October 26th, 2010
09:14 PM ET
3 years ago

The 'shove it' heard around the state

(CNN) - "Shove it" was the most used phrase in the Rhode Island Gubernatorial debate Tuesday night.

Democratic nominee Frank Caprio said the president should "shove it" this week after not endorsing his candidacy. And the topic was the lead off question of the night's debate.

"It was a political answer to a political reaction that the White House took. When you're dealing in a political situation words like that are not uncommon. I stand by my words," Caprio said. "I reacted in a very human way, and I will continue to react in an appropriate way down the road."

Caprio also said he respected the president, but that didn't stop his opponents from jumping on the opportunity to address the issue.

Republican-turned-independent former Sen. Lincoln Chafee said it was "unfortunate and regrettable in the reflection on our state."

Republican John Robitaille used harsher words, saying he would never "disrespect the President of the United States the way this man did."

"This is either a man who is not mature enough to posses the temperament to make good decisions and act like a potential governor, or it's a petulant little child reacting to not getting his own way," Robitaille said.

And it was Caprio's response to that comment that created the biggest stir from the audience, complete with boos and cheers.

"People in Rhode Island are hurting right now. People are sitting around in their homes tonight and they don't know if they're gong to be able to pay their rent next week when it's due," Caprio said. "And if it takes telling someone to shove it, I'm going to tell them to shove it because I'm going to fight for Rhode Island every day when I'm up at that state house."

The candidates, including moderate party candidate Ken Block addressed taxes, job creation and reforming the state government for much of the hour-long debate.

Robitaille said he would cut the social programs that residents have become dependent upon in the state, and attacked Chafee on his tax policy.

"I don't think Chafee can say the word cut," Robitaille said. "He's talking about raising taxes."

Caprio also jumped on the anti-tax bandwagon.

"We live in the real world in Rhode Island right now people are struggling, people are frustrated, people are exhausted, they don't want more taxes," Caprio said. "It's time to go through that budget line by line and make the cuts and make the state run just like your households run."

Chafee stressed his experience as mayor and Senator and said he knows how to cut spending and create jobs.

"You invest in infrastructure and education and that leads to companies want to come to your community," Chafee said. "I did it as mayor and that's what I plan to do."

According to recent polls the race remains close, with Caprio leading slightly. The winner of the election in November will replace Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri who is term limited.

- Follow Gabriella Schwarz on Twitter: @schwarzgcnn


Filed under: 2010 • Frank Caprio • Lincoln Chafee • Rhode Island
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Cool

    Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you, Caprio. Bye!

    October 26, 2010 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    caprio why don't you call the queen of quitters? She could help really put you in the ground feet first.

    October 26, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. George of the jungle

    why would the president back a man like this it is obvious that he is way to imature to be in office. Such disrespect does not deserve help from anyone. Im sure the repos love it maybe he should join their party we democrats don't want him. Vote all the repos out in NOvember

    October 26, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. russinmaine

    Come Tuesday you all are going to hear a "shove it" that will make this one sound like a whisper!

    October 26, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. John

    Caprio is not worthy of the office, nor of his party.

    October 26, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. NotFooled

    Mr. Caprio's statement says more about him than it does about the President.

    Grow up Mr. Caprio.

    October 26, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  7. vlj in mn

    I don't care who you are. Telling someone, especially the President of the United States, to shove it is disrespectful. My kids would get in trouble for saying it to anyone. I'm a democrat and am ashamed to read of this. Have we no decency in this country anymore? Brings back the "You lie" comment during the State of the Union. People, grow up!

    October 26, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. TOTAL FACT

    Finally a Democrat with some sense. If the rest would not be too scared and follow suit this world of America may have a chance of being saved. You have a traitor in the Oval Office. one who cares nothing of America or it's constitution. He and his big-butted wife have an agenda. One that not even his Bros can see. That is the total destruction of our government. His genda is to weaken this country into such a state it will never recover. At the same time he is placing his people, Muslims, Anti-Americans in strategic places throughout America giving them high ranksing jobs within the government to take control without anyone being able to stop him. He is succeeding at such a rate that by 2012 I see this country not even being able to have an election. How can he do that. Easy have us into WW III> You can not change Presidents during this period. I TELL YOU WE HAVE THE ANTI-CHRIST IN OUR MIDST AND US STUPID PEOPLE HAVE PUT HIM AT THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND. JUST LIKE NOSTRADUMUS PREDICTED. ARMEGEDDON IS AT HAND.

    October 26, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. doug

    Seems to me he proved why the President didn't endorse him. Immature and petulant reaction.

    October 26, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Bonnie in Seattle

    Real classy, must make your state proud....

    October 26, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. LMC

    Saying the president can "shove it" is totally inappropriate. I don't care if he is a Democrat, it was disrespectful. I would have felt the same way if someone had said that about George Bush, and I can't stand that man!

    October 26, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. A Kickin` Donkey

    This guy doesnt get it. The right response 24 hours later would have been to back away for this comment.

    The President is working FOR not AGAINST those people that need to pay their rent so using that as an example to justify the comment doesn`t cut it.

    And because of his stupidity, he handed his opponent the opprtunity to issue a commercial with 2 year old clip of the President that gives the impression that Mr. Obama has endorsed Mr. Chaffe. Stupid.

    Rhode Island won`t want to be embarassed by their own vwersion of Carl Palatino. Sorry sir, you disrespected the President.

    You lose!

    October 26, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. chris

    Seems as if these spoiled silver spoon in mouth polititians are still acting like the sophomoric high school children they really are. Political party notwithstanding, all these politicians have no sense of honor or integrity. Insults and innuendo are their recourse since they lack a real awareness of our countries needs. Self serving prima donnas.

    October 26, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  14. Fed Up

    No, he didn't act inappropriately. The pres did. After all, the Dems are supposed to do what Obama wants, but of course, Obama can do whatever he wants. If another Dem went against the party line, Obama would kick his butt from here to kingdom come. IF I lived in Rhode Island, I would vote for this guy just because of that comment. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    October 27, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. Myron

    They can all shove it.

    October 27, 2010 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  16. valwayne

    Even Democratic candidates don't trust Obama!

    October 27, 2010 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Peter E

    'I want my candidate to be honest.' 'I want my candidate to be civil and polite.' 'I want my candidate to stay strong on his principles.' 'I want my candidate to listen to the voters.' Let's face it, the American voter is a complete overdemanding hypocrite. And completely dishonest. They will make up their mind long before the campaigns dish out their mutual character assasination and then make excuses for their own candidate. It is okay for my candidate to be rude because he is honest. But it is reprehensible for the opposite candidate to be so uncivil. It is okay for my candidate to change stance on issues because he is just listening to my needs, but if the opposition does it, they are flip-floppers. My candidate is strong and principled. The opposition's candidate doing the same thing is pig-headed and close-minded.

    October 27, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  18. CBR

    Gabriella Schwartz seems to write a lot of these articles; There is no doubt that the people of Rhode Island are having a very difficult time. I don't understand how that becomes the reason that Frank Caprio answered as he did.

    Most people forget about loyalty in politics. Lincoln Chaffee knows the President and I believe Pres. Obama gave him support because of his moderate political stances. Chaffee is runing as an independent which make this a little unusual.

    Many people feel you support the best person for the job regardless of party affiliation. We are entering a new era. Republicans have watched as their party members are being turned back in favor of TEA Party candidates. Now the Democrats are seeing this as well.

    Mr. Caprio's remarks are interesting. I am not sure that he chose the right path. Mr. Caprio has to face the fact that this a new era in politics – party affiliation may not get you an endorsement from party members..

    October 27, 2010 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  19. gladyola

    "Ain't that America"? We are such an articulate people.

    October 27, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. Snow

    I love it, Conservatives will give nobama the same message on election day.

    October 27, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  21. Han

    This is what's wrong with politics. Sadly. I'm a democrat, but this guy thinks he's entitled to an endorsement by the president is pathetic. You need to earn it! GTFO of here!

    October 27, 2010 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  22. Jon

    Man, what a jerk.

    October 27, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. barry

    Frank Caprio answered the criticism very well. It will be interesting to see what the polls show but if I were from Rhode Island I would be leaning to vote for him. He seems like a stand up guy who puts the people of Rhode Island first. When it comes to Lincoln Chafee he's a turncoat just like Charlie Crist in Florida. Chafee has always been a liberal Democrat he just ran as a Republican. Once they pull the turncoat change Party move voters know they can't be trusted. If Frank Caprio pulls out the win this will send a strong message to Obama. This will be fun to follow next Tuesday.

    October 27, 2010 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  24. greg

    It appears that the rules of the game has changed when it comes down to respecting the highest position in our nation. I am not talking about Iraqis throwing shoes or any other non-American flying off the handle, I'm talking about us (US) especially those that are in office or running for office or those making their voices heard over the airways. When you blatantly disrespect the office of the President of the United States and have no shame about it, you've just opened up a can of worms.

    If you're going to continue to disrespect this President in particular – Be prepared for what is coming to you. Don't think that you'll be able to remain untouched and unscathed for your arrogant behavior.

    All this from so called civilized folk. Pathetic!

    October 27, 2010 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  25. keeth in california

    "This is either a man who is not mature enough to posses the temperament to make good decisions and act like a potential governor, or it's a petulant little child reacting to not getting his own way," Robitaille said.

    EXACTLY!

    October 27, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
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