(CNN) – President Obama is making a campaign stop in Rhode Island Monday but he’s not getting a particularly warm welcome from the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Amid news Obama is refraining from endorsing Democrat Frank Caprio during his swing through the state, Caprio told a local radio station Monday that the president can “take his endorsement and really shove it.”
Audio after the jump
"We had one of the worst floods in the history of the United States a few months back and President Obama didn't even do a flyover of Rhode Island like President Bush did when New Orleans had their problems. He ignored us and now he's coming into Rhode Island and treating us like an ATM machine,” Caprio, the state’s treasurer, also told WPRO’s John Depetro.
Caprio is neck-and-neck in the polls with former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, running as an independent. Chafee, the only Republican to vote against the authorization of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, lost his Senate reelection bid in 2006 and later left the GOP.
Chafee went on to endorse then-presidential candidate Obama in 2008, saying then, "I believe Senator Obama is the best candidate to restore American credibility, to restore our confidence to be moral and to bring people together to solve the complex issues such as the economy, the environment and global stability."
The Providence Journal reported Monday that the White House determined ahead of Obama’s trip to the state that there would be no formal endorsement of Caprio – a rare snub from the president to a viable Democratic gubernatorial candidate, especially in a year when the party is desperately trying to maintain its advantage in statehouses across the country.
“I’ve never asked President Obama for his endorsement, Caprio also said. “What’s going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst. You have two former senators, Senator Chafee and former Senator Obama, who have behind the scenes tried to put together an endorsement for Senator Chaffee and who knows there may be one coming.
“What I am saying to President Obama very clearly is that I will wear it as a badge of honor and badge of courage that he doesn’t want to endorse me as Democrat,” he continued. “Because I am a different kind of Democrat.”
Mike Trainor, a spokesman for Chafee, told CNN the comments were "very intemperate and shocking."
A top Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN's Jessica Yellin that the White House's decision is "unprofessional."
"What they forget is that President Obama is the leader of the party, and sometimes that means supporting your party over your friends. This is especially true when you consider that we are in the worst environment since 1994," the Democrat said.
Caprio had planned to attend events with Obama in Woonsocket and Providence, where the president will tour a factory and raise money on behalf of Providence Mayor David Cicilline, who is seeking to replace Patrick Kennedy in the House.
Speaking to WPRO, Caprio dodged questions about whether he still plans to attend the events with the president.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton responded to questions about Caprio's statement on the way to Rhode Island aboard Air Force One Monday:
"The President is thrilled to go to Rhode Island to talk about small business jobs. … As for the politics, he decided out of respect for his friend Lincoln Chafeee not to get into the race."
Later, asked how he would vote if he could in Rhode Island, Burton wouldn't bite but added:
"The President is very comfortable doing what he's doing in this race."
And: "The President is talking about the choice people have in this election."
"a different kind of Democrat" How does that work ?
Tell us why you are so different. I can't stand politians that make these claims but offer no substance behind the remark.
Here, here! And this is the kiss of death for Chafee.
If endorsements are automatic, then why have them?
I have not seen any support from this man for the President's policies lin the news. and what he has done is made this a national embarrassment for himself.
Why are so many politicians so stupid?
Does it surprise anyone! Wasn't it the dems who said it was the repubs who were leaving moderate candidates high and dry to chose more conservative ones, looks like the shoe is on the other foot. Of course Obama wants Chaffee to get in. He is and has always been a Dem. He never had the conservative values of the Republican party.
I hope Caprio pulls this off! Best wishes Governor!
Sounds like there's at least one smart democrat out there.
This is the sentiment that the majority of the American People are telling this foul up named obama.
Oh wow!!! One Democrat with "cojones." A bunch more like Mr. Caprio and we may still be able to save some of our fellow Democrats from defeat.
Mr. Caprio, please don't President NObama and his minions intimidate you. Stand up and speak your mind. America surely needs Democrats like you!
interesting. I wonder if he is trying to target the disgruntled conservatives who wouldn't vote for Chafee because Chafee is a liberal.
President Obama have his reasons why he didn't endorse this guy. So y don't he just shove it.
Caprio can take my support and shove it too.
So the president did not fly over the flooded areas with his airplane? You sir are a tool! You are the exact reason the Dem's are well on their way to being creamed in the mid-terms. You have not a stitch of courage or respect for the President and his plans. Do the party a favor and change sides.
Now there's a real classy politician (cough!). Grow up, Caprio. This isn't high school.
Telling your boss to shove it... very professional!
It is a shame that the spineless democrats are not standing side by side with our President. The President, who despite the relentless republican lies and constant abstractions has accomplished more for the working class in 18 months than any republican presidents ever did.
That's pretty funny.
Obama can take endorsement and 'shove it," says Dem................
Wow! Isn't that a mature grown-up attitude...... sounds like they're upset because Obama didn't do I fly over the way Bush did after a flooding several years ago... that's smart....... shoot yourselves in the foot to show them all.
Mr. Caprio, the Dems have done a great deal to pull this country out of a major depression, given health coverage to many, passed financial reform for banks and wall street, passed equal pay for women, etc. etc. etc. If you are not proud of what has been accomplished then get out of the party.
Get lost, Caprio. Who needs 'friends' like you? I pity RI if this clown gets elected.
Just like many people who voted for Obama after I tried to convince them not to, they are regretting their decision now. Hindsight is 20/20...I have a clear conscience. Others, not so much.
i hear ya frank. my bathtub overflowed last night and obama didnt care to do a flyover as well!
what a class act – if I were a voter there, I would tell Cappy to shove it...........
Caprio has no class...
Obozo has played dirty politics all his life. Anybody that believes differently is lying to themselves, and others. The truest words ever spoken were when Joe Wilson shouted "You LIe!" during the State of the Union address. Sort of seems mild compared to a "shove it" comment from a DemocRAT!
Don't worry Caprio, the American people will also be telling Obozo to "shove it" next week. BTW, thank you for some straight talk. Sure aren't hearing it much these days from DemocRATS.
Good for you! I would not now want Obama's endorsement either. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't want him or his wife near me. Instead of campaigning which is all he knows ow to do, he should be in Washington trying to figure out how to stop outsourcing and bring jobs back to Americans. Instead of campaigning, he should be forcing Napolitano to secure the borders at all costs, and rid this country of illegals whether crimiinals or not, and declare anchor babies not to be citizens of the US.
I wouldn't endorse anyone that was as disrespectful of the President's position. I may disagree, but to tell him to "SHOVE IT". What a tool.