The Okaloosa County GOP says it's uninvited Roger Stone from its annual dinner next month after he made disparaging remarks about former first lady Barbara Bush, calling her a "nasty drunk" and other things.
"It's tough to lose a speaker when you're three weeks out, but this is what I felt needed to be done out of respect for Barbara Bush," county REC Chairman Mark Franks said in a statement. "I thought he'd be entertaining but for me this went over the line."
Stone disputed the events and said he backed out. "I cancelled my appearance as the sponsors wanted to censor my public comments, which is unacceptable," he told the Northwest Florida Daily News.
On Instagram following the 92-year-old's death, Stone wrote: "Barbara Bush drank so much booze, if they cremated her … her body would burn for three days."
Cris Dosev, a Republican challenging Rep. Matt Gaetz, has played up his opponent's ties to Stone, noting Gaetz once called him "the brightest political mind in America."
"I doubt District 1 constituents familiar with Mr. Stone's unsavory background would share Mr. Gaetz's enthusiasm for him," Dosev said Thursday. "In fact, Mr. Stone's cruel attacks on the late Barbara Bush's character, hours after she passed away, is the most recent example of a disregard for basic human decency that flies in the face of core Republican principles."
Dosev on Friday praised the move to cancel Stone's speech. "Roger Stone is a despicable human being and unfit to address the patriotic constituents of Northwest Florida," he said.