Former Rhode Island Governor and U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee has withdrawn from the race for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
In a Facebook post Chafee writes:
I enjoy campaigns. It is rewarding to participate in our electoral process; to exchange ideas with other candidates, to offer to the voters our experiences, visions for the future and open to inspection our past records.
As a new Libertarian I entered the race for the nomination for President and have met Libertarians from California to Alabama to New Hampshire. This adventure obviously changed with the frightening corona virus outbreak even as our campaign made a successful transfer to virtual connections via social media.
However after a tremendous amount of thought, I am no longer going to be a candidate for our Party’s nomination. I look forward to helping other Libertarians seeking office.
I share with Libertarians many views but especially our aversion to foreign entanglements. In the eighteen years since I voted against the Iraq war I have experienced the difficulty of having intelligent discussions on American foreign policy and the use of our military overseas. It is almost a forbidden subject. Others who have tried, such as Ron Paul and recently, Tulsi Gabbard I’m sure would agree. The invasion of Iraq was based on a falsehood, a falsehood supported by so many in government and the media. The ramification of this mistake is with us today as we face the Covid 19 epidemic trillions in unnecessary debt.
I am still motivated by my personal experiences as an anti war candidate but accept that the timing is difficult for me as a Libertarian in 2020. Thank you to supporters and volunteers, your energy, passion and smarts added to the joy of campaigning!
Stay safe, best wishes.
Thanks to Krzysztof Lesiak for the tip in the Open Thread.
Chafee, a Republican in the Senate, an Independent Governor, and a Democratic candidate for president in 2016, joined the Libertarian Party just last year. Out the gate for his 2020 bid, Chafee had trouble garnering support. In debates and media appearances, he stumbled on questions about his past support for gun control and multiple votes in favor of the Patriot Act.
Chafee’s withdrawal leaves 1996 Libertarian Vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, Future of Freedom Foundation founder and president Jacob Hornberger, former Libertarian Party Vice Chairman Arvin Vohra, anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, former president of the Grady County (Georgia) NAACP John Monds, and performance artist Vermin Supreme as the most visible candidates for the party’s presidential nomination. Independent Congressman Justin Amash is reportedly considering a run. The party plans to nominate a presidential ticket at the National convention May 21–25 in Austin, Texas, though this venue may change due to closures resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic.