Overtures: GOP Already Reaching Out to Lieberman, Nelson

Posted: Nov 02, 2010 6:06 PM
...with Mark Pryor and (potentially) Joe Manchin next on the footsie list.  A sign that Republicans are feeling pretty good, or that their polling tells them they'll need to pick off a few Dems to command a majority?

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Senate Republicans would "welcome" any Democrats who wish to switch parties and caucus with the GOP.

Cornyn, the head of Senate Republicans' campaign efforts, floated the possibility that the GOP might target Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, or another Democratic senator if Republicans come close to winning a majority but fall short.

The GOP might look to other Democrats like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) or even an incoming Democratic senator like West Virginia's Joe Manchin, should he prevail, to cross over to the other side of the aisle.

Those Democrats have sometimes tangled with their party's leaders on big issues like healthcare reform and climate change legislation. Lieberman was almost stripped of a key chairmanship after having supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election.