October 26th, 2010
09:14 PM ET
12 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. Sherri W.W.

    Lets see~cut taxes and cut the social programs people have become dependent on?~in this economy?Right!~and ,if we dont start paying MORE taxes,per our ability TO pay,this nation is going to crumble!~no ifs or ands about THAT! Every dollar that is spent on infrastructure,while giving THOUSANDS OF JOBS~ALSO RETURNS $6 to the GDP!~a good bargin and ALL our infrastructure is crumbling!The stimulas was never meant to do complicated structures~it was not big enough for that~but it cut taxes&put a LOT of people back to work just in ny area alone!~and 47%of the people,including me,paid NO Fed Income Tax last year!~THAT is a disgrace~we all have to begin to pay for sevices we have to have~THAT also returns many $ back to the economy!This"no~tax" policy is completely nuts and not sustainable!~Also~the only thing neede to fix Soc.Sec.for years [about 75]is to raise the tax paid into it[FICA]above the current $106,000 limit~its THAT Simple!

    October 27, 2010 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  2. BeckFastPaws

    Everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, even politicians. Anyone who doesn't like that the 1st Amendment guarantees that, can shove it. 🙂

    October 27, 2010 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  3. jules sand-perkins

    "Shove it" is a very strong phrase to actually voice when political correctness has practically nullified freedom of speech in this country: not only is a Confederate flag unwelcome, even an American flag has become offensive, and forget prayer.
    However, it is possible to THINK some words without actually speaking them.
    "Shove your communism" is a good phrase to think in one's silent heart when voting against President Obama's pinko policies next Tuesday.

    October 27, 2010 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  4. Joe, San Diego

    A grown man in politics and that is what he has to say, utterly ridiculous... lead by example!
    Caprio would think twice if someone said those words to him. When people outside the US disrespect our nation and president is a shoot to kill but here in America oh its just freedom of speech- splitting hairs.

    October 27, 2010 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  5. dan smith

    One dem I might vote for.

    October 27, 2010 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  6. AngieS

    "Petulant little children not getting their way..." hmm... sounds like a good description for the entire country right now. These incredible sound bites and outrageously nasty comments reflect poorly on our whole nation. The lack of gentility and the brash say-anything-that-comes-to-mind mentality of the current candidates in many states is evidence of the frightening reality that the US is substantially dumbing down and you may believe that the world is watching in disgust. Is it any wonder that our international influence has been markedly harmed? It is a very small step from these kinds of school yard tactics to the brawls and fist fights so common in the houses of government in some other countries.

    October 27, 2010 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  7. therealmarie

    With continued garbage reports like this it is no wonder why your known in some areas of the country as "Clown News Network". Oh, The glory that CNN once had...

    October 27, 2010 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  8. frankie

    Caprio is a spoiled child, whining because he's not Obama's best friend in Rhode Island. He whines about the economy and how he'll fix it as if it were Obama's fault we're in this sorry state of affairs. As a Democrat, I'm embarrassed for him. I'm also convinced it was not the Bush White House's fault for this economy. It's affecting the whole world. Look at Greece. Our economy was on a slow rise a few months ago when Greece defaulted. Our stock market took a dive. It's the World Economy, stupid!

    October 27, 2010 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  9. keepstuffingthis

    This election is all about giving Obama the big "shove it" from all hard working American taxpayers.

    October 27, 2010 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  10. kk

    His state is not the only state that is in this situation. I live in Ohio. Yet that is not a reason to disrespect the President, which is exactly what he did. People who have lost their jobs are now dependent on the very same social programs that this man wants to cut. I do agree however that some social programs do need to be cut yet no politician has provided a list of these programs. How about being specific versus disrespectful?

    October 27, 2010 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  11. holly

    This guy is a disgrace. As a free nation, you do not have to like the President of the United States, and yes, you can say what you want but when will people learn that just because you have the freedom to say what you want does not mean you always should? It is called respect. He is the President. I do not care who the President is at the time, republican or democrat, you do not tell him to "shove it." Thanks for embarassing us to the rest of the world, because our track record has been so great in the past 10 years.

    October 27, 2010 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  12. Rome865

    There is no place for disrespect of the office of the President. This man should not be elected!!!

    October 27, 2010 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. ray gibbs

    That's right, my President, "shove it!" And from a Democrat!

    October 27, 2010 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  14. elidude

    He'll "continue to act that way down the road." Nice... more uncivil un-statesmen. Where is the debate that elevates society instead of wallowing in the lowest common denominator. Where is the respect for the office of Pres. One could despise Geo. Bush's idiotic policies, yet still not tell HIM to SHOVE it!

    October 27, 2010 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  15. w l jones

    The more knowledge a person attain the sooner they learnt he or she arent worthy of political office. This is America it is not about me it for all American period.

    October 27, 2010 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  16. BD70

    I can see these Politicians will say anything to get elected. And when they do? Good luck.

    October 27, 2010 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Debbie

    How about sticking to the positive ideas–like all the plans you have to help your constituents, instead of just showing bad manners, bad temper, and just rudeness. I get it–every candidate is a rude, selfish, lying slob. There are no positive campaign messages–just insults against the other guy(s). I don't look forward to seeing the behavior in Washington of all of these rude, hostile egotists when they get in the same room.

    October 27, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  18. Cretaceous1

    Nothing wrong with this politician telling a do-nothing prez. to "Shove it". He needs something to get him to act presidential for a big change in the ways he is making correct decisions for the good of all the population and not just blackques!

    October 27, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. mike

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

    Really? Your entire party disrespects him and and entire nation on a daily basis! Where are you seeing this sudden outbreak of "respect"??

    October 27, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Robert

    I agree with Caprio.

    October 27, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Desi

    Whatever Mr Frank Caprio said, was disgraceful. In my opinion, the voters should throw this man out of his job. A man who does not know how to react to an unpleasant situation needs to go out. This incident and people like him take politicing to a new low.

    October 27, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  22. Terry - Indiana

    If a politician's lips are moving, you can bet they are lying, or tap dancing around an honest answer. Once elected, all politicians have their hand out, and the PACS, Lobbyists, and large corporations are waiting to buy control of that politician.

    October 27, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. James

    I would just like to say " Obama, shove it!!!"

    October 27, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  24. karek40

    Don't live there but it is refreshing to find a democrat who will disagree strongly with the party line to the extent that he says shove it.

    October 27, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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