January 5th, 2010
02:09 PM ET
13 years ago

Outgoing Florida GOP chair hammers party purists

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/05/art.greer.rpof.jpg caption="Jim Greer (left), the outgoing chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said his opponents want to 'burn the house down.'"](CNN) - Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer announced his resignation on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, accusing his conservative critics of being purists who are "shredding and tearing the fabric" of the GOP.

For months, Greer has been assailed by GOP activists accuse him of mismanaging party finances and favoring Gov. Charlie Crist in his Senate primary bid against Marco Rubio, the more conservative former House Speaker.

Greer said his opponents want to "burn the house down and destroy the Republican Party."

"I am not a purist," he said in describing his vision for the party. "I have never been a purist. I believe that our party stands for principles and values and that anyone who has an interest in our party should be able to participate."

Greer, who was appointed to his post by Charlie Crist in 2007, stressed that he has worked to create a more inclusive party in Florida and urged the GOP "to stop the fight between moderates and conservatives and put the focus on electing Republicans in 2010."

Greer avoided criticizing Rubio during his salvo.

"At the end of the day, the voters will decide what the Republican Party should look like," he said.

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Mark

    I like Jim. Chalk this one up as another loss of a moderate from the GOP.

    Maybe it's just me, but at this point it seems like anyone to the left of Joe Scarborough just isn't welcome in the party anymore.

    January 5, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Jane/Seattle

    What A Crock!

    January 5, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Larry

    Well said Greer!

    The Republicans certainly are doing an adequate job of destroying themselves!

    And you're right. We voters will decide from now on.

    January 5, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. barbara

    the pug party had better get itself together and start looking conservative less they are thrown under the bus.

    January 5, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Albert K. L.A., CA

    How can this guy say he is not a purist and in the same sentence limit participation ito "anyone who has an interest " in the Republican Party? That would purge almost all the Republican Base because most of them do not own large amounts of stock or earn over $250,000 each year which, to be truthful, is what it takes to truly have an interest in the policies of the Republican leadership.

    January 5, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Shelly

    The fanatical right wing is destroying the Republican party. Ronald Reagan is turning in his grave....the GOP has radicalized!!!!

    January 5, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Robert

    Chairman Greer oversimplfied the problem. In the end, he was appointed by Crist and served Crist rather than the GOP as a whole. It's the perfect example of how one cannot serve two masters. Greer, like every other RNC representative, should stay neutral in Republican Primaries in their professional capacity. If they want to go work for a campaign, they should. Now, Greer is free to join the Crist campaign as a full-time advisor.

    January 5, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. CNN showing bias?

    Hey CNN, you got the headline wrong. It should read, "disgruntled GOP worker quits before he can be replaced."

    January 5, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Frank

    The resignation of Charlie Crist's appointed lapdog proves the power of voters when they mobilize. Marco Rubio is a solid conservative candidate who appeals to the masses who have been disenfranchised in the process of turning the Republican Party into just another big government, big spending machine that kowtows to the national media out of fear of retribution.

    January 5, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. rosslaw

    Outstanding work on the part of the right-wing's "true believers" in expelling anyone like the outgoing chairman who sounds like he's almost normal. Palin/Cheney in 2012! (please!please!please!).

    January 5, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. jbakaregit

    Jim Greer was the guy who was "tea partying"all up on camera awhile back talking about, "Obama's indoctrinating our kids with responsibility/stay in school/study hard speech! He's trying to influence our kids with socialism. Somebody help us!" (Remember that hysteria?)

    Now what went around came around. He is one the main people responsible for what he says are "shredding and tearing the fabric" of the GOP.

    Mr. Greer, sit down and watch come this November as America follows 2006 & 2008 by doing what your RNC Chairman predicted - the GOP won't retake the House (and at this rate, the Senate either).

    January 5, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Andrew

    Keep in mind this is the same Jim Greer that freaked out when Obama was addressing school children in September thinking he was going to brainwash them with socialism.

    Now this guy is being attacked/attacking the very people who he aligned himself with when he made those comments. Isn't this just a sign that the GOP is no longer a political party, but more like a club for anyone who wants to be a bigot and say hateful things?

    January 5, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Obama Mama

    The should re-name the GOP Party the MAFIA Party

    January 5, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    "At the end of the day, the voters will decide what the Republican Party should look like," he said.

    Yes, the voters will decide what the RepubliCAN'T Party look like – which most of us already have.

    You will see the results 2010 and 2012 – Case and Point!!! And it does not look good for the Party of NO Sense, NO Suggestions and NO Brains!!!

    January 5, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Brian

    If the current GOP wants to dissolve the extremely powerful Reagan coalition (moderates, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, military hawks) then that's fine with me. They'll simply set in stone their permanent minority status.

    January 5, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Jim in San Mateo

    Looks like the big tent is getting a few tears in it. Give it a few more months and the infighting will make any title bout look like a picnic.

    January 5, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. J. Rochester, NY

    The GOP purists only want people who will follow the GOP leaders and not think for themselves.
    They only want people in lockstep with everyone else in the party and anyone who doesn't must be one of those thinking tree hugging liberal sissies.

    January 5, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Dave

    SEE YA! Another middle of the road leftist appeaser gone.

    The left sees this and think the republicans are falling apart. Naive. It is actually the conservative base gaining control all over. Whether it be the ACM, the tea parties, or the conservative base within the RNC, they are taking the party back. it is being unified under the guiding principles that have always been the winning formula.

    Forget what Steele says, the Dems WILL lose the House in november and Pelosi will lose her job. 🙂
    Reid will be voted out and the Senate will lose the 60 seat majority.

    Real Change is coming:
    back to TRUE fiscal conservativism, not what we saw under Bush and definately not what we are seeing now.


    January 5, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Peter s

    Sir! where have you been? the party was taken over by Limbaugh and Becks, Hannity and the likes. There is no GOP anymore! please say after me, GOP HAS EVOLVED IN TO TEA BAGGER PARTY!!

    January 5, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. chubby

    Jim Greer is a demorat hiding in the closet with charlie crist. By that I mean they are both to liberal for the Republican Party. The Republican party is trying to get back to their roots which is strong national defense and fiscal responsibility. The demorats cannot even spell those two agenda's.

    January 5, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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