Joe Lieberman claims that he 'wish[es] people would come out and debate me on the public option instead of questioning my motives' when asked about th
November 2, 2009

Joe Lieberman claims that he 'wish[es] people would come out and debate me on the public option instead of questioning my motives' when asked about the money he's receiving from the insurance industry. That's news to Rachel Maddow Joe. If you're looking for someone to debate you about your motives, I hear she's still looking for a response from your office.

SCHIEFFER: I’m going to ask you this question because I want to give you a chance to respond to it. Some of your critics say that the reason that you are so dead set against the public option is because there are so many insurance companies headquartered in your home state in Connecticut and they’ve been some of your biggest supporters. What have they given you this year, $400,000? Something like that? Has that had anything to do with your position on the public option?

LIEBERMAN: No. I wish people would come out and debate me on the public option instead of questioning my motives. If they look at the record, I have never hesitated to get tough on insurance companies when I thought they were wrong. When I was attorney general of Connecticut, I filed an antitrust action against the Connecticut insurance companies.

A few years ago when there was a patient bill of rights in the Senate which the insurance companies opposed, I supported it. Right now, I’ve said that I will support the removal of the antitrust exemption that insurance companies have. That’s not the reason.

But I will say this. This recommendation of a public option, a government health insurance company, takes our government down a road that we’ve never gone down before.

In other words, we believe in a market economy. It’s what’s created the great American middle class. But it doesn’t have a conscience. When it behaves badly, we regulate it, companies. We sue them. I’ve been angry at oil companies. I never had the idea that the government should go into the oil business to make oil companies behave better. I think this would be a terrible mistake.

Rachel Maddow said this at the end of her interview with Glenn Greenwald the other day:

MADDOW: I also want to tell our viewers that we invited Senator Lieberman to come on the show tonight. His office did not even bother to respond to our requests.

But, Senator Lieberman, you should know you have an open invitation as you long have had to come on the show. I promise you will get a fair shake. Actually, at this point, I promise to not only buy you a shake. I will buy you a cookie if you come on the show.

We won't be seeing that happen any time soon. Lieberman won't get the kind of softball interview he received from Bob Schieffer if he comes on Maddow's show.

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