Caprio turns contrite on ShoveitgateOctober 30th, 2010 at 8:01 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
Nearly a week after Frank Caprio told President Obama he could “take his endorsement and really shove it” – and on the eve of a campaign appearance by former president Bill Clinton – the embattled Democratic nominee for governor has offered a new and longer mea culpa.
In a statement e-mailed to reporters Saturday, Caprio said he has “had a lot of time to reflect on my words and I understand the criticism.” Caprio said he respects Obama’s decision not to get involved in the race due to the president’s friendship with Lincoln Chafee, while acknowledging he was surprised when he first learned of the White House’s decision.
“I wish I had chosen different language, but now the focus has to be on what is important to Rhode Islanders,” he said. (WRNI’s Ian Donnis has the full statement.)
At our debate and other forums this week, Caprio had appeared to embrace the controversy. “If it takes telling someone to ‘shove it,’ I am going to tell them to shove it, because I am going to fight for Rhode Islanders every day up at that State House,” he said Tuesday. But as he falls further behind Lincoln Chafee in public opinion polls with just two days before the election, it’s clear the Caprio campaign has decided Shoveitgate is not a positive for them.
Unfortunately for Caprio, it may be too late for him to right the ship between now and Tuesday. (Ian reports that the state’s most prominent Democrats aren’t even going to attend tomorrow’s Clinton rally.) If that’s the case, Republican John Robitaille will need a massive groundswell of support to defeat Chafee on Tuesday – otherwise, the independent ex-Republican stands a good chance of becoming Rhode Island’s next governor.
But as the politicians always remind us, the only poll that really matters will happen Tuesday. Stay tuned.