President walks into political controversy in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.l. – The emphasis was on politics not policy as President Obama campaigned in Rhode Island for Democratic congressional candidate David Cicilline on Monday.

It was the president as campaigner and chief who swooped into Rhode Island yesterday to boost Cicilline's congressional campaign and raise about a half-million dollars for the Democratic Party's campaign to retain control of the U.S. House.

The event was snarled in one of the political spats that seem to accompany almost every big event in Rhode Island politics in recent years. Frank Caprio, the Democratic governor, was upset that he did not receive the president's endorsement.

Caprio said on talk radio that the president could take his endorsement and quote "shove it," a statement that made national news and cut into the Democrat message of party unity.

Later, Obama said through a spokesman that he's remaining neutral in the governor's race out of respect for friend Lincoln Chafee, the independent candidate in the contest.

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