reported.

He quoted the Bush-era strategist as saying "the 'Boss' asked me to call you...he knows that the political problems you are having are because you have stayed strong on the war in Iraq. So, he wanted me to tell you that if you lose today and run in November, we will help you in any way we can."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Former Senator Recounts Bush Strategists's Aid Offer
Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman describes in his upcoming book how he was able to win reelection in the 2006 Connecticut Senate race as an independent, and that someone from then-President George W. Bush’s administration helped him secure that victory. Lieberman gives a "thumbs-up" as he leaves the West Wing of the White House in Washington May 17, 2017. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Lieberman, 79, also wrote about help from former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, another prominent Republican and a family friend.

Dole, as chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, "proudly" told Lieberman that the group steered support away from the GOP candidate in the race. And after the surprise call from Rove, Lieberman said he began receiving campaign contributions from big Republican donors.

Lamont, a wealthy businessman, was ultimately defeated alongside Republican Alan Schlesinger in the three-way general election contest.

Asked about the book, Lamont said Monday that his Senate campaign "knew there were a lot of conversations going on between the White House and Senator Lieberman's campaign" in 2006.

"I think both sides saw that Senate race, going back 15 years ago, as a referendum on the war in Iraq," Lamont said. "And it's now 15 years later, people are making up their mind whether invading Iraq and those trillions of dollars and thousands and thousands of dead was an investment worth making, was it a war worth fighting."

Lieberman told the Courant in an interview that the call from Rove ultimately helped him on Election Day.

"I got a stunning vote among Republicans in Connecticut in the exit poll. I got a solid majority of independents and about a third of Democrats. I'm grateful," said Lieberman, who did not seek reelection in 2012.

Karl Rove Speaks at Conference
In his book “The Centrist Solution,” former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman wrote that Karl Rove, then-President George W. Bush's top aid strategist, offered him his aid in the 2006 Senate race. Rove participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. Michael Kovac/Getty Images