Clinton Denies He Asked Meek To Step Aside

(AP)

Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek is denying reports that he agreed to drop out of the Florida Senate race under pressure from former President Bill Clinton.

Politico reported Thursday that Clinton, while campaigning with Meek in Florida last week, tried to talk him into quitting. It says that Meek agreed twice to drop out and endorse independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist.

In a statement, Meek campaign manager Abe Dyk says the congressman is staying in and never agreed to give up.

A Crist campaign spokesman says the story is accurate.

The Crist campaign released a statement regarding the Politico story. It reads, "While this story is accurate, the Governor's focus is on uniting common-sense Democrats, independents, and Republicans behind his campaign because he is the one candidate who can defeat Tea Party extremist Marco Rubio and deliver bipartisan results for Florida in Washington."

Polls show Meek badly trailing Crist and front-runner Republican Marco Rubio.

Clinton has been campaigning all over the country, trying to keep the U.S. House and Senate in Democrats' hands.

Poltico reports that the White House knew of the plans but did not initiate the talks.