Elections

Chafee: Don’t forget Clinton’s Iraq war vote

Hillary Clinton arrives to a cheering crowd during a campaign stop Tuesday in Nashua, N.H. In Washington, Democratic rival Lincoln Chafee criticized her 2002 Iraq war vote.
Hillary Clinton arrives to a cheering crowd during a campaign stop Tuesday in Nashua, N.H. In Washington, Democratic rival Lincoln Chafee criticized her 2002 Iraq war vote. AP

The nation is still reeling from the effects of the Iraq war, and Lincoln Chafee doesn’t want voters to forget that.

Republicans created this mess, he told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Tuesday, and voters should be reminded that Hillary Clinton, then a U.S. senator from New York, voted to authorize President George W. Bush to wage war.

Chafee, then a Republican senator from Rhode Island, was the sole no vote in his caucus. Clinton said last year she regretted her vote. “I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple,” she said in her book, “Hard Choices.”

Not good enough, said Chafee.

"I did my homework, I looked carefully to see if there were weapons of mass destruction, I didn't see it," he said, recalling how he was briefed extensively.

Republicans, he said, “were the party that invaded Iraq, and created all the problems we live with now” in the region. “It’s important that the Democratic party says that’s a Republican mistake.”

Chafee’s got a tough task ahead. In the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Chafee had support of 0.8 percent of Democrats. Clinton had 57.5 percent.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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