Politico.com: Clinton tried to persuade Meek to quit U.S. Senate raceby Ana Valdes | October 28th, 2010
Politico.com is reporting that former President Clinton tried to persuade Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race during his recent visit to Florida.
According to Politico, Clinton had twice convinced Meek to drop out and endorse independent Gov. Charlie Crist, and both had even agreed to announce Meek’s early exit during an endorsement rally Oct. 26. But Meek changed his mind last weekend, according to the report.
Meek’s campaign manager, Abe Dyk, denied Thursday that Meek ever considered dropping out.
“The article is not true. Kendrick Meek was never dropping out of this race, is never dropping out of this race, and will never drop out of this race,” Dyk wrote on Meek’s website. “Kendrick Meek will always stand up for the middle class and will not leave Floridians a choice between two lifelong conservative Republicans who only stand with the special interests. Kendrick is the Democratic nominee so if anyone should drop out, it’s Charlie Crist.”
Politico.com also says Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed that one of the president’s top aids “initially served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and that Clinton became involved only when Meek signaled that he would seriously consider the option.”
Clinton campaigned for Meek in Tampa and Orlando Oct. 19-20, and encouraged hundreds of followers to vote for Meek and others on Florida’s Democratic ticket.
Rumors that Meek was considering dropping out of the race surfaced a couple weeks ago, after a Wall Street Journal article cited two anonymous Republican sources saying Meek would endorse Crist. Earlier this week, the conservative blog The Daily Caller also reported similar rumors.
In both instances, the Meek campaign has blamed Crist for spreading the rumors.
Crist campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said “while this story is accurate, the Governor’s focus is on uniting common-sense Democrats, independents, and Republicans behind his campaign because he is the one candidate who can defeat Tea Party extremist Marco Rubio and deliver bipartisan results for Florida in Washington.”