The White House on Wednesday stressed that President Obama has fully embraced Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meek, and when the president got off Air Force One in Miami, he gave Meek a hug.

Obama is headlining a fundraising event for the Florida Democratic Party, an event that also features Meek as a speaker.


It will be the first time Obama has appeared jointly with Meek this cycle, in which the congressman faces a tough August 24th primary against self-funded billionaire Jeff Greene.

Asked by a reporter if Obama's appearance is a "full embrace" of Meek, White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said "I think that the president has fully embraced Kendrick Meek. We envision this as going down and helping out Florida Democrats."

And when Obama landed, Meek and former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) were waiting to greet him. Both men received a hug from the president, according to the White House poll report.

Some Democrats have questioned the White House's commitment to the congressman's candidacy due to the administration's perceived low level of involvement in the race, which is taking place in a key swing state.

Obama endorsed Meek earlier this year, before Greene entered the race. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel participated in a fundraiser for Meek earlier this month. Obama also endorsed Meek before Florida Gov. Charlie Crist decided to run for the seat as an independent.

Meek said late last month that the White House's support would help voters understand who is the "real Democrat" in the race. 

"I can't control whether or not people ask questions about the president’s strong and unwavering support for Kendrick Meek," Burton said. "He’s said that he is his candidate. Florida Democrats know that he is his candidate. He’s been down there. He’s raised money for the Florida Democratic Party. He’s introduced Meek at events as the next United States senator from the state. So given all that, I don't know that people will stop asking questions regardless of what he does."

-- This post was updated at 4:48 p.m.