October 28th, 2010
10:59 PM ET
12 years ago

Clinton to CNN: I spoke with Meek twice

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton says he talked to Rep. Kendrick Meek about ending his bid for Senate twice, but that he never discussed the issue with the White House.

“He was trying to determine what was the best thing for him to do,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Susan Candiotti Thursday. “I knew it was being discussed, people had discussed it on and off… it was no secret.”

Clinton said Meek did not have enough money to break through in the polls.

“He was trying to think about what was the best thing for Florida,” Clinton said.

He said he thought it was important that Meek not discuss the issue with the White House, and instead do whatever he thought was right.

Clinton declined to detail his discussions with Meek or address whether he had planned to attend a joint event with Crist and Meek.

“I think he should be free to say whatever he wants to say about it,” Clinton said. “He’s the candidate, it’s his life, his choice, his decision.”


Clinton released a statement regarding his conversations with Meek on Friday:

"Kendrick Meek is my close friend. I have supported his campaign from the beginning, though our relationship extends far beyond politics. We did talk last week following a rally in Orlando about the race and it's challenges. I didn't ask Kendrick to leave the race, nor did Kendrick say that he would. I told him that how he proceeds was his decision to make and that I would support him regardless.

Over the years, I have watched Kendrick become an able, effective public servant with the strength to fight for what he believes and the common sense to work with people of different parties and points of view. I still believe he could be the best Senator to help Florida and America emerge from the current crisis and build a growing middle class economy."

- CNN's Susan Candiotti and Laura Dolan contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2010 • Bill Clinton • Florida • Kendrick Meek
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Peter s

    The fact of the matter is that, Meek can't win! he is trailling in every poll! why waste time and money being a spoiler?

    October 28, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. Danny Cali

    I agree Meek not going to win this election, I think Meek need to drop out.

    October 28, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. Snow

    NICE ISN"T IT. The demorats want the only black person running for the Governorship of Florida and throw his support to crist who has stated he would vote with the demorats. Instead of helping Meeks with money for his campaign they want him to drop out and support his opponent. And they say blacks cannot trust the GOP, well this is the demorats turning on one of their supporters. Crist said he had been in touch with the White House over this and they were happy with this because they knew they could count on crist voting with the demorats.

    October 28, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  4. Robert

    Is this the same Clinton who called Brown a liar.....and then it was twisted that Whitman used the clip knowing it was a lie -- and then Clinton showed up to support Brown in California??? oh ya – same guy who found a whole new definition for the word 'sex'?........please stop the spin Mr. President. Dems loose – Hillary wins 🙂

    October 29, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  5. Not fooled

    I would not doubt it if the subject came up between two political friends. Meek said no he won't drop out so end of story.

    October 29, 2010 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  6. anthony

    Meek should drop out. He is now clear third in the polls, but his poll number and Crist's poll number together exceed Rubio's poll number. There is no question that as far as policies go, Meek and Crist have more in common than Rubio. Except on the immigration issue, Rubio is just your typical Tea Party candidate. Similarly, Democrats who are not happy with the Obama Administration because it was too willing to compromise on issue important to Democrats, like health care, should consider what their alternative is. The alternative is Republicans, who prefer to do nothing and allow the insurance companies to do whatever they want. If independents are not happy about spending under Obama Administration, they should consider what Republicans are offering: extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone, which would cost the Treasury 3.8 trillion. Republicans have an established record of talking about reducing spending but actually increasing it. Compared that to the health care bill. Because Democrats plan to raise revenues to pay for the bill, the CBO actually predicted that the health care bill, when the added revenues are taken into account, will reduce the deficit.

    October 29, 2010 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  7. Bill

    Rep. Meeks cannot win this race for the United States Senate. President Clinton is correct it is Rep. Meeks decision to stay in this race. However, it is up to the voters of Flordia to decide if they vote for Rep. Meeks it is a vote for the Republican!

    October 29, 2010 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  8. ric

    Would anyone expect anything less from a Clinton, either one of them? This lying, unfaithful and disingenuous philanderer is as much of a narcissist as the jug-eared loser currently in the White House.

    October 29, 2010 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  9. King

    Meeks need meeks to step aside because marko will be one less crook to shut the gov down for the next two years.

    October 29, 2010 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Who's calling the shots at the white house?????

    October 29, 2010 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  11. Rob

    If I lived in Florida, I would not vote for Meek despite being a Democrat, simply for the fact that in a 3-way race when you have the over zealous teabaggers coming out in force, there is no way he would win.

    I actually happen to like to Crist. I give him kudos for leaving the Republican party and standing on his own and I think it gives him good flexibility to make sound judgements and not be bound to the extremism that seems to be taking over the right wing.

    Meek should get over his hubris, realize he can't win, and drop out and endorse Crist so that they can ensure Rubio does not win.

    October 29, 2010 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  12. D. Bunker

    Maybe Crist should drop out and endorse Meek.

    October 29, 2010 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    Meek mentioned this morning on Tom Joyner Morning Show w/Roland Martin that he 'will not' drop out the race! He feels he owe it to his constituents and he will fight to the end. I embrace his courage but he is not going to win – the numbers do not add up.

    The next time he runs – because I truly believe he is not giving up – people will remember him for his courage and realize he's a fighter BUT, will he also be remembered as just "Team Me"? I am proud of Meek and was clearly hoping his numbers will get at least in the 40s – He would have been the ONLY African American in the Senate and that would have been a change!

    To Meek – good luck in your future and I commend you on your efforts. Regardless as to whether or not you STAY IN or DROP OUT – this would hopefully help CRIST win over RUBIO. In my opinion, it's about STOPPING the FAR-RIGHT whose main goal is to NOT COMPROMISE and DESTROY a historical event – their politics has NOTHING to do with the Economy/Jobs/Education/Health Care/DADT – it’s all about Obstruction and Destruction!!!

    DEMOCRATS in FL – Get out and VOTE and keep the FAR-RIGHT from taking over!!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    October 29, 2010 07:58 am at 7:58 am |