Finally, we have a candidate this election cycle who will proudly feature his ties to President Obama in one of his ads -- and he's not actually a Democrat!
Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican Senator and now independent candidate for governor of Rhode Island, has a new ad that uses old footage of President Obama vigorously praising him. And of course, this ad follows a dust-up over Obama's noted lack of support for the Democratic nominee in the race, state Treasurer Frank Caprio.
The ad shows video that is clearly labeled as being from March 1, 2008, in the run-up to the Rhode Island Democratic presidential primary in which Chafee had endorsed Obama. (Indeed, he had changed his registration from Republican to independent in 2007, and could vote in the Dem primary.) The ad shows what appears to be then-Senator Obama attacking Hillary Clinton's insistence that her vote to authorize the Iraq War was more about strengthening President George W. Bush's hand diplomatically.
"Real change isn't voting for George Bush's war in Iraq. I knew what it was, Lincoln Chafee knew what it was," Obama said, as the crowd applauded. "You were voting for war. That's why I opposed this war, Lincoln opposed this war, and if Lincoln Chafee could stand up--"
The ad then cuts to video of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), who has endorsed Chafee in this current race: "That's the kind of leader Linc Chafee is. His honesty and his integrity, and his willingness to stand up even when it isn't in his own political interest, to tell the truth to the public."
Caprio lashed out at Obama yesterday regarding Obama's visit to the state, due to the fact that Obama has not endorsed Caprio. This was apparently as a result of Obama's friendship with his former Senate colleague and long-time supporter Chafee. As Caprio said: "He can take his endorsement and really shove it."
The TPM Poll Average gives Chafee 35.6%, Caprio 28.7%, and Republican nominee John Robitaille 25.4%.