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Chafee Backfires Knocking Hillary During Debate

Lincoln Chafee, former Warwick City Councillor, Warwick Mayor and RI Governor, is running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.
Lincoln Chafee, former Warwick City Councillor, Warwick Mayor and RI Governor, is running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

Lincoln Chafee continued a principled criticism of front runner Hillary Clinton on her judgment during Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, a strategy that backfired when he offered meager defense of his vote to repeal the Glass Stegall Act.

Chafee scored points when CNN moderator Anderson Cooper asked him about his vocal condemnation of Clinton’s vote for the Iraq War, noting that even though she had acknowledged the mistake, the vote demonstrated a lack of judgment that should make voters wary of her future decisions.

The former RI Governor continued in that theme when given the chance to comment on Clinton’s decision to host her official email on a private server during her service as Secretary of State.

Commentary“We have to repair American credibility,” he said, apparently criticizing the decision as having besmirched the U.S. government’s reputation abroad.

Cooper asked Clinton if she wanted to respond.

“No,” Clinton replied quickly, bringing a loud response of applause from the audience.

Even so, the criticism bolstered Chafee’s theme challenging Clinton’s decision making skills, with the presumption that voters should trust in his own.

That argument suffered serious damage when Cooper asked Chafee about his vote for the Gramm-Leach-Billey Act, which repealed the Glass–Steagall Act’s conflict of interest prohibitions. Populist Democrats including MA Sen. Elizabeth Warren have advocated restoring those provisions to prevent a second financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession.

“It was my very first vote,” said Chafee, who added that he’d just arrived in office after the death of his father, US Senator John Chafee, in 1999. When pushed by Cooper on the matter, Chafee was unable to respond beyond telling the moderator he was being too hard on him given the circumstances.

When asked about his broad spectrum party affiliation, ranging from Republican to Independent and, now, a Democrat, Chafee only spoke to his first switch of affiliation.

“They left me,” said Chafee about the Republican party, noting that despite his success as a Republican politician in RI as mayor, he was too moderate to win the support of his fellow Republicans.

Later in the evening, Chafee said that CIA analyst Edward Snowden, in exile following his release of classified US documents that exposed the CIA’s illegal wiretapping of American citizens, ought to be allowed back to America.

“He should be brought home,” Chafee said.

At the end of the evening, when asked which of his enemies he was most proud of earning the ire of, Chafee pointed to his efforts to combat greenhouse gas release into the atmosphere and the resulting climate change.

“I’m proud to be at odds with the coal lobby,” in his efforts to combat greenhouse gases and climate change, Chafee said.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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