Call it the “shove” heard round the world.
When President Barack Obama decided not to endorse the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island, the incensed politician told the commander in chief what he could do with that endorsement — “shove it.”
Obama didn’t endorse anybody in that state’s tight gubernatorial race as a favor to former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who is running for Rhode Island governor on the independent ticket. Chafee came out big for the president in 2008, endorsing him over Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
As soon as the Democrat Frank Caprio heard of Obama’s decision, he told Rhode Island radio station WPRO: “This process about endorsements isn’t something I’m concerned with about now, and [Obama] can take the endorsement and shove it.”
He added that Obama’s decision to stay out of the race is “Washington insider politics at its worst.”
Despite spurning Caprio, White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton told reporters that Obama is “comfortable” with his decision.
“Out of his respect for his friend Lincoln Chafee, the president decided not to get involved in this race,” Burton said.
“Lincoln Chafee never expected or solicited an endorsement from Obama,” said Mike Trainor, a spokesman for Chafee. “He’s an admirer of the president, and he respects his decision not to make an endorsement.”
Trainor added: “Mr. Caprio’s comment this morning was in extremely poor taste, and an embarrassment to every citizen in Rhode Island.”
Caprio did not return a call for comment.