Lincoln Chafee: Moderates ‘taken out’ of party

by
June 1, 2013

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he didn’t just switch parties to earn brownie points among Democrats — he did so because of the changing dynamics of the Republican party.

“The Southerners…just had a different view of where the Republican party should be and as a result the North Easteners and some of the other moderate Republicans slowly were taken out of the party, either by elections or by choice,” Chafee explained to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Thursday. “The shift occured down to the south. My dad [former Sen. John Chafee] lost his leadership position to Sen. Cochran from Mississippi, and then the next year Sen. Simpson from Wyoming was too moderate and lost his leadership position too.”

Chafee officially switched his party registration Thursday going from independent to Democrat, after initially being a Republican. And if his words are anything to go by, he’s not going to miss the GOP.

“Some of the policies they have advanced and having lost the ‘08 election and now the ‘12 election, I know there’s a lot of introspection by the Republicans,” Chafee said. “I’m just happy to have found a home, myself, with the Democrats. As I’ve worked with the governors, all the governors in the NGA as an independent. I’m happy to now join with those Democratic governors. It’s like-minded philosophy.”

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