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Chafee Calls Laffey Democrat's Favorite Person (posted Feb. 5, 2006)

U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee said that Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey is the "Democrat's favorite person" owing to his criticisms of Chafee's voting record. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference", the Senator complained that "Democrats love having Laffey in the [Senate] race." Chafee made his comments when asked about his Republican challenger's criticisms of his vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Alito.

Chafee indicated that his strategy in the GOP is "a large turnout" and said "I need to get unaffiliated voters in the primary." Chafee clearly sees that he will do better with Independents than Republicans participating in that primary. Referring to Republicans, Chafee said, "they are mad at me" due to his votes against President Bush's various policy initiatives, including tax cuts and the war in Iraq.

Despite his problems with local Republicans, Senator Chafee said his relationship with Washington members of the GOP remained strong. Speaking of President Bush, Chafee said "we have a good relationship. He said he would help if I needed his help." When asked if this meant Bush would come to Rhode Island to campaign on his behalf, Chafee indicated he didn't plan to ask the president to visit the Ocean State. "I don't think it is fair to be standing next to him" after complaining about the administration's policies. But Chafee said prominent Republicans such as John McCain might campaign with him.

Near the end of the interview, Chafee took a shot against Laffey. He said, "our styles are v ery different. I work hard to bring groups together. He revels in contention."