July 26th, 2010
04:06 PM ET
12 years ago

Tough Florida Senate fight gets even rougher

(CNN) - A new ad is raising the stakes in an already increasingly negative battle for the Democratic Senate nomination in Florida.

Rep. Kendrick Meek's campaign announced Monday they're releasing a new television commercial that slams billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene, who jumped into the race earlier this year.

"Meet the real Jeff Greene: Ran for Congress as a California Republican. Moved to Florida two years ago. Became a billionaire on Wall Street betting middle class families would lose their homes. Helped fuel the economic meltdown. Warren Buffett called Greene's scheme 'financial weapons of mass destruction'," says the narrator in the ad.

Greene, 55, made millions investing in real estate and multiplied that money by investing in credit-default swaps during the real estate bubble of recent years. He rebuffs Meek's charges that he made his fortune on the backs of the Sunshine State's suffering homeowners.

"Not one Florida homeowner lost a penny because of the investments I made," Greene told CNN's John King earlier this month on an appearance on "John King, USA."

Meek's commercial is his first in his primary fight against Greene. Meek's campaign describes the ad buy as "substantial" and says the commercial will air statewide in Florida.

Meek's new commercial follows by a week a Greene commercial that fires away at the four-term congressman.

"Career politician Kendrick Meek's record. Since Meek's been in Congress, 650,000 more Floridians are unemployed. Meek took thousands from special interests like Wall Street, Tobacco, Big Oil, even BP. And now Meek's been tied to a criminal fraud case. Isn't there a better choice?" says the announcer in the Greene ad.

Meek, who represents Florida's 17th congressional district in the southeast part of the state, denies any wrongdoing and his campaign says "Jeff Greene has built an entire campaign on lies."

The winner of the August 24 primary will face off against 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.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m. ET:  The Greene campaign responded to the new Meek ad.

"What does a Washington politician do when he can't defend a record of failure and has been named one of the most crooked candidates in America? Try to make things up about Jeff Greene," says Green campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino, in a statement.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Florida • Jeff Greene • Kendrick Meek
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. ..leave it up to a red state

    And the people of a red state will be stupid enough to vote for someone like Greene!...hey republican dummies, if you wan to see what the result of a Republican ran Presidency, you should of tuned into dateline last night which showed all of those affected in SE Ohio by the current recession that was a result of your precious Bush! and it happened under Reagan and Bush Sr. eras as well! but of course, you don't see it that way...you just love blaming Obama for EVERY LIL THING, and don't see that it's REPUBLICANS that bring this country to it's knees with their ignorance and their NO NO NO on every single issue which results in not being able to progess, sucede or move forward!

    July 26, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. jim

    I hope these two individuals spend every single dime they have trying to win the Senate seat from Florida.Neither desrve it !!!!

    July 26, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    I encourage my fellow Floridians to support Crist. The worst thing that could happen would be to elect Dick Armey's cabana boy, Rubio. Thanks to Rubio's commercial, I watched Rachel Maddow explain how Rubio's platform will add over $3 trillion to our debt. Extending the unfunded Bush tax cuts, the elimination of the unfunded estate tax, and the repeal of health care reform(which saves money according to the CBO) indicate that Rubio is clueless about deficits.

    July 26, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. snow

    Typical obama liberal demorat.

    July 26, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Wisconsinite

    snow July 26th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

    Typical obama liberal demorat.

    You say that like it's supposed to be an insult . . . . actually those of us WITH a brain take that as a compliment 🙂

    July 26, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. geecee

    Charlie Crist for Senator from Florida – he's the best choice to win. It would be nice to have a third choice instead of a tbagging Republican, a greedy, corrupt Democrat (named Greene) and another Democrat who doesn't have a snowball's chance in he** regardless of how competent or honest he may be, because he's....well you know. We are talking about Florida after all!

    July 26, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Hugo

    This just keeps getting better and better. The career politicians like Meeks and McCollum are freaking out because outsiders that have actually made it in society on their own without raiding the tax coffers for their paychecks actually could muscle in on their scam! I freaking love it, I hope more everyday American citizens start stepping up to do their duty for one term, purge these career politicians and set our Nation right!

    July 26, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. La Piovra

    @SaveAmerica: I'm with you backing Charlie Crist. Any other candidate is either untenable or unbearable. To leave it to a red state: Don't be too quick to judge us. To snow: If you want to make brainless, ugly noises, please blow a vuvuzela.

    July 26, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Turnabout is Fair Play

    snow July 26th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

    Typical obama liberal demorat.

    Typical ignorant neo-con rethuglican

    July 26, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    I like MEEKS – he's handsome and very intelligent. I hope he wins BUT it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

    Sooooo, it would be amazing if Meeks win the democratic runoff and then when all else is GLOOMY in the 3-way race for the Senate he BOWS OUT and give his votes to Crist!!! You Think????????????

    I can't STAND Rubio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Go USA!

    Meek or Crist will do just fine, Crist will caucus with the Democrats...

    July 26, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. Greene better stay away from Belize. Now in regards to who the heck Mr. Greene actually is, he's a republican. I know this because the man can't lie with a straight face.

    July 26, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. chelle

    American politics are insane – entertaining as can be – but insane. So after these bitter remarks on RECORD, the voters are then supposed to vote for one of these yahoos in the Senate race? Mind you – the Republicans eat their own young too.....

    July 26, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Livin' the good life

    OK, lets' see....why do we allow these people to just trade barbs and cut each other down when there are serious decisions to be made FOR the American people. VOTE for CHANGE and I mean real change. Change all the seats to someone other than Relic' or Demo parties once in for all! This monopoly on the Americans way of life has gone TOO far! Politics has sunk much further than what should have been allowed. WE THE PEOPLE MUST have them held accountable for their actions and that means voting for NONE of them! Beau Colby

    July 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Adalbert

    Forget the republican propaganda and remember the bush days. Vote independent or democratic.

    July 26, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. the wang of the USA

    This add is pretty funny. I too am not falling for the smoke and mirrors by Greene calling himself a 'Dem'...yeah right!!!!!...the guy REEKS of corporate slime. I too am probably going to vote for Crist since Meek doesn't have a fighting chance IMO and Rubio would be simply terrible.

    July 26, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Livin' the good life

    There are some people on here [and in this place called America] that act as IF Obama is piloting a plane and they THINK it is going d-o-w-n. We'll, I'd feel that way too if the Relic's were still in charge. (THANK GOD their NOT!) All the bashers want to do is place their heads between their knees and shout "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA...I CAN'T hear you!" They only believe the voices in their heads and the likes of others. (No need to name them, we all know who they are.) THINK FOR YOURSELVES PEOPLE! It's either that ~or~ step aside and let those who do so can. Feel free to run for office. This America. If YOU are NOT part of the solution, then you "my friend" ARE part of the problem. Beau Colby

    July 26, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. svscnn

    Crist takes this election.

    July 26, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Reality Walking

    Typical Republican Scum....making their way on the broken backs of the crumbling middle class. Opportunist...Cal Dem, Fla GOP.

    July 26, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. gt

    crist will quit when he thinks he cant win,,,,

    July 26, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Kevin in Ohio

    I thought it was the REPUBLICANS who were RICH and GREEDY.... and here we have a democrat! In the same style as Ted Kennedy, and other filty rich democrats who claim to want to help the downtrodden...what a lie. What hypocrisy.

    July 26, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    Waste of time as neither one wlll even come close to winning!

    July 26, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Marty, FL

    Go Crist!

    July 26, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |