JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: LAMONT TALKS. On September 6, we had our seventh Prospect breakfast event -- the guest this time was Ned Lamont. The audio of the hour-long discussion between Lamont and an array of journalists is here, and now we've posted the full transcript of the event. (Both are also available on our multimedia page.)
Lamont fielded questions on subjects ranging from horse-race politics to health care to foreign policy. His answers were at times surprisingly candid.
On the Dems and Iraq:
It�s easier for me as a candidate to be clear than it is for Senator Harry Reid, who�s got 47 cats he�s got to herd. So that�s why we end up with �2006 will be a year of transition,� whatever the hell that means. I have tried to be clear, tried to be respectful, but clear. That a change of course is going to mean tough love with the Maliki government and setting some guidelines and supporting a way that we comprehensively get our troops out of harm�s way and have the Iraqis step up.
On a "liberated" Joe:
I think Joe Lieberman is terribly damaging to Democrats, Democratic candidates across the country. He challenges our patriotism. He challenges our national security position, and he accuses us of being partisan and un-American in some ways. And I think that plays right into a Republican frame. I think they�re pretty happy having Senator Lieberman carry that water. So what happens if he gets elected to the Senate and 80 percent of the votes he got end up being Republican, how�s he going to vote on the next Supreme Court nominee? I don�t know. But I�d worry�.I think it�s a vote Republicans will be more likely to count on next time around. He had a hard time voting with the Democrats back when he had 80 percent Democrat support�Now he�s going to be liberated from any obligation to or thoughts about a Democratic constituency.
He claims it�s bipartisanship that he represents, that there�s too much partisanship in Washington. You know, I find that�s one of the most abused words � partisanship, bipartisanship. To them, bipartisanship means you agree with me and you�re a good American, and if you disagree with me you�re a partisan hack. I think it�s a word we�ve got to be careful with. I�m a guy in business; we sit across the table, we negotiate, we make things happen, we move things forward�but we also have our principles.
On Nazi comparisons and appeasement talk:
I think Republicans have over-learned the lessons of World War II. They think any time you talk to an adversary you�re Neville Chamberlain. And that�s nonsense and it�s wrong. You can make a case that maybe liberals have over-learned the lessons of Vietnam a little bit, and that sometimes we don�t realize that there�s a place for the military and a place for force in the lexicon, but my God, they�re so wrong. The prism through which they see the war in Iraq reflects that. Everything is not a Nazi monolith. We�ve got a crescent going from the Mediterranean to the Himalayas, and to say that Hezbollah and the Shias and the Sunnis and the Iranians, Chechnya to Kashmir, is all some sort of terrorist monolith and we�re going to fight this war on a uniform basis is wrong-headed and understands nothing about history. And I think we ought to be clearer about that.
On detainees and torture:
I just think it�s unconscionable that this country compromises its values like it does, be it on the military tribunals, be it on Guantanamo, be it on playing fast and loose with the Geneva Conventions. Joe Lieberman was one of the few Democrats who supported Gonzales, who said the Geneva Conventions were quaint. That�s not America. I think it�s important for Democrats to stand up and say that�s not America, that�s not our tradition, it weakens us when you compromise us that way.
There's much more -- check out the full transcript.
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