October 25th, 2010
12:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Top Dem calls White House 'sloppy and unprofessional'

(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."

Related: Dem says Obama can take endorsement and 'shove it'...and a White House response

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.

Filed under: 2010 • Obama administration • Rhode Island
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. welches, oregon

    It's the Republicans that will be staying home this election cycle – since they sure can't vote Democratic, but they sure can't support the extreme candidates for the Republicans – which all adds up to a hefy Democratic win.

    October 25, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. truth

    CNN and other media outlet have shown the utmost disrespect to this administration. Ms. Yellin thought she would get brownie points. Turns out, her scum needs just as much ajax as Mr. Caprio.

    October 25, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Alistair

    Chafee is way better ally than Caprio.

    October 25, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. keeth in cali

    Reporting something so damning but not naming a source. Real classy journalism, CNN. Fox News would be proud. Both you and your "source" are cowards.

    October 25, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. TJones

    Yes, Obama's administration is sloppy. They fired the PR spin-doctors from during the 08 election or either burned them out.

    Obama did what some used-car salesmen do, if your old clunker knocks and rattles, just put some sawdust in the transmission fluid and it will quieten-down long enough for you to sell-it. This "fix" lasts about half the time the vehicle is financed and it blows-up then you have angry people because you sold them a lemon...guess what people? You bought it "AS IS" when you elected him. AND you are going to screw-it-up again by putting Republicans in office.

    Perhaps you should go get some "real people" to help you run the government; like real middle-class citizens who live day to day, paycheck to paycheck, have to itemize grocery lists, conserve on gas every week to make it last, do without dental insurance due to the price, and can barely pay medical premiums and copays, while government continues to add more policy and regulation to their everyday lives.

    The worst mistake we are allowing is letting a two-party system continue unchecked in the government. There needs to be a third party or either eliminate them altogether and simply elect regular citizens; but that's impossible since we don't have any money to run and the incumbents are stacking the deck against us.

    How is that for representation? I haven't seen true-representation in government in all of my 45 years...it is all elite-driven. Not of the people. How fair is this?

    October 25, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Sam

    As if it will make a difference.

    As a ration minded, pro-business fiscal conservative currently living in the most liberal state in the union, to watch squabbling among Democrats is amusing but mostly just pathetic.

    I grew up in Barrington, RI went to public high school there and unfortunately I'm still living and working in the hopeless state of RI.

    The position of governor is utterly POWERLESS in Rhode Island. Just look at current Republican governor Donald Carcieri, who has done basically nothing constructive except veto insane General Assembly legislation. The thugs in the General Assembly run the state, along with their best friend, their uncles and all their cats and dogs. Nobody has ANY credibility because everyone "knows someone". The result is the worst state for business in the entire country.

    Rhode Island has ZERO INDUSTRY, ZERO OPPORTUNITIES and ZERO POTENTIAL. It has high taxes, high unemployment and the situation is only going to get worse. Rhode Island's population consists of a few small business owners, a bunch of elitist college kids in Providence, labor union stooges and a ton of senior citizens.

    I am happy however that I got to experience the ugly northeast liberal hell that is Rhode Island so that I can dream of something better for myself and my family in ANOTHER STATE SOMEDAY.

    October 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. george

    As the saying goes.. there is no honor among thieves.

    October 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Whatever

    What's sloppy and unprofessional is the "top democratic" and the CNN reporter who reported on this non issue. Caprio proved why he is not getting an endorsement.

    October 25, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Dean

    Obama is sloppy and unprofessional. Frank maybe you should have joined a union if you wanted Obama's support.

    October 25, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Bertina

    This is a non story. There are plenty of democrats that continually didn't stand behind Obama and his legislation so Obama has every right not to support those who didn't support him. End of story.

    October 25, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Seabiscuit

    What a guy this Caprio. Just the kind of man you want on your side. NOT.

    "Get the bum out"

    October 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. rrrlas

    The wheels are falling off the bama wagon! Talk about an experiment gone wrong.

    October 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Whatever

    The President can endorse whomever he wants. He does need to listen to anyone. I applaud the President for not endorsing someone just because he or she has a "D" behind their name on the ballot. I wonder if Caprio will find the President "sloppy and unprofessional" if he is elected and wants some Federal cash (pork). Him saying this shows he is sloppy and unprofessional. Caprio sounds like the NY gubertorial candidate.

    October 25, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Ron St. Louis

    Useless article. If you quote someone saying the While House is sloppy and unprofessional then you need to identify who is saying it. The article has no credibility since is only states a "senior democrat" without reference to who it is. Anyone can call themself by such a title but this article has the look and feel of a FOX news story...emotional statements with no facts. Its disappointing that CNN even gave Jessica Yellin the space to print such a factless story.

    October 25, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. cathstar

    Good for President Obama! The main problem with our policical system is that it's so partisan. Democrats have to support Democrats; Republicans have to support Republicans. What a bunch of crap! Also, the majority of registered voters vote along party lines. That's a very stupid way to vote. Knowing the issues and voting accordingly, for any party, makes infinitely more sense. We should demand an IQ test for voting which would thin out the herd!

    October 25, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Humorous that this anonymous source, obviously someone close to Clinton, says Obama is sloppy and unprofessional. If memory serves, Bill did plenty while in the White House that was, to put it mildly, sloppy (anyone remember the blue dress) and unprofessional. And as for mishandling political campaigns, Bill's last big one didn't turn out so well – he stepped on Hillary's parade by spewing his garbage in South Carolina.

    October 25, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Lynn

    I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this "Top Dem" is James Carville...........the press/Republicans seem to gravitate to him because he is regularly critical of the president. I don't know any Dems who consider Carville a viable/valuable member of the Democratic party.

    October 25, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Independant American

    If our elected leaders want what's best for the country as the top priority then campaign for the person best suited for the job. Wait, that's called political suicide... What's the top priority again?

    October 25, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Seabiscuit

    Um sorry but no. It is not the white house that is corrupt but the Rethugs. Just wait if by any chance they win you will be the sorry ones.

    October 25, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. obama victim

    The Obama regime is becoming more than just incompetent...they are now a national embarassment

    October 25, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Tony 140

    There is plenty of room under the Obama Bus.

    October 25, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. 26_third_street

    The so called President of the United States has no loyalty or class. He is an arrogant egotistical boy who's goal is to get rid of the United States as we know it. It's too bad that Caprio didn't have the oppotunity to bend Obama over and do the shoving.

    October 25, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Unbelievable...

    Thanks Caprio...I almost wasted $25 on your campaign. I just received my confirmation from Chafee's folks that my contribution went through successfully. Do you honestly think that your baseless attacks are going to help America OR your party? I think not...

    October 25, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. sally

    I'm not sure what is behind this strange turn of events but I think Obama should endorse all Democrats if at all possible. ..Certainly not because Chafee is a friend, if that is the true reason.

    October 25, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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