If Hillary Clinton announces a 2016 candidacy for president, as all signals indicate, she'll face at least one challenger for the Democratic Party's nomination: Lincoln Chafee, a little-known former governor from Rhode Island.
Chafee, like Clinton, is a former U.S. senator. And although he has been a Democrat only since 2013, he said Thursday that he’s eyeing the White House -- and he criticized Clinton directly on her Senate voting record. His announcement came in the form of a video posted on his website, Chafee2016.com.
The presidential hopeful took aim at Clinton, specifically her stance on the Iraq War, saying that anyone who voted for it should not lead the Democratic ticket. Chafee was the only Republican senator to vote against the war in 2003, Politico reported.
"Throughout my career, I exercised good judgment on a wide range of high-pressure decisions, decisions that require level-headedness and careful foresight,” Chafee says in the video. “Often these decisions came in the face of political adversity. During the next weeks and months I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about the future of our great country.’’
Chafee said he doesn’t have a set plan for pursuing a run against Clinton, who is expected to officially announce her candidacy soon.
He said Democrats deserved to have options. “The Republicans have lots of choices; I feel that Democratic voters deserve choices too.” He said his differences with Clinton were mainly over foreign policy.
Chafee, 62, was born in Providence and graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in classics. He later attended the Montana State University horseshoeing school in Bozeman. His political career began in 1985 when he became a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. He was then elected to the Warwick, Rhode Island, City Council and became the city’s mayor in 1992. Chafee became a U.S. senator in 1999 as a Republican, a position he held until 2007. He then served as the 74th governor of Rhode Island from January 2011 to January 2015.