(CNN) - "Sloppy and unprofessional."
That's what a top Democrat calls the White House's handling of the situation in Rhode Island – where President Obama declined to endorse the Democratic candidate for governor there, Frank Caprio.
This senior Democrat, who's working to elect Democrats across the country, wouldn't speak for attribution while criticizing the White House. This person believes the White House declined to endorse Caprio "entirely out of a sense of loyalty to Lincoln Chafee". Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent and a former senator, is running against Caprio and endorsed then-candidate Obama in 2008.
This source, clearly frustrated with the White House, added, "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 source, who has been involved in Democratic campaigns for years also said, "They sent a message that the President doesn't stand by fellow Democrats, even though he's asking others to stand by him."
In contrast, this Democrat points out Bill Clinton put aside his bitter personal history with Jerry Brown and campaigned for him just last week and suggests the White House should take a page from Clinton's example.
"There was definitely a better way to handle whatever they were trying to accomplish," the Democratic source concluded.