Washington (CNN) – Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Florida, wasted no time Thursday detailing his campaign strategy on how he will approach an expected three-way general election contest for Florida's open Senate seat.
"I feel that this doesn't change our campaign," Meek said at a press conference 30 minutes before Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he was abandoning the Republican primary and, instead, run as an unaffiliated candidate. Meek is expected to be the Democratic nominee.
A Quinnipiac University poll, released two weeks ago, suggested that Meek will begin the general election race behind both Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who now has a clear path to the Republican nomination.
Meek said he intends to attack both candidates on their records, arguing that Rubio is too conservative to win in Florida and claiming Crist is inconsistent.
"Rubio is - I believe is - far right of where Floridians are, the majority of Floridians," the Florida Democrat said.
Asked to detail Rubio's positions that he thought the majority of Florida voters would reject, Meek highlighted the former House speaker's support of increasing the eligibility age for Social Security benefits as well as immigration reform.
"His position on immigration reform is questionable at best," Meek said of Rubio. "His objection to the selection of Justice Sotomayor - being selected to the Supreme Court is going to be problematic in a general election setting."
Meek also claimed that Rubio "did what he had to do to secure the hard right base on the Republican side.
"He needs to be commended for it, but he is not going to be able to gain the majority of the votes in Florida with some of the positions that he's already taken in this race," Meek said.
As for Crist, Meek said he would focus on what he alleged is Crist's penchant for inconsistency. He mentioned Crist's vacillation on the Obama administration's stimulus package, his position on offshore drilling and Thursday's announcement to leave the GOP primary even though the governor denied he would do so in the past.
And Meek charged that Crist failed to be an aggressive governor until he decided to run for Senate.
"The difference between the governor and I is that I have never been accused of being lazy," he said. "I've always been out there working on behalf of the people of the State of Florida."