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Q  Is the White House going to offer Senator Lieberman any help as he runs as an independent?  And in addition, what makes you think that the anti-war sentiment that Lamont won on won’t work against Republicans, as well?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, I doubt that we have any intention or aspirations of getting involved in Joe Lieberman’s campaign.

Q  Well, just other than –

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I think we can look at it on a personal basis and say I think he’s a good man.  And if he were to leave the Senate, that would be a loss to the Democrats.  But we’re not embracing Joe Lieberman’s candidacy.

Q  The second part was, what makes you think the anti-war sentiment that Lamont tapped into won’t work against Republican candidates this election?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, you’ve got to remember that was in a democratic primary.  But I think Connecticut — Connecticut is Connecticut. It’s got a long history there.  They have not elected a conservative senator for quite some time.

Q  So how certain are you that Republicans will maintain control of both houses for this election?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, I feel significantly better about it today than I did, say, three months ago.  I’ve done about 80 campaigns now.  I think we’ve got a lot of good candidates out there.  We’re making a major effort.  I’ve done more this cycle than I have in previous cycles with respect to these off-year elections.  The President is actively and aggressively involved.  I think it will be a hard fought election contest.  Clearly, the off-year election in the second term of a presidency always is. But as I say, I’m more optimistic now than I was a few months ago that we’ll have a good November 7th.  I think it will be a hard fought contest, but I do expect we’ll retain control of both houses.

 

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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