Democratic candidate: I voted for John McCain
A Democratic candidate from Mississippi has said he voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, in the most extreme example of the current midterm campaign of a ostensible ally of Barack Obama distancing themselves from the president
Congressman Gene Taylor represents a district which voted heavily for Mr McCain in 2008. As a conservative Democrat, he has however been re-elected easily 11 times.
But after winning Mississippi’s 4th district by a massive 49 percentage points in 2008, his seat is now in danger from Republican challenger Steven Palazzo, who has consistently attacked the incumbent for voting with Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, who has become a figure of scorn on the Right.
In this campaign, he has repeatedly criticised Mrs Pelosi for being too liberal even though he supported her as speaker in 2007 and 2009.
"I will not support her for speaker again" Mr Taylor said of Mrs Pelosi in an interview with the Biloxi Sun Herald. "I'm very disappointed in how she's veered to the left."
Mr Taylor’s confession came a day after the Democratic candidate for governor in Rhode Island told Mr Obama to “shove” his endorsement after the president decided not to endorse any candidate, out of deference to an independent candidate who was one of his earlier backers.
"He can take his endorsement and really shove it, as far as I'm concerned," Frank Caprio told local WPRO-AM radio, even as Mr Obama was due to visit the small east coast state for two Democratic party fund-raisers and a visit to a factory.
Mr Caprio was running against Republican John Robitaille as well as former Republican Lincoln Chafee, an independent who backed Mr Obama's 2008 presidential bid, in the November 2 ballot.
"I've never asked President Obama for his endorsement. And what's going on here is really Washington insider politics at its worst," complained Mr Caprio.
"What I'm saying to President Obama very clearly is, I'll wear as a badge of honour and a badge of courage that he doesn't want to endorse me as a Democrat, because I am a different kind of Democrat," he told the station.