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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Democratic candidate for Rhode Island governor, widely seen as more conservative than the independent seeking to lead the heavily Democratic state, said Monday that President Barack Obama can "shove it" after learning Obama would not endorse him.
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.
It appears to be a calculated move by a candidate who is facing a tight race against independent former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a onetime Republican who gave a high-profile endorsement to Obama ahead of the Democratic primary in 2008, and Republican John Robitaille, who has never held elected office. There have been no reliable polls in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Don Carcieri.
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