Patrick Kennedy takes Gemma to task for ripping fellow DemsJuly 12th, 2012 at 6:34 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
In a statement Thursday evening, the former congressman took Anthony Gemma to task for telling WPRO-AM he won’t support fellow Democrats U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin in November. Gemma cited their support for incumbent Congressman David Cicilline over him.
“It is critically important that we all continue supporting our fantastic federal delegation this year in Senator Whitehouse and Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline,” Kennedy said. “This is about Rhode Island, not about each candidate, and I don’t think Mr. Gemma understands this.”
Gemma told WPRO the other federal officials should have stayed neutral in the Democratic primary. “I’m frustrated with Senator Whitehouse that he has not stepped up and done what’s right for me,” he said. “His constituents are telling him in droves that I am the right candidate. I know it for a fact.”
Gemma added that he does support U.S. Sen. Jack Reed because “he’s not running.”
Cicilline defeated Gemma in the Democratic primary to succeed Kennedy two years ago after the veteran congressman decided to retire. In his statement, Kennedy said he supports the three incumbents because of their positions on Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, offshoring and fossil-fuel subsidies.
“I was proud to serve with Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin in Washington and I saw firsthand their dedication to Rhode Island and their fierce advocacy for the people of our state,” he said.
A WPRI 12 poll in May showed Cicilline with a slim in the Democratic primary, with 40% of voters supporting him, 36% supporting Gemma and 20% undecided. The primary is Sept. 11.