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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist distances himself from party boss Greer

As Republican Party chairman Jim Greer's meddling in the contested U.S. Senate primary continues to aggravate party activists, Gov. Charlie Crist passed up a chance to defend Greer on Tuesday.

Asked about Greer's early anointing of Crist despite a challenge from former House Speaker Marco Rubio, Crist said: "Well, the people should decide. It's always up to the people. I agree with Howard Troxler. Did you see his column today?" Troxler's St. Petersburg Times column is here, including a reference to "heavy-handed tactics to get the result you're probably going to get regardless."

Greer was Crist's hand-picked choice to run the state GOP. But Crist does not share Greer's desire to clear the field in the Senate race. "The people should have a choice. There's nothing wrong with that. I think that elections are good. Primaries are good," Crist said. Asked if he shared his views with Greer, Crist said: "I have, yeah."

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:01pm]

    

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