HARTFORD, Oct. 23 — The widely watched campaign for United States Senate here has largely been a war of words over the war in Iraq — a war, primarily, over the words of the incumbent, Joseph I. Lieberman.
Ned Lamont, who upset Mr. Lieberman in the Democratic primary in August only to face him again as an independent in the Nov. 7 election, frequently criticizes the senator, charging that he supports the Bush administration's "stay the course" policy. Mr. Lieberman insists that Mr. Lamont has distorted his record and taken his comments out of context.
A close examination of hundreds of Mr. Lieberman's statements on Iraq over the past five years shows that while he repeatedly praised President Bush, he was far more likely to criticize him. But those critiques dropped off markedly in the last two years, even as the insurgency in Iraq gained strength.
At the same time, Mr. Lieberman made negative comments about fellow Democrats three times as often as he made positive comments, particularly after his failed campaign for his party's presidential nomination in 2004.
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