Times, Conn. Papers Split Endorsements

The Associated Press
Sunday, October 29, 2006; 2:38 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The New York Times on Sunday endorsed Democrat Ned Lamont for Senate while The Hartford Courant and New Haven Register backed Sen. Joe Lieberman's independent bid for a fourth term.

"Ned Lamont has run a far less polished campaign than Mr. Lieberman, but the more we see of him, the more impressed we are by his intelligence and his growing sophistication about the issues facing the nation," the Times wrote.

"He is very much in the Connecticut mold of basically moderate, principled politicians, and his willingness to take on Mr. Lieberman when no one else dared to do it showed real courage and conviction. He would make a good senator. More important, he has the capacity to continually become a better one," the endorsement said.

The Times endorsed Lamont in his successful challenge to Lieberman in the Democratic primary in August.

Lieberman said the Times focused too much on his stance on the war in Iraq, which he supported.

"I don't believe that they've ever really understood my position on Iraq," he said after he attended a church service Sunday. "I mean, this is all about Iraq. They're not giving me credit for anything else I've done, including a lot of stuff that they've complimented me on over the years, on the environment, other things, global warming."

The Courant said Lieberman could help find solutions to problems closer to home.

"This election is not solely about a war gone sour. There are critical domestic matters long simmering _ the solvency of Social Security, health care access, huge budget deficits and more," it said. "For the most part, bitter partisanship rules. It will take more members of Mr. Lieberman's ilk to restrain a free-spending, scandal-plagued Congress and an increasingly powerful president, or to turn attention to other urgent matters such as the environment and energy independence."

The New Haven Register, the newspaper in Lieberman's home town, said that if Lamont were elected, he "would be part of that partisan divide that results in party interest prevailing over the common good."

Lieberman has a double-digit lead in the latest statewide polls. Republican Alan Schlesinger trails far behind.

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