Crist Denies Deal With Clinton On Florida Senate Seat
Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who is running for the Senate as an independent, denied there was any back room deal with former President Bill Clinton, who reportedly urged Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race last week to give Crist a better chance of winning.
"This has been talked about for weeks and President Clinton made a valiant effort to do what was right for the country," Crist told CNBC Friday. "But I did not have direct talks with President Clinton about any effort to have Kendrick Meek drop out. I did speak with people close to President Clinton about it, but there hasn't been any secret deal making."
Reports have surfaced that President Clinton asked Meek to drop out to keep the seat from going to GOP candidate Marco Rubio. Meek denied on Thursday that President Clinton asked him to drop out of the race but a report in the New York TimesFriday said he admitted thinking about it but said he has no plans to quit the race, just four days before the election.
Crist is running as an independent after failing to get the GOP nomination for the Senate seat. Rubio is running ahead in the latest polls at 42 percent. Crist is second at 35 percent and Meek is at 15 percent.
Crist did say he talked to some officials at the White House about the issue.
"I'm not going to say who we talked to, but there were a couple of conversations with people in the White House. It was just an exchange of information. We didn't ask them for anything."
Crist went on to say that his third party candidacy was viable in today's election climate.
"I'm confident in my bid in a three way race," said Crist. "I think I will be successful because my conviction is to the people, not a party.