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Exchange With Reporters in Martha's Vineyard

August 07, 2000

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Q. What do you make of Gore's selection of Senator Lieberman?

The President. Well, first of all, this is a very important choice, and the Vice President is going to make his announcement tomorrow, so I don't want to comment on that. But I'll be glad to tell you what I think of Senator Lieberman. He's been a friend of mine for 30 years. I supported him when I was a law student at Yale, and he was running for the State Senate—he wasn't even 30 years old then—and I think he's one of the most outstanding people in public life.

I've worked with him for 15 years or more through the Democratic Leadership Council. He's a bold thinker. He's always full of new ideas, and he's supported the changes that we've made over the last 8 years that have turned America around and moved America forward. I think he's just an extraordinary guy. I like him. I know his family. I like his family members, whom I know. I just think he's an amazing person.

And we've talked a lot over the years about the Middle East peace process and every conceivable domestic issue. He's an extraordinary, extraordinary human being, as well as a longtime friend of mine. So I think he's terrific.

I think that the important thing now is—I know you'll will have a lot of questions you want to ask me and everybody else, but I'd rather not say anything else today. Let's let the Vice President make his announcement tomorrow, and then I'll be glad to answer any other questions you have.

But I think right now, you just need to know that I think he's wonderful, and he's been a wonderful friend to me, and he's been great for America these last 8 years with what he's done in the Senate. And he's been great for our party with what he's done through the Democratic Leadership Council. So I'm very happy about Joe Lieberman. But I think we ought to let the announcement be made by the Vice President. You guys ask the questions later. I'll be ready to answer all the questions.

NOTE: The exchange began at noon at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at West Chop Lighthouse. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in Martha's Vineyard Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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