May 4th, 2010
04:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Billionaire Florida Senate candidate defends investments

(CNN) - Jeff Greene, the billionaire real estate investor running for Senate in Florida, is rebuffing his Democratic primary opponent's charges that he made his fortune on the backs of the Sunshine State's suffering homeowners.

Greene, who joined the Senate race last Friday, has promised to spend whatever it takes to win the seat. He made hundreds of millions of dollars by speculating against the real estate market before it collapsed.

His primary opponent, Rep. Kendrick Meek, has dismissed Greene's candidacy as a novelty act and accused him of profiting off the many foreclosures dragging down Florida's housing market.

In an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Greene said Meek is trying to "distort the truth."

"It's the desperate career politician who, you know, who just doesn't want to see an independent Democrat like me in this race, and is trying to attack me with no grounds whatsoever," he said.

Greene said "not one Florida homeowner lost a penny because of the investments I made."

"My investment was against Wall Street," he said. "This was not like Goldman Sachs where I was doing a two sided investment. This was a one-sided investment. If I lost money, I would have written a big check out to the big investment banks on Wall Street. And by making money, I took money from the investment banks on Wall Street. And the money I took was to protect my own investments. This wasn't any kind of speculation."

The Democratic nominee will take on Republican Marco Rubio, the former Florida house speaker, and Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running without party affiliation, in the general election.

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Filed under: 2010 • Extra • Florida • Jeff Greene • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts
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