Lieberman Pushes Third Party for President

He won't take the job, clearing the way for Ron Paul to run on a third party ticket.

By + More

Independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is promoting calls for a third party, but today ruled out running for president at the head of that ticket, leaving the door for Rep. Ron Paul to run.

Lieberman, who ran as a third party candidate and won in 2006 after being defeated in a politically-charged primary, said he is watching a third party group called Americans Elect that is attempting to get on the ballots of all 50 states and plans a nominating convention, though nobody so far is running as their presidential candidate.

"I'm kind of intrigued by this Americans Elect group. If they really get on the ballot in all 50 states," said Lieberman, who is retiring next year. "It may provide an interesting third party alternative."

[Ron Paul being taken seriously.]

Better yet, he said, since the group offering a political platform and electing delegates, but not being led by a candidate so far, anybody could come in and take over and use it to launch a third party presidential challenge next year.

"It's a platform can be taken over by any group," he said.

However, when pressed if he want's the nomination, Lieberman shrugged. "No. My days in elective politics are happily over. It was a great run."

However, a well organized outsider like Ron Paul could benefit. Paul has ruled out a third party run for now, or at least until he sees how he does in the early 2012 primaries and caucuses.

"My main goal is to look to January 3rd and January 10th, and we're doing well," Paul said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "It is premature for me to be talking about what I'm going to do after January 10th until we find out exactly how this plays out."

But on the Americans Elect site, Paul appears very popular would likely be a natural for their pick. Meanwhile, a Washington Whispers poll put Hillary Clinton as the overwhelming choice to head a third party.

Lieberman noted how hard it is for a third party to compete against the Democrats and Republicans.

"Third parties haven't had much success in American politics," he said. "Arguably the last successful third party national candidate was Abraham Lincoln."

  • Check out the most recent political cartoons.
  • Read Gingrich continues to lead field in Iowa.
  • See photos of the 2012 GOP candidates.