Meek: Crist Asked Me to Quit Florida Race, Not Clinton

Florida's Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek told CNBC Friday that independent candidate Charlie Crist asked him to drop out of the hotly contested race, not former President Clinton.

Kendrick Meek
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Kendrick Meek

"Charlie Crist saw me at a conference on Monday and while we were backstage he asked me to consider dropping out of the race," Meek said in a live interview. "I told 'I'm sorry but I can't do that.' I'm in this race to win. I have just as much chance to win as anyone."

Crist confirmed Friday that he asked Meek to drop out of the race, saying "He (Meek) was considering it." Crist told CNBC Friday that there have been no back room dealswith Clintonto get Meek to drop out.

A controversy over the race emerged after reports that Clinton asked Meek last week to drop out in order to help Crist win over GOP candidate Marco Rubio, who is leading in the polls, as Meek is a distant third behind Crist.

But Meek denied that Clinton asked him to withdraw.

"He did not ask me to drop out," Meek said. "Reports of meetings I had with President Clinton are inaccurate at best. They talk about a Jacksonville meeting never took place. President Clinton is a personal friend and supports me."

As for talks Crist had this past week with the White House, Meek said he's not angry and has no idea what they talked about. Crist admitted to CNBC Friday that he had contact with the White House but would not say who he talked to or what about.

Meek said he's committed to running and winning on Tuesday.

"We're in this race to the end," Meek said. "I have the support of the people of Florida and I intend on winning."

For his part, Rubio told CNBC on Friday that the rumors of this sort of deal "was typical of what's wrong in Washington and why there should be a change."