Retired Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who made a famous switch from the Democratic Party to Independent status after an intraparty revolt over his Iraq war stance, said he thinks the time may be nearing when a third party can break out in the U.S.
“It’s an uphill climb, although a strong third-party candidate can actually affect what the other two parties are doing. I mean, the bottom line here is that the two parties are frustrating,” Lieberman told Fox Business Network. “I would say, a majority of the people, they mean — each of the core constituencies that are happy, but a majority of the people feel that the two parties just have to get together and compromise and get something done for the country. And we used to think that the way to deal with that is through elections.”
“The primary system is set up so it is not really working. And I’m wondering whether this may be the time when the public is going to bust out and go for a third party, an independent party, because most of the people around the country really are independent,” he added.
As far as success for independent candidates, Lieberman declared “the best that has happened in recent decades is Ross Perot.”
“So he ended up getting 20 percent of the vote. In fact, he changed the agenda and the priorities of the two parties. He made particularly a balanced budget a priority. And President Clinton, then Governor Clinton ran on it. It took him a while, but together with Newt Gingrich, and some others actually got it done in 1997,” he said.
As far as his future: “It would take a strong and credible candidate with the ability to raise enough money, and it’s not going to be me.”
“…My days in elective politics are over. But Jefferson said at one point that he thought the country should have a revolution every 25 years, because he was so worried that the established political order will begin to get entrenched and more take care of themselves than the public.”
Lieberman called being re-elected in 2006 — “enough Democrats but really Republicans and independents elected me” — the “single most thrilling moment of my political career.”
“In the last election, not only did the incumbent president win, but the status quo was repeated with the Democratic Senate and a Republican House as well, even though the public at the beginning of 2012 said a pox on all your houses,” he said. “In the end, it’s up to the people. If they are not satisfied, they really have to find a way either in primaries, general elections, or through a third-party candidacy, to get the government working for us again.”