- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 4, 2015

Former Rhode Island Gov. and U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who announced Wednesday he is running for president in 2016 on the Democratic side, says it’s time for the United States to join the international community in adopting the metric system.

“It’s one of many things that I think we should do in the United States to become more international,” Mr. Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, said Thursday on CNN’s “New Day.” “There are only three countries that are not metric — United States, Liberia and Myanmar — in all the world. And so it’s time for us to join the international community.”

Mr. Chafee said he was living in Canada when they went metric.

“It’s not that hard — 34 degrees, all of a sudden you get used to that being hot outside when you say it’s 34,” he said, saying the economic benefits outweigh the costs.

“There [are] big economic benefits by going metric,” he said, in addition to the symbolism of the United States joining the rest of the world.

Mr. Chafee is also trying to use foreign policy as a key marker of distinction with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, calling Mrs. Clinton “too much of a hawk.”

“We can’t have, as Democrats, our nominee having supported that war resolution back in 2002 because we live with all the problems today,” he said. “I would submit to the Democrats across the country — we’re going to be compromised trying to win the election in 2016 if our nominee supported the war in Iraq.”

Mrs. Clinton’s vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq as a U.S. senator was a key issue in the 2008 Democratic presidential nominating contest. She wrote in her recent book, “Hard Choices,” that she thought she made the best decision she could given the information at the time but that she still “got it wrong.”

Mr. Chafee also said there are “too many ethical questions” surrounding Mrs. Clinton and that he’s never had any ethical questions about his behavior in 30 years at the state, local and federal levels.

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