Thursday, February 14, 2008

Former Republican Lincoln Chafee endorses Obama

Former Republican U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee today endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, citing the Illinois senator’s longstanding opposition to the war in Iraq.

Chafee, who lost a run for reelection in 2006, was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against giving President Bush the authority to attack Iraq. Chafee left the Republican Party last year and changed his registration to unaffiliated.

Chafee hinted several days ago that he was considering a vote for Obama. In his upcoming book, Chafee criticizes Democrats who supported the resolution to authorize the war, saying a vote for the war should be a career-ending lapse of judgment. In backing Obama, the former senator said the nation cannot afford another presidential election with two candidates who supported the war.

Obama was not in the Senate in 2002; he announced his opposition to the war that October in a speech in Chicago.The other top contenders, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, voted for the authorization.

McCain, who campaigned for Chafee in 2006, is in Rhode Island today for a campaign event. He is the likely Republican nominee.

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