Republican-Turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee: Hillary Disqualified From Presidency For Supporting Iraq War

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Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee talks to Lawrence O’Donnell about why he is exploring a run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Chafee said Hillary Clinton shouldn't be president because of her Iraq War vote.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: It seems in the 2008 primary campaign certainly that the single biggest policy difference or difference in record was that President Obama was opposed to the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton voted for it. Do you think that still, in the next presidential election, the next primary season, will have the resonance it had then?

LINCOLN CHAFFEE: Yes, I do. It's relevant to what we read about every day in the papers in the Middle East and other areas of the world. ISIS and what's happening in Nigeria and how we confront some of these extremist insurgencies... Even though it's a long time ago, back in 2002, the ramifications are still felt today.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Does that mean that John Kerry who voted for it, he too would be disqualified from being president because he cast that vote?

LINCOLN CHAFFEE: I do believe that. We had just finished with Vietnam, and all the Vietnam veterans and the debacle that was Vietnam. We had a moment in time where we had a peaceful world we were handing to our children. And to make this decision to go into Iraq was just so bad. I will stick what I said, whether it's John Kerry or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: And is there something in that 2008 campaign, there were a lot of invitations to Hillary Clinton in debates to, in effect, retract that vote or find some way of apologizing for that vote or explaining that vote. Do you believe there is something that Hillary Clinton could say about that vote for the Iraq war where your reaction would be, well, okay then, we can proceed from here with a new view of the way you would govern.

LINCOLN CHAFFEE: I think she tried in her book, and I just don't think it was a sincere enough effort to explain that vote in any convincing way. There were actually two votes that day in October of 2002, the Levin amendment… So it's going to be very difficult for her to explain her vote against the Levin amendment and second vote, the Iraq war authorization.

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