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Meek begins drawing a contrast

Off-shore drilling has long been a major issue in Florida, because of the beaches and because oil companies have eyed Florida waters for a long time.

And so Dem candidate Kendrick Meek is now seizing on the Gulf oil spill to call for a moratorium on expanded offshore drilling -- the start of an effort to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Republicans Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio:

Kendrick Meek is the only candidate who has consistently been against expanded drilling. The disaster in the Gulf just underscores the need for a moratorium on any new offshore drilling.

Please sign our petition and join with Kendrick today in demanding Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio call for a moratorium on expansion of oil drilling in the Gulf. In order to make real change, we need to stand together.

Rubio this weekend sounded moderate tones about the Gulf spill, but he said we should defer judgment before reaching any conclusions on offshore drilling. Crist, meanwhile, recently flip-flopped on the issue, withdrawing his support for drilling after previously saying he could support it if it were far enough off shore. Hence Meek's effort to point out that he's the only one who's "consistently" opposed offshore drilling.

Meek has several political imperatives: Make sure the Dem base remains as fired up as the GOP base is about this election. Get his low name recognition up and remind Florida Dems that he's consistently espoused Dem positions, in order to preempt Crist's efforts to win Dem support for his indy candidacy. And to paint Crist and Rubio as a kind of two-headed Republican creature, in contrast with his own longtime embrace of Democratic principles and priorities -- such as standing against expanded offshore drilling.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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