Democrat Chafee: 'I'm running' in 2016

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has twice dropped the uncertainty from his rhetoric during television interviews, telling reporters that he will run for president.

“That's why I'm running, because I feel strong about where we're going as a country,” Chafee said on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning. 

And during an interview Tuesday night on Larry King’s “PoliticKING,” Chafee said, “I’m going to run on those issues.”

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But Chafee told The Hill in an interview Thursday morning that he misspoke and is not an official presidential candidate.

“I have the intention of going through the exploratory phase and at the appropriate time, filling out the appropriate paperwork. That’s always been my expectation,” he said. “I probably should have said on CNN ‘that’s why I am considering running.’ ”

Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules dictate that a prospective candidacy must become official once a person makes a number of concrete moves that remove doubt, including making “statements referring to him/herself as a candidate.”

It’s so far unclear whether the FEC would consider Chafee’s statements enough to compel him to declare.

Chafee unexpectedly joined the prospective Democratic presidential field last Thursday when he released a video announcing his intention to explore a bid. He has been a frequent critic of front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts economic agenda in battleground Ohio The Memo: Campaigns gird for rush of early voting Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat MORE, questioning her accomplishments as secretary of State and bashing her for voting to authorize the Iraq War.