Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced on Friday that he is giving up his bid for president, ending a low-profile presidential run whose most noted feature was his call to introduce the metric system.
The one-term governor and two-term senator had struggled for months to gain traction in the polls, languishing at a mere 1% despite campaigning more often than any other candidate in New Hampshire. Chafee made over 30 visits to the Granite State and multiple visits to Iowa, but the mild-mannered candidate failed to gain any attention.
“As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of prosperity through peace,” Chafee, 62, said Friday morning. “But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.”
The failure of Chafee’s long-shot bid was perhaps a reflection of how difficult it has been in this Democratic primary cycle for minor candidates to gain any traction. Though Chafee was not expected to win the primary, he never hit above 1% in state or national polls, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dominated headlines.
During the first Democratic debate, Chafee pointedly contrast himself with Clinton, saying he was qualified to run for president because he has “high ethical standards,” a dig at Clinton’s use of a private email server. He was the only Democrat to attack Clinton for the scandal.
Chafee campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq War in 2002, when he was the only Republican senator to vote against the invasion, and made his primary campaign slogan “prosperity through peace.”
He may be best remembered, however, by his quixotic belief in implementing the metric system in the United States, which became the most well-known line of his campaign announcement, and by a moment in the debate when he blamed his vote on a Wall Street bill on the death of his father.
Chafee is the second Democrat to drop out of the race, following former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.
“I thank Lincoln Chafee for his service, for his commitment to electing a Democrat to the White House in 2016 and we look forward to seeing him campaign with us all across the country during the 2016 campaign for president,” said Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
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