Rhode Island’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee said President Obama can “shove” his endorsement amid an ugly intraparty squabble that has Democrats buzzing that the commander in chief is showing too little loyalty to his own party.
Obama, showing deference to Republican-turned-independent Lincoln Chafee, is refusing to endorse Democrat Frank Caprio, even as he travels to the smallest state to do a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“He can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I’m concerned,” Caprio said on WPRO radio, according to an account on the Providence Journal’s Website.
There had been behind-the-scenes activity to try to get the president to endorse Caprio — or at least appear with him while in Rhode Island.
But Obama, who won a cross-party endorsement from Chafee in the 2008 presidential campaign, has made clear he doesn’t intend to put his thumb on the scale for Caprio in one of the few states where his endorsement might benefit a Democrat this year.
“This is disappointing. Frank Caprio has spent his career fighting for the values of the Democratic Party, and I think he deserves the full support of our party and its leaders,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “While this might not be what the White House intended, the president’s refusal to endorse a fellow Democrat in the worst environment since 1994 sends a bad message to everyone who’s working to get Democrats elected this year.”