ABC News’ Rick Klein: With recent polls showing Gov. Charlie Crist, I-Fla., siphoning Democratic support in the Senate race in Florida, Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., is promising a battle in the Democratic primary and beyond.
Meek, who is running for the Democratic nomination against billionaire real estate tycoon Jeff Greene, said on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line” today that Crist has “flipped back and forth” on the issue of offshore drilling.
And Meek attacked Greene – who made millions off of the subprime mortgage market — as someone who “prospered” because of mortgage defaults, calling him “the billionaire that showed up in Florida in 2008 and only voted four times in his life.”
“I can tell you this: After the primary, [Florida voters] will know who the Democratic candidate is, and the nominee,” Meek said.
“When it's all said and done, people are gonna know who the true leader is to be able to fight this issue of oil on the coast of Florida, and also the cleanup. The governor has flipped back and forth — he was for offshore oil drilling, and he's against it again — and he's trying to ride that horse.
“I can tell you this: After the primary — first things first. First, take care of the billionaire that showed up in Florida in 2008 and only voted four times in this life. Then move on to making sure that we deal with the general election — Marco Rubio, who’s Republican-right, Charlie Crist as Republicans-light — and his record is going to stick with him. I look forward to having a very strong campaign in Florida.
“I am the true Democrat in the race, evidence will show that. Billions may work in the Republican primary, but I think in a Democratic primary where you have the majority of the voters that are used to signing the back of a check versus signing the front of a check — they're not gonna identify with someone who prospered and worked on Wall Street and profited off of the failure of mortgages — over a million mortgages failed in Florida. So he can spend all of the money he wants to spend, but I think that we will prevail in the long run.”
Meek also applauded President Obama’s decision to make a fourth visit to the Gulf in the wake of the BP spill next week.
“It's important that the federal government and administration let them know that have their hand on their wrist and they're not gonna get too far away — away from their responsibility,” Meek said. “I think there's a lot of frustration on all levels. I think that the president originally received very high marks for the quick response from the administration, putting people who can make decisions in the Gulf Coast area.
“The fact that he's going back every week is something that did not happen last time we had a disaster in the Gulf. I think it's important, as we go along, to continue to apply the pressure that's needed. But he also has to keep his head about him, be the leader on behalf of our country, and make sure that BP is doing everything that it can possibly do –the federal government is doing everything it can possibly do.”
Watch the full interview with Rep. Kendrick Meek HERE.
For our “Post Politics” segment, we checked in with Dan Balz of The Washington Post on all of this week’s big races, including Senate primaries in Nevada, California, and Arkansas, plus the gubernatorial races in California and South Carolina.
You can watch the discussion with Dan Balz HERE.