Former Senator Chafee endorses Barack Obama

Friday, February 15, 2008

Senator Barack Obama
Former Senator Lincoln Chafee

Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, a lifelong Republican who left the party in 2007 following a defeat in the 2006 midterm elections, endorsed Democratic Senator Barack Obama in his bid for the White House. Chafee said Obama is the "best candidate to restore American credibility, to restore our confidence to be moral and to bring people together to solve the complex issues".

Chafee was considered a liberal Republican in the Senate disagreeing with his party on issues such as the War in Iraq, abortion, gay rights, global warming and taxes. During the 2006 Congressional elections, he was endorsed by President Bush despite differences on issues, and current Republican front-runner John McCain even campaigned for Chafee. The Rhode Islander said he thinks McCain would "understand" his current endorsement. Chafee lost the 2006 election to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, who has endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

For Obama, the endorsement marks the second former Republican Party member of Congress to support his campaign. In January, John B. Anderson, a 1980 presidential candidate and former Illinois Representative, endorsed Obama.