On a conference call with reporters just now, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer officially announced his resignation, effective on February 20. He took the opportunity to tear into his right-wing critics for wanting a smaller party and accused them of pulling apart the GOP itself in order to take him out.
Read More →
Greer is an ally of Gov. Charlie Crist, a relative GOP moderate who is being vigorously challenged in this year's Senate primary by the more conservative former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. Supporters of Rubio had been accusing Greer of mismanaging party funds and of being biased in Crist's favor, all of which Greer has strongly denied. In his resignation, Greer said he could no longer put the party through this divisive process -- but he clearly didn't mind taking some parting shots on the way out.
"As you know, there is a great debate in our party on the direction, moderates vs. conservatives, whether we should have a big tent or a small tent," said Greer. "And while I have made it my utmost concern to try and keep those arguments and discontents out of the Republican Party of Florida, over the last six months there has been a very vocal group within our party that has become very active in seeking an effort to oust me as chairman. They have distorted facts, they have talked about misspending of money, when the facts have been shown over and over and over that that's not true. They have talked about my support of Gov. Crist for the U.S. Senate race. They have, as they say, thrown everything up against the wall as they possibly can, to either embarrass me or embarrass the Republican Party of Florida."