President Obama wasn't going to endorse Democrat Frank Caprio in the Rhode Island governor's race anyway, but now the president...really won't be endorsing him.
Caprio is running against former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who backed Obama in the 2008 presidential race after falling out, more or less, with the Republican Party. Chafee is now running for governor as an independent.
After learning that Obama wouldn't endorse anyone in this race, Caprio told a radio station that the president can "take his endorsement and really shove it," the Associated Press reports:
Frank Caprio's campaign last week said he would welcome the president's endorsement. But on Monday, the same day Obama was set to make his first visit to Rhode Island as president and a day after the White House said Obama would not endorse anyone, Caprio angrily told WPRO-AM that Obama can "take his endorsement and really shove it."
It was a surprising about-face for Caprio, whose campaign said as late as Sunday night that he was looking forward to Obama's visit, and that he would accompany the president to two public appearances.
For all the talk this fall about Obama's unpopularity in swing states and districts, and for all the questions, it's ironic that such a blow-up has happened in a race where the president's endorsement could have provided a big help: Rasmussen finds that 56 percent of Rhode Island's likely voters approve of Obama's job performance.
Rasmussen shows Chafee leading this race, while other polling firms have shown Caprio ahead as recently as October 6.