State GOP chair speaks at Tiger Bay

03/18/08 Seán Kinane
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The day after Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman announced that her party would not hold any new presidential primary election, her Republican counterpart spoke at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in Clearwater. Jim Greer, chair of the Republican Party of Florida, said that even though it is causing issues for Democrats, moving Florida’s primary election date to January was a good move.

“It was more important to the voters of this state to play a dominant role in who becomes our party’s nominee as the state never has before and secondly I was confident that at the end of the day our party’s nominee would tell the national committee to reinstate all of the penalized delegates from not only Florida and Michigan. But ultimately I was willing to accept that to ensure that Republican voters in this state played a dominant role in who became our nominee. On the Democrat side, they co-sponsored the bill. They understood they would be stripped of 100 percent of their delegates, and everything was fine.”

Even though the Florida Democratic Party decided Monday to not hold a revote, Greer said it was not because of the Republican Party or the governor.

“Now, I said ultimately that I didn’t think that was going to happen. I thought it was just a lot of talk. But most importantly, in that whole process, I as chairman of the Republican Party never said that I opposed the Democrats doing that. If that’s what the Democrats wanted to do to solve their delegate issue, and to solve the fact that they have disenfranchised voters in this state by stripping their delegates. I never said one time that I opposed that. More importantly, our Governor of this state told the Democrat [sic] leadership that he would do everything possible to insure that every vote counted in this state.”

Greer suggested that the Democratic Party will have a difficult time at their national nominating convention because the two candidates are so close to each other in delegate count they will not be able to resolve the issue of seating Florida’s and Michigan’s delegates. He also predicted a Clinton-Obama ticket.

“I believe that at the end of the day, Hillary Clinton and Obama are going to team up, because to do anything less would destroy the Democratic Party. There will be walkouts at their national convention if one of them are [sic] nominated and not the other. But at the end of the day whether they are or are not together on a ticket, they have the same approach to governing and that is a liberal agenda, an extremist liberal agenda. And at the end of the day, I believe the American public will once again recognize the value of the Republican Party and our leaders such as Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.”

John McCain will be elected president, in part because of how the Democratic Party treated Florida’s voters, Greer said.

“I believe that this process, what has happened with the delegate issue, not campaigning in the state of Florida, promoting an idea of a revote and then rescinding the idea of a revote because it doesn’t work … but even at the end of the day, that process is going to have a residual benefit to the Republican Party because voters on that side, as it would be if it was on our side, feel disappointed in their party. Feel that their party is not going to represent them. And most importantly that the candidates for the presidency did not campaign or come down here to engage them on the important issues.”

Learn more:

Republican Party of Florida

Florida Democratic Party

Suncoast Tiger Bay Club

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