Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee may be running against Hillary Clinton, but he's centering his entire campaign around the mistake he believes the Bush administration made in 2002 by invading Iraq.

"My motivator [to run] was the mistake we made back in 2002 and the consequences, the ramifications and the challenges to fix it," Chafee told reporters at a press breakfast Tuesday. "We made this colossal mistake. I contemplated this, if someone had the foresight to see that this was a mistake, very important to start with … And I just loved my time on the foreign relations committee."

As a Republican senator from Rhode Island, Chafee voted against authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Clinton voted in favor. Chafee was defeated in his 2006 re-election bid, became an independent the following year and then finally joined the Democrats in 2013.

"This chaos in the Middle East and North Africa is a Republican chaos," Chafee said. "They were the ones, who invaded Iraq and created all the problems we have to live with now."

While Chafee repeatedly calls out the mistakes of the past, he is more vague about the future. When asked about the current situation in Iraq he turned to praising the Obama administration's Iran deal, lauding it as a model for foreign relations.

"How does this end? Who are ISIS? What is their issue? These are the lessons I learned in the Cold War. Outreach and finding areas to resolve issues," he said.

He then went on to hold up President Richard Nixon's trip to China as a paradigm for how we should reduce tensions overseas. But when reminded that ISIS does don't have a central governing body or structure like most nations do, and thus would be difficult to negotiate with, Chafee stuck to his peace-loving position.

"We need to figure out who these people are that's the first task. Who are these people and what are their issues. When the towers came down on September 11th that's the first question I had," Chafee said. "It goes back to the Chinese philosophy of 'know your enemy.' So that's our first task. Al Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS who are they?"