Rubio defeated second-place Crist by a breezy 19 points, but Meek and Crist’s combined portion of the vote was greater than the Republican’s take.
Despite public reports at the time that Meek had agreed to drop out, Crist recounts a personal conversation that captures the congressman’s pained reluctance.
“Certainly, if you leave the race and I end up being successful, your input on issues would be real important to me. You’d be one of my most important constituents if it works out that way,” Crist recalls telling Meek.
“Kendrick nodded and said ‘uh-huh’ as I spoke...He didn’t saw more than ‘uh-huh’,” he writes.
The 57-year-old Crist, who formally became a Democrat in 2012, is now running again for governor, a position he held from 2007 to 2011. Polling has shown him with a single-digit advantage over GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who regularly polls as one of the least popular governors in the country.
Crist devotes much of the final chapter of his book to taking aim at Scott, slamming him as a “terrible governor” who “arrived with a wrecking ball.”
But most of the book recounts the evolution of his political career, including his experience as a potential candidate for vice president and a raucous meeting at the White House where he defended President Barack Obama.
Here are some notable excerpts from Crist’s book:
On a private meeting between governors and President Obama in 2009: “‘Don’t you have any concern about the deficit?,’ one governor asked incredulously. ‘These theories of yours,’ another governor spat out. ‘A bunch of liberal spending, right?’ ‘You claim,’ I heard someone say quite dismissively...I was seething in my seat. I decided I had to speak. ‘Mr. President,’ I said, ‘I’ve sat here for about an hour. I’ve listened to my colleagues give you a bunch of garbage. What I see here, I said, is a lack of respect that is unattractive and inappropriate and I am sick of it. It is not the way we ought to be behaving toward one another. It is not the way we ought to be treating you. We ought to be treating each other as we’re told in the Bible -- do unto others.’ The room burst out in applause.
After the meeting broke up, Donald Carcieri, the Republican governor of Rhode Island, patted me on the back. ‘Wow,’ he said. ‘That was incredible.’”