On a conference call with reporters today, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) said that national support from Democrats will help him defeat the advertising onslaught from billionaire candidate Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary for Senate. Meek said that despite his tough poll numbers and Greene's seemingly limitless spending, Meek still has the support of the national party and that that could be the difference maker on Aug. 24 when voters head to the polls to choose which Democrat will go up against Gov. Charlie Crist (I) and Marco Rubio (R) in November.
Meek said White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will be in Florida Aug. 2 to help raise money for his campaign, and he said that "we've also heard that there may very well be members of the administration coming down before the primary."
He'll need some help from the Democratic party's big guns if he wants to keep up with Greene's ad spending, which has gone essentially unchecked since Greene got in the primary race on April 30. Meek just went up with his first TV ad
of the campaign this week, attempting to blunt Greene's push with a negative attack on Greene's past as a Wall Street trader who cashed in on the collapse of the housing market.
No sooner had Meek gone on the air with his ad than Greene fired off two new statewide attack ads of his own.
Meek said Democrats want him to be the party's nominee in the fall -- Greene, he said, is basically just a Republican with some rebranding. But in response to a question from TPMDC, Meek wasn't able to say whether the national party groups whose support he claims will be sending cash to combat Greene on the air.
"I think that many people are looking at Florida and saying that this is a very important state and that they will participate," Meek said. But when -- and from whom -- that participatiopn will come is unclear. The DSCC would not comment on whether or not it plans to spend any money on the race, for example.
For now, Meek is left fighting Greene on his own, a situation that sounded on the call like it was frustrating for Meek, who cleared the field early and expected smooth sailing through the primary. There are no signs that Meek has forgiven Greene for jumping in at the last minute and stealing much of Meek's thunder. On the call today, Meek wouldn't say if he would endorse Greene should he become the nominee.
"I'm not even prepared to answer that," Meek said.