Ex-US Sen. Joe Lieberman: Trump's Rise Was 'Inevitable' | NBC Chicago
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Ex-US Sen. Joe Lieberman: Trump's Rise Was 'Inevitable'

"Whoever is elected president will have an even harder time trying to find common ground with the opposite party"

(Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman said as his days in Washington wound down, he could see a growing chasm between lawmakers and the people they're elected to govern.

"As the political system has failed to deliver for people and people have in our country have become more and more angry at Washington, it was just inevitable that somebody who was an outsider would come along," Lieberman said, following a news conference Friday.

Lieberman represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate for 24 years, retiring in 2013. Perhaps most notably, Lieberman's national profile rose substantially as the Democratic vice presidential nominee alongside Al Gore in 2000.

"It was only 16 years ago and to me it feels like yesterday, but in terms of American political history, it was a tough race, it was a close race," Lieberman said.

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He said the politics are very different today than they were 16 years ago. He remembers debating with Dick Cheney, who had recently stepped down as CEO of Halliburton, very well, but adds they respected one another the entire time.

"We disagreed on almost everything but I thought that it was all very civil and not personal, no personal attacks and at its best that’s what it was meant to be, but this campaign seems very far from that, unfortunately, to the detriment of the country," he said.

Lieberman said he wants Hillary Clinton to win the White House but says even if she doesn't, the next president will have a tough time because Republicans and Democrats don't often work together they way they did years ago.

"Whoever is elected president will have an even harder time trying to find common ground with the opposite party, and it can be done," the former senator said. 

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images