White House says Caprio knew about non-endorsement for weeks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – One day after saying the president could take his non-endorsement and quote "shove it", Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio said he has the "highest respect" for the commander in chief.

Caprio was a guest on the Today Show. Asked by host Meredith Vieira if the President is rooting for Independent Lincoln Chafee to win the Rhode Island governorship, Caprio said, "Look, I have the highest level of respect for the president and I'm going to take care of my campaign right here in Rhode Island. Ya know this was an endorsement I wasn't actively seeking."

But an hour later on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" White House political advisor David Axelrod said Caprio has been seeking the president's endorsement for weeks.

"Mr. Caprio called here weeks ago looking for the president's endorsement and this was explained to him," said Axelrod. "I understand he's disappointed. And sometimes when people are disappointed they say intemperate things. "

The White House has said it is not making an endorsement in the Rhode Island gubernatorial race out of deference to Chafee, a former Republican who was an early supporter of the president.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.