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Lieberman Campaign Promises a Fight

August 6, 2006

ORANGE, Conn. (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s campaign manager said Sunday that challenger Ned Lamont’s ads have ``taken their toll,″ but he promised a fight in the final two days of the campaign to overcome what he called negative messages.

Sean Smith said the campaign has scaled back its get-out-the-vote efforts for Tuesday’s primary ``a little bit″ to spend more money on ads. But he said the campaign will still have an unprecedented presence with thousands of people helping out. Supporters are coming from across the country, he said in a conference call with reporters

``They have taken their toll,″ Smith said of the ads. ``And we are going to combat that in the next 48 hours with a positive message about Joe Lieberman’s record.″

Lieberman, a three-term incumbent and his party’s vice presidential candidate in 2000, has been dogged by liberal Democrats angry at him for supporting the war in Iraq. Lamont, a political newcomer and founder of a cable company, has capitalized on the war’s unpopularity in Connecticut by accusing Lieberman of being too close to Republicans and President Bush.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed the Greenwich businessman leading Lieberman 54 percent to 41 percent.

Smith said the polls are unreliable. ``It is notoriously difficult to predict who is going to turn out in this race,″ he said.

Lamont ran into an enthusiastic following Sunday while campaigning at firefighter’s carnival in Orange. He drew a crowd as he made his way through the snow cone and cotton candy booths.

Sonja Duarte, 40, of East Haven, said Lamont has her vote.

``It’s time for someone new,″ Duarte said. ``I’m definitely against the war and what (President) Bush is doing. Lieberman is more Republican than Democrat right now.″

Four Connecticut newspapers on Sunday endorsed Lieberman.

The Norwich Bulletin, The News-Times of Danbury, New Haven Register and The Day of New London questioned Lamont’s newness to statewide politics, while praising the Iraq war debate that he brought to the campaign.

The editorials also balanced the issue of the war, which Lieberman supports, with his representation of Connecticut in the Senate for 18 years.

``Lieberman is a man of principle who votes his conscience,″ The Norwich Bulletin wrote.

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