Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio hit back at opponent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Friday for reportedly initiating discussions with Democrats to get the party’s candidate, Rep. Kendrick Meek, to drop out of the three-way race in return for a promise that Crist would caucus with Democrats if he won the seat.
Former President Bill Clinton personally spoke with Meek about the possibility of dropping out, but Meek has downplayed the talks, insisting that the possibility is “not on the table.”
“I’m not going to do it,” Meek said, referring to rumors that he would suspend his campaign. “That’s just the bottom line.”
In an interview on “Fox and Friends” on Friday Rubio condemned the alleged discussions between Meek, Clinton and Crist as a “backroom deal.”
“This is basically an attempt to have a backroom deal literally four or five days before an election because politics is overrun by people that will say and do anything to maintain power,” Rubio said. “They’ll cut a deal with anyone on any issue in order to stay in power and perpetuate it forward.”
An early front-runner in the Republican primary race, Crist, once a Republican, decided to run as an independent in April when polls showed Rubio taking the lead. According to Real Clear Politics poll averages, Crist trails Rubio by more than 12 points and Meek is down by 20.
Appearing on a series of talk shows Friday morning, Meek denied any wrongdoing in the final days before the election.
“I’m not doing backroom deals,” Meek said. “I’m running for United States Senate.”