Kendrick Meek can see the wagons circling. A senior aide to former President Bill Clinton says Clinton told the Florida Democratic candidate that, should he drop out of the three-way Senate race, Independent Charlie Crist would likely beat Republican Marco Rubio.
Florida Governor Crist says he also spoke with "several" people in the White House about the issue. As of this writing, the White House has no comment on any involvement in the race. They've supported Meek's candidacy in the past.
Polls continue to show Meek in last place with Tea Party-backed Rubio as the frontrunner. Democrats and Crist alike view Rubio as extreme and think that joining forces might be the best way to oust him.
Clinton seems to have cut bait on the prospects for a Meek victory, but he clarified his discussion with Meek in a in a statement released Friday afternoon.
"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," the statement read in part.
According to Crist's account, Meek actually committed to dropping out but later changed his mind.
However, Meek firmly denies he is going anywhere. "What we do know is that Charlie Crist took the air last night and said that he called the White House, he called President Clinton's office, he called a number of people to try to get me out of this race," Meek told Fox and Friends Friday.
"He called me," he continued, "And I told him I wasn't getting out of the race."
The extent of White House involvement is murky, beyond Crist saying he spoke to officials there, and Crist would only say he did not speak with Senior Obama Advisor David Axelrod or strategist David Plouffe, the president's 2008 campaign manager.
But what is clear, says the Clinton camp, is how Crist would lean should he get elected. An aide says Crist agreed to caucus with the Democrats if he won, something Crist denies.
Crist tells Fox he made his case to Meek directly, "Yes, we did talk about it," he told Fox's Greta Van Susteren Thursday.
"We talked about it because of the fact that doing what's right for Florida and trying to do what's right for America is stopping Marco Rubio from being a United States Senator from Florida because he doesn't really represent Florida values, that he's an extreme right-wing Tea Party candidate that most Floridians don't support."
What does Rubio think of the whole thing? He said, "If you ever needed a reminder of what's wrong with American politics today, this story is a great reminder of back door deals and that's what got us in this bad public policy that's putting America on the wrong track."
At this point, Meek is still in the race and Bill Clinton still backs him, saying in a statement, "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."