Former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee insists that moving from Republican to Independent to Democratic won’t hurt him with 2016 primary voters.
“Whether it’s the environment, or fiscal responsibility, or civil liberties, or aversion to quagmires overseas, I’ve been consistent over my 30 years. So, whether I’d been a Republican or an independent or a Democrat, you can look at my voting record, and it hasn’t been flip-flopped. It’s completely consistent on the key issues that the Democrats care about,” the presidential candidate told MSNBC.
The Republican Party, Chafee said, moved more “to the south the priorities became the Southerners switch from being Democrats, the solid South who was Democrat became Republican.”
“The priorities for the Republicans changed,” he said. “They weren’t my priorities. I am fiscally responsible, and socially, let people live as they want to live, liberal.”
Chafee said he didn’t vote for President George W. Bush in 2004 because he’d “learned not to trust that administration based on the campaign promises they made.”
“Governor Bush at the time said, ‘I’m going to be uniter, not a divider. We’re going to regulate carbon dioxide, the climate change pollutant. We’re going to have a humble foreign policy,'” he said of Bush’s first presidential campaign. “And all these things when they came to govern were the opposite, very arrogant. Not humble at all. Very divisive.”
“And the first thing they did was get rid of any pretext that we’re going to regulate carbon dioxide. In fact, they were going to have clean air rollbacks. So, I didn’t trust them. And that was another factor in me not wanting to vote for the war and for him.”
Mitt Romney didn’t do well, he asserted, because “Americans don’t like flip-floppers.”
Chafee went to boarding school with another Gov. Bush: Jeb, who is hoping for the nomination on the GOP side.
“He went off and married Columba, his senior year, met her his junior year, and then was in love all through his senior year and that’s all we talked about and then, married his freshman year in college. He had a different life,” Chafee said. “But we’ve crossed paths since.”