RPOF chairman Jim Greer invited the media over for what was billed as "coffee with the Chairman." Alas, there was no coffee, but Greer did spend more than half an hour discussing a variety of issues, from Crist's standing with conservative R's to recent claims that the federal health care overhaul under consideration would lead to "forced mandatory abortions" funded with taxpayer dollars.
Here is a sampling:
Greer on Mel Martinez' early exit: "Mel for the last 14 years or so has been doing what everyone else wants him to do. And now he's going to do what he wants to do. You know, we tell public officials that family should come first, and then when they say they want to spend more time with family, we say, 'Oh you're quitting.' Mel was missing his children growing up. I remember hearing he had to call Kitty to get updates on the scores of Little League games. I really believe he missed his family and just wants to get home."
Greer on Crist's deliberations to replace Martinez: "He will not be led down a path that he does not believe is the right path, regardless of who's trying to lead him. He will pick someone who's qualified, and someone who loves Florida and loves public service."
Greer on Crist's standing with conservatives: "The governor does not have a problem with the Republican party, with likely Republican voters. All the polls show him ahead. But there is frustration among Republicans across the country. People forget that the Governor, as governor, is not the head of a party. ... The Governor has a different role, and Republicans need to understand that. He is elected to serve Floridians. Sometimes, Republicans in their frustration want to put the governor at the head of the party, and with this belief that he should do certain things."
Greer on Crist's recent calls reaching out to Republican county leaders: "The Governor has always called. But where we are now, the calls are getting more attention. There is no change in our standard operations."
Greer on the deep Republican bench vs the Dems': "I think we're seeing a vacuum of Democratic candidates now that Sink has announced she is running for governor. ...They can't even find anyone to run for CFO. when you look at the Republican Party and the potential leaders we have to hold office, ...we have multiple people to consider for multiple offices in this election cycle."
Greer on his recent assertion that D.C. Dems' health care proposal would lead to "forced, taxpayer-funded abortions". Does he really believe that?: "Well, yeah...I do think this will provide an opportunity for certain medical procedures that many taxpayers would not be awared of and would not support. If the procedure is financed with taxpayer funds, then I believe the word 'forced' is appropriate."
Greer on Obama's push for a health care overhaul: "Every reasonable American understands we have challenges to health care in America. I understand that Obama says, we've been dealing with this for 40 years. But I would rather deal with this for another two years and get it right ...I think we should slow down. And Republicans need to lead the way; they need to have solutions and they need to work with Democrats."
Greer on Cover Florida, the Crist-touted health care plan that has less than 4,000 Floridians enrolled: "I think the Governor and Legislature did a great job creating Cover Florida, with one exception: no money for marketing. No money to tell Floridians this exists."