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Fmr. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Democrat

Skimm'd over the phone

Lincoln Chafee is one of just a few contenders trying to beat out Hillz for the Democratic nomination in 2016. Get to know your candidate here.

Note: ALL candidates have been offered the chance to Guest Skimm. Opinions are of the candidate, not theSkimm. To Skimm other candidates go here.

HOMETOWN:

Warwick, RI.

FUN FACT:

I like horses and I like being outdoors. I can shoe a horse. I worked after college on the racetracks shoeing horses and probably put shoes on five thousand horses.

SO, WHY SHOULD AMERICA HIRE YOU?

I have a great record as a public servant over three decades at the local, federal, and state levels. Now, I am running for president because I’m concerned about America’s place in the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, some of the damage that was done with the invasion of Iraq.

ANY INTERESTING DORM MATES GROWING UP THAT WE MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF?

Well, funny you should ask. One of my dorm mates in tenth grade is running for president also, Jeb Bush. We had some spirited games of ping-pong and our paths have not crossed much since high school but I think we still consider each other friends.

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE FOLLOWING...

THE ECONOMY.
I believe the best way to build a good strong economy -- and I had to do it as governor because I came in during the depths of the Great Recession with people losing their jobs and their houses to foreclosure -- the best way to build it back up is the foundation....good pre-K programs, good elementary schools, good high schools. What the government has to do is build infrastructure, make sure we have good roads and bridges, fiber optics, dams, ports. Those are the foundations of a good economy.

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (AKA OBAMACARE).
I am in favor of the Affordable Care Act, and…Rhode Island had one of the best rollouts in the country.

EDUCATION AND STUDENT LOANS.
I’m a big advocate of always voting for the funding for programs, to put the money into our public institutions of higher education. That’s what made America great. Access to a good education and not coming out with high student debt.

WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT HOW THE US IS HANDLING THIS WHOLE ISIS THING?
I was one of the 23 out of 100 senators to vote against the war on Iraq. I had the foresight to see through the prevarications that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But now that we’re in there, the best way to fix it I would argue first of all, someone that had the foresight not to make the mistake, would be the best man or woman to lead us out of it. We need our partners around the world to help us with ISIS containment. It’s only going to be done with help from the Turks and the Syrians and the Iranians and the Jordanians and the Israelis and the Egyptians, the Europeans, the Russians. That’s how we’re going to contain ISIS.

RIGHT TO CHOOSE. YES OR NO?
Yes.

GAY MARRIAGE. YES OR NO?
Yes. In my inaugural address [in January 2011] I said one thing we have to do in Rhode Island is have marriage equality. I received a lot of criticism for beginning my inaugural address [with the issue]. But I’m proud that I did that and proud that we got it passed in Rhode Island.

YOU’VE RAISED SOME EYEBROWS ABOUT YOUR INTEREST IN THE METRIC SYSTEM. TELL US WHAT THIS IS ABOUT.

Well I talked about that after the debacle of invading Iraq that we need to repair our relations around the world. And I talked about many things we should do. Empower our state department: no more ambassadors for sale, no more donors becoming ambassadors. We’re going to abide by the Geneva Convention: no more torture, we’re not going to have drone strikes anymore, we’re not going to have warrantless wiretapping, no more capital punishment. I also said another way is to join the rest of the world on the metric system. I happened to live in Canada when they did it…it’s not that hard, and it’s a symbolic gesture to the world.

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?

Milk only.


theSKIMM

Before Lincoln Chafee was a Democrat, he was an Independent. And before that, he was a Republican. But he was the only Republican Senator to vote against the war in Iraq (which he'll definitely bring up in debates). And instead of voting for Dubya the second time around, Chafee cast a write-in vote for George HW Bush. So, he’s an unpredictable guy who could make things interesting for Hillz. If you vote for him you may have to spend a lot of time translating miles to kilometers.

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