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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jim Greer: I needed to save to party from those who would "burn the house down"



State GOP Chairman Jim Greer said in a just completed conference call that he continued to enjoy the full support of Gov. Charlie Crist, legislators and members of the executive committee. But even if he could survive a vote this weekend, he and his wife Lisa concluded in the last 24 to 48 hours that he needed to put the party first and step down.

His critics had only two goals: "Remove me as chairman and if that doesn''t work, burtn the house down and try to destoy the Republican party...They have basically, as they say, thrown everything up against the wall they can to either embarrass me or disrupt the Republican Party. I cannot be a participant in the shredding and tearing of the fabric of the Republican party."

“These individuals who have turned their guns on fellow Republicans instead of defeating Democrats have done nothing to serve our party,” said Greer.

Asked if he believed longtime Florida GOP giants such as Tom Slade and Mel Sembler really would be willing to destroy the GOP, Greer responded that some of of those calling for his ouster simply had bad information. "Many people don't know the facts. Many people any people know only what they hear."

Greer said he was proud of his accomplishments, including the most aggressive outreach to minorites ever, moving the presidential primary up to put Florida in the cat bird seat, faring well downballot in 2008, and helping elect Michael Steele as RNC Chairman.

He never mentioned Marco Rubio, but Greer said once he leaves the chair's post, "I intend to be very engaged in supporting candfidates. I intend to play a role in making sure that common sense Republicans get elected to office...I'm not a purist as you all know."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:12pm]


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