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Lincoln Chafee on Foreign Policy

Independent RI Governor; previously Republican Senator (1999-2007)


End prevailing attitude of arrogant reckless war

We take seriously the decision to enter into foreign entanglements. During the last Administration, then-Senator Obama and I shared a mutual desire to end the prevailing attitude of arrogance and recklessness on matters of war and peace that characterized those years.

President Obama knows that wars are not to be entered into lightly; he knows that overseas conflicts don't only do damage in the land in which they are fought, but in the land of those who fight them, as well.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 6, 2012

Hugo Chavez does not fit into all-good-or-all-bad rhetoric

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was elected in 1998, but is often caricatured as a "foreign dictator."

In the course of conversation, President Chavez allowed as how, unlike some of his neighboring heads of state, he had never been afforded an Oval Office photo opportunity. I sometimes wondered if this blow to his ego had played a part in escalating his fiery rhetoric [against President Bush].

I never got the feeling that Chavez enjoys being our enemy. Fidel Castro has made a living off playing David to the US' Goliath, but Castro is the past. Chavez is up-and-coming. It would make sense for him to forge the best possible relationship with us, and us with him. Of course, the clashists who came to power with President Bush would have none of that; they need every nation labeled and driven into one of two camps: all good or all bad.

When the clashists fanned the flames of enmity with Chavez, he ran with it, applying his talent for anti-American rhetoric in extravagant ways.

Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p.196-199 , Apr 1, 2008

Opposes linking Human Rights to trade with China

The Senator noted that Rhode Island has much to gain from the opening of Chinese markets to American goods and services. Chafee also pointed out that trade with China is important to businesses of all sizes. Larger businesses will also benefit.

“Trade with China is the single most important measure Congress has faced this year,” Chafee said. “To date, China has largely been a closed market to American -- and Rhode Island -- factories, workers, and goods.

Source: Press Release, “Chinese markets”, May 24, 2000 , Sep 19, 2000

Supports continuing Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, & others

This year, Senator Chafee has been instrumental in securing funding for debt relief for some of the world’s most impoverished nations -- a key aim of the church-led Jubilee 2000 movement. Senator Chafee also played a critical role in securing funding for the rebuilding of East Timor. Since last November, Senator Chafee has participated in fruitful discussions with foreign dignitaries and heads of state, such as Colombian President Andres Pastrana.
Source: Senate web site, “Debt relief” , Sep 19, 2000

Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe.

H.R. 3167; Gerald B. H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, To endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance. Vote to pass a bill that would support further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, authorize military assistance to several eastern European countries and lift assistance restrictions on Slovakia.
Reference: Bill HR.3167 ; vote number 2002-116 on May 17, 2002

Voted YES on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would require sanctions against China or other countries if they were found to be selling illicit weapons of mass destruction.
Reference: Bill HR.4444 ; vote number 2000-242 on Sep 13, 2000

Other governors on Foreign Policy: Lincoln Chafee on other issues:
RI Gubernatorial:
Donald Carcieri
RI Senatorial:
Jack Reed
Sheldon Whitehouse

Election 2013:
NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)

Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Solis(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D)
HI: Abercrombie(D) vs.Djou(R)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hoefling(R) vs.Culver(D)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Baker(R)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.Johnson(L)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Boren(D)
PA: (R) vs.Schwartz(D) vs.Critz(D)
Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Jan 09, 2014