Schiavo: Lieberman Wrong About Terri

Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-life battle in Florida, talks to Larry King on "Larry King Live" Monday, Oct. 27, 2003, in Los Angeles. AP

Michael Schiavo stumbled over the name of the man he was in Connecticut to support Friday, but after fighting Congress for the right to disconnect his brain-damaged wife's feeding tube, he had no problem remembering whom he was campaigning against.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman "thinks that government should have made that decision," he said. "Joe Lieberman is wrong, and that's why Joe Lieberman is going to be defeated."

Lieberman, a three-term incumbent, faces a tough Democratic primary challenge from Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, who appeared outside the state Capitol with Schiavo on Friday.

Lamont has criticized Lieberman for supporting a bill that allowed a federal court to consider reinserting a feeding tube used by Terri Schiavo, the 39-year-old Florida woman who had been in a vegetative state since her heart stopped in 1990.

Michael Schiavo said his wife had told him she wouldn't want to be kept alive artificially, and in 1998 he asked a court to allow her feeding tube to be removed.

Her parents fought the request, and congressional leaders from both parties agreed on a bill to let a federal court review the case and prolong Terri Schiavo's life. Michael Schiavo won final approval to remove the tube in March 2005.

This year, he has been campaigning across the nation against government intrusion into personal medical decisions.

He said he decided to target Lieberman after watching him make the rounds of national Sunday talk shows supporting the government's right to intervene in his wife's case.

"Joe Lieberman never met me; he never met Terri," Schiavo said Friday. "Joe Lieberman didn't know anything about us or what Terri wanted, but that didn't stop him from saying on national TV that he and George Bush knew better."

Schiavo has formed a political action committee that has raised about $25,000 and is also targeting races in Colorado, Florida and Texas.

Lamont said he decided to run for Senate in part because he was tired of watching government trample on personal liberties.

"Be it stem cell research, be it a woman's right to choose, be it the illegal wire taps, be it those who are reading our e-mails, be it a government that is intruding into the hospital rooms at those private moments, that is not where you want your government to be," he said.

Lieberman on Friday said Schiavo's "tragic story" has no place in the campaign.

"It's time, isn't it, for politicians to let Terry Schiavo rest in peace," he said.

Schiavo said if Lieberman didn't want the case politicized, he should have stayed out of it.

"Terri is at peace. She's where she wanted to be," he said. "But now it's time to get out there and hold these people accountable."

Today Lieberman began a 10-day statewide bus tour called "Joe's Tomorrow Tour."
  • Jennifer Hoar

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