ABC News' Amy Walter reports:
Despite new polling out today showing him badly trailing Gov. Charlie Crist, I, and ex-state Rep. Marco Rubio, R, in the race for the Florida Senate, Rep. Kendrick Meek, D, told ABC/Washington Post's "Top Line" that "once we get out of the primary, I think we’ll start seeing a new day." In that poll taken by Quinnipiac University, Crist leads with 39 percent, followed by Rubio at 32 percent and Meek at just 16 percent. More problematic for Meek, however, is the fact that 45 percent of Democrats are currently supporting Crist.
During President Obama’s quick fundraising trip to Florida on Wednesday, some Democrats, including CFO and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink kept a public distance from the president. Meek, however, greeted Obama on the tarmac and joined him for a corned beef sandwich at Jerry's Famous Deli in South Beach. When asked why he was willing to be seen publicly with the president while other Democrats have avoided him, Meek was quick to point out that Sink attended the fundraiser hosted by the president, but also replied that he’s “in a Democratic primary.” Recent polling shows Meek ahead of his Democratic opponent, businessman Jeff Greene, by 7 points. Sink does not have primary opposition.
Even so, Meek said that he’d welcome Obama’s visit this fall saying that when “he does come back – I’m pretty sure if he’s available to campaign with me, I know he will.”
As for Meek’s decision to get mayo on his corned beef sandwich – a no-no among deli aficionados, Meek admitted “I'm a mayo guy. Can't help it.”
Meek also pushed back at suggestions by his Democratic primary opponent, Jeff Greene, that he’s been using a taxpayer-funded vehicle to travel to campaign events.
“Absolutely not,” Meek said. “And what’s so unfortunate in this race — Mr. Greene has so many questions about him: about his present actions of going to Cuba and how he treats his employees, the case that he's involved in in LA dealing with the whole mortgage situation. He has so many issues, and to that, he's coming up with these unfounded arguments…
“He's throwing everything he can at this point, because after spending over $20 million — $24 million and counting — he still has not been able to penetrate the voters in Florida due to the fact that he doesn't have a record, he doesn't have a vision and he doesn't have the will and the desire to serve everyday Floridians.”
Watch the full interview with Rep. Kendrick Meek HERE.
For our “Post Politics” segment, we checked in with Dan Balz of The Washington Post about the latest in controversy over the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, plus the political scenarios in Ohio, where Democrats are hoping to paint GOP candidates for governor and Senate as Bush-era insiders.
Watch the discussion with Dan Balz HERE.