February 14th, 2008
11:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Former Rhode Island senator endorses Obama

(CNN) – Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island, announced his endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama Thursday.

Chafee, who became an Independent after losing his U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, told reporters he intends to vote for Obama in Rhode Island’s Democratic primary on March 4.

"I believe Senator Obama is the best candidate to restore American credibility, to restore our confidence to be moral and just, and to bring people together to solve the complex issues such as the economy, the environment and global stability," Chafee said.

Chafee served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican beginning in 1999 after being appointed to the seat previously held by his father John Chafee, who represented Rhode Island in the Senate from 1977-1999. Lincoln Chafee was elected to his father’s Senate seat in 2000 but lost a re-election bid in 2006. In 2007 Lincoln Chafee became an Independent.  Chafee is currently a Visiting Fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

While serving in the Senate, he was known for his liberal views and for his opposition to the war in Iraq – a position he shares with Sen. Obama.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. procrastinator

    Chafee endorses before Edwards? What is Edwards waiting for? Either he can possibly resurrect Hillary or virtually coronate Obama. This is the same lack of judgment he exhibited when he dropped out of the race for no reason. All the delegates he would've earned could've given him the power to choose the nominee at the convention.

    February 14, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. American Patriot


    You seem like a smart guy. Look at my comments. Then do the research yourself. You will be shocked and pissed.

    February 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. s.b.

    So why don't you ever cover the people who endorse Clinton? Given the super delegate count, she must have far more endorsements, but whenever someone's uncle's dog endorses Obama its headline news.

    Give me a break! McGovern has endorsed Clinton, he ran for President once and his campaign is closer to obama's than anyone else's. How about some news on that?

    February 14, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. no really

    I wouldn't trust a brain surgeon's wife to operate on me or a pilot's wife to fly my plane. So why on earth would I vote for Hillary??

    February 14, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Liz

    So who cares about his endorsement. they are alot more important people around than him. He just wants to be in the spotlight.

    Go Hillary go. You are going to win and I am right behind you supporting you.

    February 14, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Denis, NJ

    People who think Obama is gonna just up and change Washington are kidding themselves. Washington must be so eager to change its ways that it's lining up behind Obama... Does make me wonder why that is.

    February 14, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Concerned Voter

    It's too bad when a country flocks around nice speeches and not a good record. Obama has no record and will be eaten alive in Washington. I am bracing for another four years of a Republican White House if Obama is the nominee.

    February 14, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Stan

    I hope this helps him to get the people to see that this isn't a campaign, this is a movement. Hillary's efforts is just a campaign.

    "Meet me in Texas."

    Be careful what you wish for, Billary. Be careful, you might just get it.

    February 14, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. aware

    Well America you have tasted the far Right. Do you really want to taste the far Left? I certainly pray not!

    Hillary the HOPE of 08

    February 14, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Smart folks for Obama

    Train keep a rollin' all nite long.... Gobama.

    February 14, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Amy-Cincinnati

    Yep, and superdelegates are switching from Hillary to Obama.

    February 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. MikeE

    Lincoln Chafee was the best Republican senator in the senate when it comes to bi-paritisan, there needs to be more members like him in the GOP!!!

    February 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Geri

    Change??? What is he going to change??? Maybe he should elaborate on these things before you all drool over him.

    February 14, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Ryan Day

    This is news? A liberal endorsed another liberal. This is hardly newsworthy!

    McCain/Romney 2008!

    February 14, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. P.Y.California

    "Obama is attracting Republicans and Independants,"
    Did he??
    In general election republican will vote REPUBLICAN ,they always do.
    Try to listen to him for a CHANGE.
    He promise you a lot more than anybody could deliver .
    He is only a men,but if you listen to CNN for 30 min.You start thinking that he will not be hear for election.His wings will grow and he will fly away
    No human can be that good.It's unreal.

    February 14, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. White/female/age 55/Texan

    I also am an Obamacan! I've been voting republican since I was 18. However, my party has run this country off into the ditch.

    In my humble opinion, I believe we need a uniter to turn things around. Hillary is not a uniter.

    GOBAMA 08

    February 14, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Heather Peterson

    Obamacans....Love it.

    February 14, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Mike

    It is funny that so many people believe in "change you can believe in." The slogan sounds like a promise, but what exactly does it mean? Does it mean "Believe in me and I will make any change you want?" Unbelievable! Are we electing a president or cult leader?

    February 14, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Proud Marine Dad

    Chafee is a traitor to his party. Democrats took control of the Senate when he defected. Good luck with your losing candidate. McCain 08

    February 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. jimmy velman

    Defeated Candidates usual actions are predictable before they even do what they do. CHANGE PARTY AFFILLIATION.
    PARTY.. sO wHAT'S new?

    February 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Mike

    "Old?" "As usual?" What has Obama done that is not "old" or not "as usual?" I do not see any.

    February 14, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Amy in Iowa

    What idiot in the campaign have Hillary come up with that faulty piece of logic that she is not in the promises business and that she is in the solutions business?

    The fact is that Hillary "promised" voters health care for 8 years and failed miserably at providing any solution. Does she think we are stupid enough to elect her on that same failed promise again?

    February 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    to all hillary supporters who questions obama's accomplishments: name one thing hillary has accomplished in the senate without going back to her website to see?

    Republican for Obama 08

    February 14, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. pat

    all you obama fans you better ask about this 845billon dollar bill he is pushing in congress on foreign aid who going to pay for it. its the global poverty act. like we dont have enough bills on poverty, when are we going to take care of are own, this is a bad bill.

    February 14, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Republican Deserter age 50

    Being self-employed, since 1980, I swallowed all the jingoistic baloney of so called "free markets" since I was a kid. At 50 I woke up.
    Bush/Regan never delivered freedom to me (the little guy) they just cut the corporations freedom from prosecution/taxation. Look at the billions in cash stolen in Iraq. That's were all the profit is baby.
    Look at Blackwater Secuirity. A fat US contract guarding the State Dept but they get a special legal protection from being sued in a court of law in the USA. Yeah, there's billions being 'made' alright, but it's walled-off
    from small businessperson. This isn't business. It's name is "Disaster Capitalism." Research it. All the dots come together.

    February 14, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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