September 14th, 2010
09:23 AM ET
12 years ago

Former GOP leader apologizes to Obama, calls Republicans 'racist'

Miami, Florida (CNN) - The ex-chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, is now apologizing for stoking fears about President Obama's address to school children last year.

Greer, now under indictment on fraud and money-laundering charges after being drummed out of the state party, also accused "many within the GOP" of having "racist views."

In September 2009, conservatives raised questions about the motives of president's back-to-school speech, which was beamed into many of the nation's classrooms. Greer was among them, charging that "taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."

"While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda," he said then in a statement that made waves around the country.

Greer is now apologizing for those comments.

"In the year since I issued a prepared statement regarding President Obama speaking to the nation's school children, I have learned a great deal about the party I so deeply loved and served," Greer said in a statement Tuesday to CNN and other media outlets.

"Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party today. My children and I look forward to the President's speech."

Filed under: Jim Greer • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Tinkers Dam

    Racism goes both ways. Is it more racist for me NOT to vote for Obama because he's black, or 90% of the black population to vote FOR him because he's black. Jim Greer is a crook who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Both parties are full of this type person. Come November, don't listen to FOX or CNN. Make your own mind up and vote accordingly..... Even if it takes you out of party lines.

    September 14, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. K in Miami

    There is no way to say that "ALL REPUBLICANS" are racist...

    Just most of them, they want to take this country back to the times when legislators wore wigs, and promptly handed down WHITE RULE decisions.....

    Lets be very honest here, most racist white republicans can't stand to here the truth about themselves, so before we can ever move past racisim, the people that are racist (Tea Party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin i.e), will have to admit who they are and what they stand for......

    White RULE will never again be a rallying cry for redneck racist people, this country is getting very diverse, good luck Republicans trying to take us back to the Jim Crow era.......!

    September 14, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Bob in PA

    When you have a cattle prod on someones behind they will say anything. The President should not be addressing our school children outside of try hard to succeed and stay away from drugs.

    September 14, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Kenneth

    woooow ... Seems like more and more Republicans are coming to terms with the true state of their party. Guess it takes criminal charges to change a persons perspective ... Or a strong dose of REALITY! Okay Republicans the door is open ... walk on in and admit that your bias is based on race not policy!

    September 14, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Every

    Finally, sombody telling it really is, but those who have not been "hoodwinked" by the tea neck and repougligan party already know this as realty! The problem is the media will not let this truth stay in the forefront for voters! They are more interested in controversy, and legitimizing groups like the tea neck party and painting the repougligan party as fair and balanced, non extremist, viable, and in touch with America's economic need, which is hardly the truth! Repuglicans left this country on the brink of economic disaster! They left this president with an economy losing 750,000 jobs per month, 2 wars, 2 nuclear conflicts, a banking, wall street, auto, mortgage, healthcare and energy crisis! They, also left a 1.3 trillion defict and a national debt of over 8 trillion dollars and the expect th American people to put the "bozo's" back in the majority! I HOPE AMERICA IS NOT THAT STUPID!

    September 14, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. robertJ

    Typical republican – shoot from the hip,realize stupidity with foot now in mouth long after rest of civilization, apologize half heartedly (if at all), expect and demand total forgivenes for mistake regardless of damage done to others with no accountability, and go on their merry way to repeat process overv and over again! THINK – Bush,Cheney,Rumsfeld,Rice, Gingerich, Delay, McConnell, McCain, Palin, Paul,, The list never ends. This should show positive proof that if your stupid, selfish, and arrogant you side with and join Republicans. Wake up people – How many times do we need to see this before we put an end to the Republican party and their stupid / country destryoing ideologies! Take a stand / Stand Up and Vote Democratic!

    September 14, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. YBM

    Riiiigggghhhhttttt. Currently under indictment on fraud and money-laundering charges after being drummed out of the state party really gives him a lot of credibility in what he says now. Sounds a bit like disgruntlement speech.

    September 14, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Granny Griper

    da ja veau da ja veau.
    How ignorant some repubs are and then come back and think an apology is all right. Thats the way they do things and thats the way they live. COMMON SENSE PLEASE PEOPLE IF YOU HAVE ANY START USING IT!!!!!!!

    September 14, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Diane

    Too little,too late. Your not telling us anything we don't already know.
    Racist views has been there from the start. If President Obama just single out certain schools to talk to, you would say he's racist, but when he wants to talk to ALL school childred, you have a problem. Some of you GOPers need to just get a life!

    September 14, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Snow

    He was thrown out of the Republican Party so now he wants to be a demorat. Let's see, fraud and money laundering, maybe obama will have a place for him in his administration. Good fit just like spectre.

    September 14, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Niki

    I hate it when anyone who says something unpopular then retracts their comments and apologizes. Why can't these people just stand by their comments and go on. No one cares whether they are true or false. People know what is truth and this guy may say a lot of GOPers have racist views, well that's his opinion; we have ours. Get over it!

    September 14, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. richard

    Was there ever any doubt? Language is very revealing and will expose things we never intended such as racism. Oh the rationalizations will go on and on. "Some of my best friends arfe black..." You can bet this guy hasn't gone into some of the more specific and blatant expressions of racism he heard on the inside but it's helpful that he's now out there about it. I'm sure the rationalizations will be that he's bitter but he isn't making this stuff out of wholecloth. As they say where there's smoke there's fire. The language I was hearing was evident racism in its ridiculous extremism expressing objection to Obama saying anything to children although he wasn't the first prez to do so and won't be the last.

    September 14, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Reginald Levi Walker

    It is a sad thing that it has taken almost two years for the news media to realize the racist intent of most in the GOP. America's ideal of equality of the races was cast aside when this equality allowed an African American to become leader of the free world. This equality was set aside when the Muslim religion wanted to build a mosque. In America, some tend to want to apply the constitution only when it benefit them. However, when it benefit others, some will fight to have it changed to mean only Caucasions can benefit from it.

    September 14, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Patty

    What a pathetic bunch, especially NEWT. They have nothing of substance to talk about so talk trash....What a bunch of low life!

    September 14, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. True American

    It's good to hear voices from true conservatives like him speak above the extremist phony conservatives who have infilitrated and corrupted the GOP. maybe there is hope for the GOP yet.

    September 14, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Ada mount pocono, pa

    Too little, too late.

    He and his cronies the 'party of no"are all a bunch of bigots. I don't understand what is wrong with so called "repugs" that they don't see that the 'party of no' are just out for their rich friends. They don't care about the middle class.

    They just want to pass the no increase tax to their rich friends. Shame on them!

    September 14, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. NC

    Many republicans have racist views, I guess this person was brainwashed like most republicans. I guess he has been de-programmed.

    September 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. charlie from the North

    Let's be clear and honest. Most of the leadership is not "racist" they are opportunistic. They are not above using the racism of others to promote their agenda but they are probably not themselves racists. That would require sincere beliefs and they are only sincere about winning.

    September 14, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Drew, FL

    Under indictment for multiple felony charges and no longer has the support of the lunatic fringe right he placated in the past. Sounds like the good ol' boy is hoping for a presidential pardon.

    September 14, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Orlando Patriot

    Jim Greer is going to jail and deserves it. I think he made an agreement with the Obama administration that if he stated these untruths that he would get a presidential pardon down the road. Jim Greer does not represent me or my fellow Republicans with this nonsense. We don't like Obama because of his radical ideoligical beliefs. I don't care if Obama is black, white, green, or yellow. He is killing this country and this economy and his skin color has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!

    September 14, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Living in America

    Wow what a CHANGE. Your own party put you out to pasture like a cow and now you wanna apologize. Stop the madness please. He is eating a lot of crow.

    September 14, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Belated, but at least Greer is now being honest.

    It has been amazing in a disgusting way to see how the GOP has gone from calling anyone who disagreed with or criticized GW Bush anti-American, anti-God and pro-terrorist to what it's done in its effort to make President Obama and our country fail.

    The only way the GOP could get their "base" to follow along was to promote the ridiculous ideas that President Obama isn't Christian and not born in the US. By making the President the "other," they've given the OK to let their ignorant, fearful, often racist "base" permission to behave in despicable ways. (All this from the party of "values," no less.)

    The only conclusion I can come to is that the GOP has no respect for the office of the President, no respect for its own party members, and no respect for our country.

    All the GOP wants is to return to power and will try to do so, regardless of the damage they inflict on our country and its people.

    September 14, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |

    "Oh, and if you get a chance, would you see if there are any job openings, Mr. President? Love your tie."

    September 14, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Wendy

    Greer, I wander would you be so apologetic if you weren't caught with your pants down!

    September 14, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Pardon Me

    Guess he's wanting a pardon.There are just as many, if not more, racist people in the democratic party, look at all the so called reverends and organizations running around stirring up racism. That's the way they make a living.

    September 14, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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