I bet myself last time that I would not be making any further Lincoln Chafee posts after news the former Rhode Island Democratic governor was possibly considering a presidential run. I stand corrected. In an interview with CNN just minutes ago, he’s now announced he is in fact running for President and intends to seek the 2016 Democratic nomination. Who would have guessed?
Here’s video of his interview with CNN this morning where he makes the announcement and gives his reasoning:
Report from CNN:
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Thursday on CNN that he’s running for the Democratic nomination for president, just a week after announcing he formed an exploratory committee, his most definitive statement he’s made toward formalizing a 2016 campaign.
“Yes, that’s why I’m running. Because I feel strong about where we’re going as a country,” Chafee told CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday, when asked why he’s been so critical of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Chafee was asked by CNN’s John Berman in the context of having not formally declared his presidential campaign.
Chafee spokeswoman Debbie Rich said Chafee did not declare himself as a candidate for president Thursday, despite saying “that’s why I’m running.”
“We are still in the exploratory committee phase,” she told CNN in a phone interview, adding, “We will file the proper papers to be an official candidate, but that has not happened yet.”
So he’s not official as of filing his papers with the FEC beyond his exploratory committee, but a statement like this means he’s pretty much already in the pool, just has to file some papers. See the earlier post on Chafee for some background if you’re unfamiliar with him.
Chafee seemingly came out of nowhere within the past week and is now the only other major Democratic candidate to announce a campaign besides Hillary Clinton. Chafee, a former Republican turned independent, turned Democrat, has a moderate style and tone about him though holds quite progressive views, especially his strong anti-war stance. His major qualm with Hillary is that she’s disqualified from the presidency due to her vote in favor of the Iraq invasion in 2003. Let the games begin on the Democratic side!
Chafee has put out a statement that he is still in the exploring phase and should have used the term “may run” for president instead of his more direct statement. Still, it sounds like he’s probably going to announce, but maybe realized this wasn’t quite the right time yet. Some details here.