It may be Obama’s USA, but for Caprio, R.I. is still ‘Clinton Country’

Leave it to Rhode Island. The smallest state made big headlines today after gubernatorial hopeful, Democrat Frank Caprio, told President Obama he could “shove it.” The president declined to endorse a candidate in the state’s race, currently dominated by frontrunners Caprio and independent candidate Lincoln Chafee. Caprio’s comment is now the remark being heard around the world, and you bet he’s standing by it.

The self-professed “Clinton Democrat” isn’t sweating it too much though — he has the former White House inhabitant making another stump trip to Rhode Island this weekend. The two go way back; the Providence Phoenix dubs Caprio’s professional admiration a “Clinton fixation.”

Caprio and Clinton have a private moment during Clinton's July visit to the Ocean State — Providence Journal photo

Clinton’s July visit to the Ocean State came just days before his daughter Chelsea’s summer wedding, so it’s possible the Rhody politicians were just angling for an invite to the elite, top secret event. With the nuptials behind him, his upcoming visit to Rhode Island, which Caprio dubs “Clinton Country,” is all business.

Caprio to Obama: ‘Shove it’

State Treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio told President Obama to “shove it” after hearing that Obama was coming to Rhode Island without an endorsement for him. The Associated Press notes that Obama might be staying out of the R.I. endorsement business because of key support in his 2008 election from independent Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14, a former GOP senator. Caprio probably can’t be too happy either that a new Rasmussen poll shows Chafee up seven points, giving Nate Silver’s computer reason to change its mind and declare Chafee a light favorite. Or maybe the prez is still salty that hoops buddy and R.I. Attorney General Patrick Lynch ’87 is not on the ballot.

When candidate Obama was in Li'l Rhody in 2008, only half of the Democratic Party was against him. Rahul Keerthi / Herald File Photo