MIAMI- Independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist called Kendrick Meek in the pre-dawn hours Monday to try and persuade the Democrat to drop out of the 3-way race, instead of reaching his campaign opponent, who was asleep, Crist left a voice mail.
"I'll call you later this morning and see if we can work out a time to get together just you and me," Crist said in the message, which was first played for the Wall Street Journal, then confirmed to FOX by a senior Meek staffer.
"Take care, buddy," Crist said spritely to his bitter campaign rival, ending the message.
Crist's intention was to lobby Meek into dropping out.
"Governor Crist called me at quarter to 5:00 a.m. Monday morning. I'm just not up and at'em at quarter to 5:00 a.m. to talk politics," Meek told Greta Van Susteren in an interview Friday night.". "I think he's a very desperate campaigner. He sees that he doesn't have the momentum."
Later in the day on Monday, Crist and Meek, appeared at the same campaign event in Hollywood, Fl. At the meeting- among local Jewish leaders of the pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee- Crist personally lobbied Meek to leave the 3-way race, and offered him a cross that Crist had received from his family as a gift, The Wall Street Journal first reported.
" I was shocked when he did it," Meek told the newspaper, " I told him to keep the cross and that I carry my Christianity in my heart."
Meek said that Crist had told him that if Meek left the race, together they could help defeat front-runner, Republican Marco Rubio.
" He was saying,' I really think if you can just allow me to run, and get out of the race that I can win," Meek told Van Susteren. " I said governor, that's not going to happen. Bottom line that is just not going to happen. If anything he needs to be getting out of the race. He knows it and I know it."
"The Governor is clearly losing his marbles. Insane", a Senior Meek aide told FNC, alluding to the story. "He called Kendrick at 4:50 a.m. on Monday to talk. If you get a call that early, something bad has happened. You have to be desperate to do that."
* Editor's Note: The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News Channel are owned by same parent company.
Serafin Gomez is the Miami Bureau producer for FOX News Channel, and a contributor to FOX News Latino. He covers politics, Florida, and Latin America. Follow him on Twitter: @Finnygo.