Clinton denies "urging" Meek to leave the Senate race

10/29/10 Kate Bradshaw
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Last night an after-hours twist broke in the bizarre story of Florida’s US Senate Race. The Web site Politico reported that Bill Clinton had urged Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop his US Senate candidacy as the former president stumped for Meek in Florida last week. Polls show Meek’s Republican opponent, Marco Rubio, leading the multi-way race, with independent Charlie Crist trailing by at least seven points, and Meek with less than a quarter of the vote. At a press conference last night, Meek denied that Clinton asked him to step aside.

"President Clinton did not ask me to drop out of the race. No one from the DNC. Of course there's been rumors going on. The White House....No one has called me and said 'hey, you need to get out of the race. Any rumor or any statement by anyone that says that I made a decision to get out of the race is inaccurate, at best. At best, it's inaccurate and I think it's very, very important that everyone understands that."

The Politico report quotes one of Clinton’s top aides. Governor Charlie Crist, the independent currently splitting the Democratic vote, has said he was contacted regarding a deal that would have resulted in Meek’s departure from the race.

But Clinton says he never asked Meek to leave the race, nor did Meek say he would. Clinton says he told Meek that how he proceeds is his decision and that he'd support Meek regardless.

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