July 14th, 2010
11:54 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton to head back on the campaign trail

Bill Clinton will head to Florida next month to campaign for Rep. Kendrick Meek’s bid for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination.
Bill Clinton will head to Florida next month to campaign for Rep. Kendrick Meek’s bid for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination.

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton is headed to Florida next month, to campaign for Rep. Kendrick Meek's bid for the state's Democratic Senate nomination.

A Democratic source confirms to CNN a report that first appeared early Wednesday in the St. Petersburg Times.

Meek, a four-term lawmaker who represents Florida's 17th congressional district in the southeast part of the state, faces off August 24 against billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary.

The winner will battle former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee, and Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running for the Senate as an independent candidate, after dropping out of a battle with Rubio for the GOP nomination. Most recent polls indicate that Crist has a narrow lead over Rubio, with either Meek or Green a distant third.

Clinton's move should not be seen as a surprise. The former president has already headlined five fundraising events and has penned two fundraising emails for Meek. Their relationship stretches back nearly two decades, when Clinton was Arkansas governor and Meek a state trooper in the Florida HIghway Patrol who was assigned to Buddy MacKay, Florida's lieutenant governor at the time.

Meek also backed then Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Word of Clinton's trip to Florida comes a day after CNN learned that President Obama's aides are putting together an aggressive schedule to deploy Clinton at campaign and fundraising events in key states around the country in the weeks ahead. According to Democratic officials familiar with the plans, the White House specifically wants to use Clinton in key swing states where Obama is not particularly popular, such as Arkansas and Kentucky.

Earlier this year, Clinton went back to his home state of Arkansas to help Sen. Blanche Lincoln win a bruising primary runoff election against the state's lieutenant governor. Lincoln now faces a very tough re-election battle in November against Republican Rep. John Boozman.

Clinton will also be used in Kentucky, where Democrats would love to pick up an open seat now held by the retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee, faces off in the general election against Republican nominee Rand Paul, a favorite of many in the Tea Party movement.

Clinton also hit the campaign trail in June, when he teamed up with Mark Critz, the Democratic candidate in the special election to fill the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha's Pennsylvania seat. Critz ended up defeating Republican candidate Tim Burns.

–CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Bill Clinton • Florida • Kendrick Meek
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    This is Obama putting his best foot forward. The problem is, American voters know who the Democratic incumbents are and they are not Bill Clinton.

    July 14, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Dave

    Ahhhhh, the touch of death!

    July 14, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. rdepontb

    Bill Clinton is one of the most articulate and heart-felt communicators we have seen in politics since FDR. As long as he is speaking his heart, and not a "company line" fed to him by "political strategists" (which he no doubt would bristle at and refuse), his participation adds value to any campaign, any discussion. We are so blessed to have someone with this experience and heart.

    July 14, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Bob of Lompoc

    This spells trouble for Rethugs.

    July 14, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. MONUMENTAL TRUTH!

    Bill it is a sad come uppins that you have sunk to. Helping the enemy. The same one who called you a racist. His people's favorite word. What do they expect. Their attack on Sarah Palin who did nothing to them other than oppose their walk on water ERKEL. You see the unfairness of this situation. If I had been you and Hillary I'd seen them in Hades before I would have backed them.

    July 14, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    As of yesterday Meek was polling at around 17%. Not so sure if President Clinton or anybody else can help him!

    July 14, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Bill Clinton personifies what is wrong with politicians. He will not get any support from this voter.

    July 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Malty

    Clinton needs to sit back and enjoy the $200M that he has earned since leaving office. Democrats always attack Republicans as being 'greedy'. They need to look at their own ranks and scold Gore, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Pelosi, Frank, Rangel, Biden, Kerry.... all of whom have made millions and yet donate very little to charity.

    On another note, now Gore and Clinton have more in common than they did from 1992 – 2000

    July 14, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. blair

    I loved the Clintons but I am sorry, I will not listen to President Clinton nor Secretary Of State Hillary again. They sold their souls to the Devil and in the process have sold out the people of America.

    July 14, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. frank

    How on earth does this guy still have any degree of credibility? He lied under oath about having sex with an intern in the Oval office and was disbarred. If he continues to be a major spokesperson for the Democratic party, then they have a real big problem. Can you imagine what the biased, liberal, lame stream media would do if this guy was a Republican?

    July 14, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. gt

    meeks a looser..lincoln is toast... brother bill is old news....obama has been worse for the democrats than george bush was to the republicans..,,,,bill wont help

    July 14, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. The Real Me

    He is just of the Minions now. Lost a lot respect for him.

    July 14, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. GuyinVA

    I'm a very conservative guy, but for the entertainment value alone, I sure do miss President Clinton.

    July 14, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Danny Boy

    Can the Rpubs bring back GW to help their cause? Now that would be funny!! Please bring him back and let him stump for the teabaggers!! Please!! We need the entertainment!!! But please, no more lies, no more wars.

    July 14, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Go get Bill! A little plain talk on the campaigne trail from an intelligent person will be refreshing.
    Hopefully we won't have to listen to Palin while she's helping plan her daughters wedding. It's got to be hard to set up all the of trappings of the wedding and a day care service at the same time.

    July 14, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Dreaming of Monica

    Tired of listening to this clown running around bumping his gums, why doesn't he go back to the hills, sit on the porch and scratch his hound dogs butt or something else useful. I never had sex with that woman. Give that man a cigaaaar.

    July 14, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Keith in Austin

    Desperation is setting in with liberal Democrats! Slick Willie will be the first to throw Barry under the bus when Hillary decides to run against him!

    July 14, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Barack.Hussein.Obama-America's-Incompetent-DICTATOR

    So is Bubba taking Obozo's place now that Obozo has proven the kiss of death for DemocRATic candidates?

    I guess he must be building up brownie points and future endorsements for Hillary when she runs in 2010 and throws Obozo off the ticket. I'm sure all of Hillary's supporters from 2008 as just waiting for the opportunity to put her in the race.

    July 14, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. BeverlyNC

    Even though I am a staunch Democrat, I hope Charlie Crist wins in Florida. He is the ONLY Republican I have seen who is a real leader, stands up for the People of Florida, gets solutions to issues done, and is a good and decent man with character and human decency.

    The Republican Party was wrong (as usual) in abandoning Crist. He is going to beat the tea bagger Rubio and be a common sense Senator we can rely on to vote on the issues instead of playing NO games with the lives of the American People.

    Clinton is a people person and he will get the message across that Republicans are and have not been working for the People in a very long time. They are the Corporation Party. Democrats are the Party of the People and will continue to DELIVER solutions to help us all.

    July 14, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. JES

    Haven't you done enough damage to the office of President with you lying under oath about your affairs.

    I guess you and Obama make a perfect pair.

    July 14, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Samantha

    Whenever there's trouble, pull out the old Bill. Why? Because Obama has no clout, so let's reminisce and make believe the old Bill is in charge.

    This is a ridiculous ploy, transparent and foolish. Bill was much more of a centrist than Obama. He was also of questionable character, as withnessed by his involvement with Lewinsky and other scandals that haunted him during and after his administration.

    If Obama is so weak that they need to put Old Bill upfront, they better get rid of Obama. It's obvious here in Florida that his policies are failures, from the economy to the environment. Charlie Crist is the best choice for the Senate. He knows Florida. He's independent minded and he's way upfront and active on the Gulf disaster, among our other numerous problems. Give it up, Bill and Obama.

    July 14, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Obama Enemy List Wannabe

    Keep your cheeseburgers and interns hidden! Bill is on the prowl, and away from Hilary's leash. Hey, Democrats, how can anyone listen to a guy who sexually abuses young employees? .... and lies about it .... badly....

    July 14, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. thor

    The only reason Bill is out campaigning so hard for his Democratic friends is in case the party decides to dump Obama in 2012 and go with Hillary it will make it a lot easier for her if she decides to run to win.

    July 14, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. vic

    I always like Bill Clinton he never stop working for county , Never stop working for democratic party, he never stop working for poor people around the world

    I remember 2008 primaries many pundits said Clintons are selfish. Will they take their words back ?

    July 14, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |