EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee defended Republican President Donald Trump on Tuesday against a tiresome “full onslaught” by the “mainstream media” — and says he can relate to the commander-in-chief’s struggles.
Chafee, a former U.S. senator and Rhode Island governor, told WPRO-AM he saw issues with the media firsthand during his own 2016 run. He said reporters focused on his advocacy of the metric system, a topic he himself introduced in his announcement for president.
“They immediately went to trivial things like metric, and during the debate, they gave me eight minutes out of two hours,” he said.
Chafee, who failed to gain traction during his run and withdrew months before any primaries, also complained that he had never been invited on any Sunday morning news TV shows.
He said he ended up voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and disagrees with many of Trump’s positions but believes the media have been against Trump “right from the beginning.”
“He won. I didn’t vote for him, but he won, and let’s let him get his feet under him and try and build an administration, and move on,” he said.
Chafee served as a Republican U.S. senator from 1999 to 2007. He was elected governor in 2010 as an independent but became a Democrat midway through his single four-year term.
Chafee has previously acknowledged that including the metric system in his speech announcing his run for president was “a big mistake.”
In an October interview with Esquire , Chafee said his wife told him not to include it because it would be misunderstood, but he did anyway.
“She was right,” he told the magazine.
On Tuesday, he said he wouldn’t rule out another run for Rhode Island governor and even joked that there’s a presidential race in 2020.
“You know,” he said, “I’ve done crazy things before.”
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