Crist: ‘I’m not causing trouble’; Meek furiousby Dara Kam | October 29th, 2010
Gov. Charlie Crist said he doesn’t remember if he contacted the White House about getting Kendrick Meek to drop out of the U.S. Senate race and said it doesn’t matter.
“They were just interested in staying up with what was going on. I’m not going to get into the back and forth about it. I think it’s been well-reported. The story that’s out this morning it’s true and accurate,” the independent candidate told reporters at a campaign stop in Panama City this morning.
Crist denied reports that he would caucus with the Democrats if Meek dropped out of the race and said he can’t remember who initiated talks with President Obama’s administration.
“I really can’t remember and it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what the people of Florida want…This is a Florida decision for Floridians to decide what they want -if they want an extremist like Marco Rubio or if they want a common-sense candidate like Charlie Crist. That’s really what it comes down to,” the former Republican said.
The race between Meek, Crist and Republican Marco Rubio has dominated the news since yesterday’s reports that former President Bill Clinton tried to get Meek to drop out of the race. Crist said he has spoken with White House officials about the matter but declined to divulge names.
An angry Meek appeared on national news programs insisting he will not drop out of the race and created a furor within the Democratic Party on the state and national level.
“It’s very disappointing that the governor knows more about this than I do,” he said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “He called the White House. He called the Clinton people. He called me.
“And guess what? When he called me, when he caught up with me at a conference two or three days ago, I told the governor: ‘Let me tell you something. If your pathway to victory is me getting out of the race, then you’re not going to win.’ “
He concluded: “I’m in this race to win.”
Crist, for his part, dismissed critics who claim he leaked the story in the final days of early voting and days before the Election to gain a political advantage.
“We’re not causing trouble. We’re causing freedom,” Crist said..