Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) has announced his run for president, in a way. The announcement was more of a tongue slip. In a CNN interview, Chafee had said “that’s why I’m running”.
“Yes, that’s why I’m running. Because I feel strong about where we’re going as a country,” he said.
A spokesman for Chafee then walked back his comments and said that he was not announcing a run for the Presidency.
“We are still in the exploratory committee phase,” the representative for Chafee said, “We will file the proper papers to be an official candidate, but that has not happened yet.”
Last week, Chafee had announced the creation of an exploratory committee.
Along with Chafee, Scott Walker had also had a slip of the tongue. He referred to himself as a “candidate” on Fox News.
Announcements like these are not official, but they do carry legal status. If a person is a candidate, they must register as one with the Federal Elections Commission. Some legal scholars say even acting like a candidate is grounds for registering.
Chafee’s political career includes stints as a mayor, Senator, and Governor. He was previously a Republican and an independent. He joined the Democratic Party in 2013. He has attempted to stand out against his Democratic competition by criticizing Hillary Clinton, especially for her vote in favor of the War in Iraq.
“That was a moment where the premise for going to Iraq was so false that there were weapons of mass destruction; she didn’t do her homework. We live with the ramifications,” Chafee said, “You may say that’s 12 years ago — that’s a big motivator for me running. If you show a lack of judgment, lack of doing homework then, what can we expect in the future?”
Attacking Clinton from the left on the War in Iraq has proven successful. It was a large element of then-Senator Obama’s campaign in 2008 when he was able to come from behind and defeat then-Senator Clinton in his bid for the Democratic nomination.
Along with these statements, Chafee also had said people who voted for the War in Iraq should not be elected.
“Anybody who voted for the Iraq war should not be president, and certainly anybody who voted for the Iraq war should not lead the Democratic Party into an election.”
Chafee was the lone Republican when it came to the war in Iraq, being the only one to vote against it.