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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Martinez on PIP, Rove and early primaries

14

August

Mel Sen. Mel Martinez, while stressing that he didn't want to "meddle" in state politics, told the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce today that "it would be a real step backward" if Florida leaders let no-fault auto insurance lapse. Noting that he had spent a good chunk of his legal career "collecting PIP benefits and suing insurance companies when they didn't pay them,'' Martinez called PIP "a very important component on health care in Florida."

Talking later to reporters, Martinez, the general chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he's made it clear to Gov. Charlie Crist, House Speaker Marco Rubio, and state GOP chairman Jim Greer that he "can't do anything" to help Florida's GOP avoid losing half its delegates for holding an early presidential primary in violation of RNC rules: "Jim Greer is doing his best to protect Florida and I applaud him for that. I've been persuaded by the lawyers at the RNC that the rules are very inflexible."

On Karl Rove: The Karl Rove I know personally is very different from the Karl Rove people read about. He's a very affable, funny, interesting and very intelligent man. I don't think there's any doubt that the two elections of the president that he engineered will be well remembered by political historians...He has also become a lightning rod if you will by those who have very little to offer other than the fact that they hate President Bush and they hate Karl Rove even more."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:58pm]

    

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