Touring Florida in support of Democratic candidates last week, Bill Clinton quietly pressured senatorial candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race and endorse independent candidate Charlie Crist, according to Politico.com. By throwing the race to Crist, Clinton hoped to prevent "the rise of [Marco] Rubio, who is viewed both as a hard-line conservative and a potential national figure," according to Politico's Ben Smith, who broke the story.
On two separate occasions, Meek agreed to the deal -- going so far as to plan an
endorsement rally with the Crist campaign October 26. According to Politico, Meek changed his mind after his wife, who apparently reads no newspapers/magazines/blogs, convinced him he could still win the election.
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According to an unnamed Democrat who was working on the endorsement deal, Meek has decided that "not being seen as a quitter was more important than stopping someone who was so opposed to what you and your party had stood for."
Meek said Clinton asked him about reports that Meek was considering quitting but didn't come out and ask him to concede. And if he had, Meek said he wouldn't quit anyway. "I'm not playing politics," Meek said on CNN. "I'm not doing backroom deals."