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CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC’S CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT JOHN HARWOOD SPEAKS WITH REPRESENTATIVE KENDRICK MEEK, FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE, TODAY ON CNBC

Kendrick Meek
Larry Marano | Getty Images
Kendrick Meek

WHEN: Today, Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

WHERE: CNBC’s “Your Taxes, Your Vote: Countdown to the Election”

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Representative Kendrick Meek, Florida Senate Candidate, today on CNBC. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight, Friday, October 29th on CNBC’s “Your Taxes, Your Vote: Countdown to the Election” at 7:30pm ET.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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SIMON HOBBS: A MARATHON CAMPAIGN BLITZ IS ON IN THE SUNSHINE STATE WITH FIVE DAYS TO GO BEFORE THE BIG VOTE. IT'S CLEARLY AN UPHILL CLIMB FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES. KENDRICK MEEK, ACCORDING TO IN-TRADE, HE HAS A 1.9% CHANCE OF PULLING OFF A WIN. SO HOW DOES IT -- HOW DO THEY PLAN TO DO IT? JOHN HARWOOD IS IN MIAMI BECAUSE IT'S YOUR MONEY, YOUR VOTE. JOHN?

JOHN HARWOOD: THANKS, SIMON. I'M JOINED BY CONGRESSMAN KENDRICK MEEK, THE MAN AT THE CENTER OF THE CONTROVERSY INVOLVING BILL CLINTON AND CHARLIE CRIST IN ORLANDO. CONGRESSMAN, THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

KENDRICK MEEK: THANK YOU. GLAD TO BE ON THE SHOW.

HARWOOD: CONGRESSMAN, I WANT TO START BY CLEARING UP SOME OF THE DIFFERENT STORIES THAT WE'VE HEARD. IT SOUNDS AS IF THE MORE THAT YOU TALK AND THE MORE THAT PEOPLE CLOSE TO PRESIDENT CLINTON TALK, THEY ARE CONVERGING AROUND A COMMON STORY WHICH IS THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON DID NOT SAY, KENDRICK, I WANT YOU TO GET OUT OF THE RACE BUT WHAT HE DID DO WAS TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE POLITICAL REALITIES, WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES WOULD BE IF YOU WERE TO GET OUT AND THEN YOU DECIDED NOT TO DO IT. IS THAT ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND PRESIDENT CLINTON?

MEEK: NO, NOT NECESSARILY. I'M HERE IN ORLANDO TODAY AND AS YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE LARGEST RALLIES THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON DID FOR ME WAS HERE IN THIS CITY. ALSO IN ST. PETERSBURG. WE TALK POLITICS ALL THE TIME AND IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE POLITICAL TALK THAT WE WERE DISCUSSING. THE PRESIDENT IS FRIEND, A LONG-TIME SUPPORTER, HE HAS DONE OVER 11 EVENTS FOR ME. HE HEARD ABOUT THE DISCUSSION OF THE WEEK BEFORE, SOME RUMOR THAT I WAS GOING TO DROP OUT. SINCE THEN, GOVERNOR CRIST HAS SAID THAT HE WAS CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE, HE WAS CALLING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S OFFICE, HE WAS CALLING ME, AND URGING ME TO GET OUT OF THE RACE. NOW, THE BOTTOM LINE IS, I'M NOT GOING TO SELL OUT ON THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA. I'M GOING TO STAY IN THIS RACE. I BELIEVE THE PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY CAST THEIR BALLOTS FOR ME AND I BELIEVE INDIVIDUALS WILL CONTINUE TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS FOR ME. AND I BELIEVE I HAVE JUST AS GOOD OF A CHANCE AS ANYONE ELSE IN THIS RACE. THE REAL POLL THAT COUNTS IS THE ONE THAT COMES IN ON TUESDAY AT 7:00.

HARWOOD: CONGRESSMAN, WHAT DID GOVERNOR CRIST SAY TO YOU WHEN HE CALLED YOU ABOUT GETTING OUT?

MEEK: WELL, THE GOVERNOR SAW ME AT A CONFERENCE EARLIER I BELIEVE THIS WEEK AND I THINK IT WAS MONDAY OR TUESDAY AND HE GOT THERE EARLY AND APPROACHED ME BACKSTAGE AND ASKED ME, YOU KNOW, IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT, I THINK I HAVE A BETTER CHANCE. I SAID, GOVERNOR, I CAN'T DO THAT. I'M SORRY. I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR CAMPAIGN STRATEGY. I URGED HIM TO RUN HIS CAMPAIGN BUT I'M GOING TO RUN MINE AND I BELIEVE JUST LIKE IN A PRIMARY I WAS DOWN IN A PRIMARY AND WE WON. AND I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN IN A GENERAL ELECTION BUT I'M NOT GOING TO SELL OUT ON THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, CUT A DEAL, OR ANYTHING LIKE IT. AND ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME KNOWS THAT I WILL STICK IN THERE-- GO AHEAD.

HARWOOD: GOVERNOR CRIST DESCRIBED HIS CONVERSATIONS WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE WHITE HOUSE AND SAID THAT THEY WERE ALL MAKING A VALIANT TRY TO DO THE RIGHT THING TO STOP THE SENATE FROM GETTING UNDER REPUBLICAN CONTROL. WAS IT THE RIGHT THING?

MEEK: LET ME JUST SAY THIS. ME IN OR OUT OF THIS RACE WILL NOT CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF THIS RACE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT I HAVE BEEN RUNNING FOR TWO YEARS. I'VE QUALIFIED BY PETITION, BY THE SIGNATURES OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA. I WON THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY OVERWHELMINGLY. A BACK ROOM DEAL IS NOT GOING TO DELIVER A VICTORY OR A DEFEAT. I THINK IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS. I GOT IN THIS RACE TO HELP THE PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, NOT ME. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT.IF THERE'S ANY LESSON HERE AND IF THERE'S ANYTHING TO THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SAYING THAT THEY WERE NEXT TO THE PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE SITUATION WAS, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT I'M A CANDIDATE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE. I'M STANDING UP ON BEHALF OF WORKING PEOPLE IN THIS STATE AND THEY WILL HAVE SOMEONE TO VOTE FOR WHEN THEY GO TO THE POLLS ON NOVEMBER 2ND AND AS PEOPLE VOTE AS WE SPEAK, THEY CAN HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT I WILL STAND WITH THEM AND NOT AGAINST THEM.

HARWOOD: CONGRESSMAN, DO YOU THINK BY PARTICIPATING IN THOSE CONVERSATIONS THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON AND ADVISERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE WERE UNDERCUTTING YOU?

MEEK: LISTEN, I -- PRESIDENT CLINTON IS A FRIEND. BOTTOM LINE. I MEAN, HE IS A CLOSE FRIEND OF MINE. HE'S NOT A POLITICAL FRIEND. HE'S A CLOSE FRIEND. AND HE WILL ALWAYS BE MY FRIEND.

HARWOOD: WHAT ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE?

MEEK: BOTTOM LINE, I DIDN'T TALK TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE DID, SAID, OR THE CONVERSATIONS WITH CHARLIE CRIST AS CHARLIE CRIST TELLS IT. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT I'M ASKING FOR--

HARWOOD: ARE YOU ANGRY AT THE WHITE HOUSE? ARE YOU ANGRY? DO YOU THINK THEY'VE --

MEEK: LISTEN, I HAVE NO REASON TO BE ANGRY. I HAVE THESE GREAT SUPPORTERS BEHIND ME. I HAVE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THIS STATE THAT ARE SUPPORTING MY CAMPAIGN. KENDRICKMEEK.COM HAS BEEN ON FIRE EVER SINCE THIS STORY BROKE THAT HAS BEEN INACCURATE. FOLKS APPRECIATE, THEY LIKE A FIGHTER AND ARE NOT USED TO SEEING ONE. THEY SEE ONE AND WILL CONTINUE TO SEE ONE. WE'RE IN THIS RACE UNTIL 7:00 CENTRAL STANDARD TIME WHEN THEY FINISH VOTING IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY.

MARK HAINES: CONGRESSMAN, MARK HAINES--

HARWOOD: CONGRESSMAN, MY COLLEAGUE MARK HAINES WANTS TO JUMP IN WITH A QUESTION. GO AHEAD MARK.

HAINES: UP IN NEW YORK, FORGIVE ME, BUT I DON'T THINK I'VE HEARD THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION. DID PRESIDENT CLINTON ASK YOU TO DROP OUT OF THE RACE?

MEEK: HE DID NOT. I'VE ALREADY ANSWERED THAT. AND I WILL TELL YOU THIS, THE REPORTING ON THIS IS, LIKE I SAID, HAS BEEN INACCURATE AT BEST. THEY TALK ABOUT A JACKSONVILLE MEETING THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE. TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT I COMMITTED TO GET OUT OF THE RACE TWO OR THREE TIMES, NEVER HAPPENED. I'M TELLING YOU, AS SOMEONE WHO DID TALK TO THE PRESIDENT. I'M NOT A SPOKESPERSON ON BEHALF OF ANYONE.

HAINES: I'LL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT. THAT'S GREAT. I LOVE A MAN THAT SAYS YES OR NO.

MEEK: THANK YOU. YOU HAVE TO.

HARWOOD: CONGRESSMAN, THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US. I APPRECIATE IT.

MEEK: THANK YOU.

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