PROVIDENCE – Frank T. Caprio, Democratic candidate for governor, has made national news after telling WPRO-AM that President Barack Obama can “take his endorsement and really shove it.”
“I never asked President Obama for his endorsement and what’s going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst,” Caprio said, according to abcnews.com “He can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I am concerned.”
The non-endorsement is seen as a victory for independent candidate Lincoln Chafee, who supported Obama in 2008.
The local news item has traveled fast. The Washington Post picked up an Associated Press story on it, ABC News covered it and even USA Today noted the “Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate’s anti-establishment cry – against President Obama” in a story that received more than 951 comments by 4 p.m.
The news even made a ripple internationally, with The Guardian’s Michael Tomasky saying:
“In the old days, Caprio wouldn’t have been paid a lick of attention, but now of course you can get attention easily, especially by making oblique and coarse reference to presidential anatomy,” in his blog.
Tomasky went on to suggest that Obama’s appearance in Rhode Island is feeding the impression that things are going badly for the president, likening the move to President George W. Bush’s visits to Oklahoma, Idaho and Utah in his last two years.
The White House announced Sunday that Obama would endorse no one ahead of the President’s first visit to Rhode Island on Monday. Caprio, the state’s general treasurer, had previously said he was looking forward to the president’s visit.
Obama’s Ocean State visit includes a tour of the American Cord & Webbing facilities in Woonsocket and two receptions in Providence to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.