Lincoln Chafee drops Democratic presidential bid
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee ended his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination Friday, his campaign announced in a statement.
Chafee is set to speak on his decision momentarily at the DNC’s annual Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington.
“As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace,” Chafee is expected to say according to prepared remarks provided by the campaign. “But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today. I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace.”
The Democrat declared his presidential campaign in June, shortly after announcing that he had formed an exploratory committee.
Chafee has spent most of his life as a Republican. He was nominated to his late father’s Senate seat in 1999 and then was elected as a Republican in 2000. He served only one term, losing to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, but then successfully ran for governor of Rhode Island as an independent.
Facing long odds and slumping in the polls, Chafee decided not to run for reelection in 2014. He told CNN last month that he made that decision because he wanted to run for president.
He has been one of the most aggressive candidates against frontrunner Hillary Clinton, calling her out at multiple times about her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq War.
“Considering the premise for invading Iraq was based on falsehoods and considering the ramifications we live with now from that mistake, I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president and certainly should not be leading the Democratic Party,” he said in an interview with CNN.
Chafee was never supremely confident in his chances to win the nomination. When asked by CNN in April if he would bet on himself to win, he simply responded, “I can’t,” before catting himself and saying that he is “in it to win.”