Presidential races

Lincoln Chafee exploring 2016 run

Democratic voters got an unexpected new presidential contender Thursday: Lincoln Chafee. 

Chafee, a former governor and senator from Rhode Island, said via an online video that he is considering a run for president.

He has also formed an exploratory committee

Chafee praised President Obama in his video, saying the president “has led admirably.” 

{mosads}The former senator, however, drew a contrast to Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

“I would argue that the decision to invade Iraq has destabilized the Middle East,” Chafee says in a second video. “As a senator I voted against the war authorization.” 

He added that he believes the war with Iraq was “one of the worst decisions in United States history.” 

Clinton, a senator at the time, voted to authorize military action against Iraq, a vote she says she got wrong.

Chafee also stressed international affairs during his announcement video, saying he’s a “alarmed about the international instability, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. I don’t like where this is going.” 

He said moving forward the United States “will need fresh ideas and the most skillful diplomacy in dealing with this ever changing world.”  

Chafee has been somewhat of political chameleon. He served in the Senate as a Republican. He then switched to being an Independent, and then in 2013 announced that he was becoming a Democrat. 

He reiterates in his video that he is a Democrat.

Chafee isn’t the only Democrat exploring a challenge to Clinton. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has suggested that he will run, as has former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Chafee told Rhode Island Public Radio that he feels Democratic voters deserve options. 

“The Republicans have lots of choices,” he said Thursday. “I feel that Democratic voters deserve choices too.”

He said that he’ll spend the new few months traveling to Iowa, New Hampshire and other early-voting presidential states. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton

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