MIAMI- Florida Republicans are still fuming over Senate candidate Charlie Crist's decision to deny GOP donors' requests for his campaign to return their money after Crist bolted the party to run as an independent. That anger reached new heights today when news broke that Crist had returned nearly $10,000 to indicted former state party chairman, Jim Greer.
"Reports that Charlie Crist immediately processed a refund for his hand-picked chairman and close friend in order to help Mr. Greer pay legal bills associated with multiple felony counts of grand theft from the very organization Charlie Crist charged him with leading are astonishing," said Ronnie Whitaker, the Executive Director of the Florida Republican Party.
"Charlie Crist's blatant self-serving hypocrisy is insulting," said Amber Marchand, spokeswoman for the NRSC, the GOP arm responsible for electing Republicans to the US Senate."Crist once again demonstrated his complete lack of character and principle."
In a letter first obtained by the St. Petersburg Times, Greer wrote to Crist that he needed the $9,600 back to "defend himself and take care of his family."
"I know sending the money back is hard, but with what has happened here it may be politically beneficial for you to do, " Greer said. "Charlie over the last three years, I did all that I was asked to do by you...Your goals were my goals."
Republican Marco Rubio, who is in a heated race against Crist for U.S. Senate, quickly pounced after reports surfaced that Crist's campaign was in the process of returning the money to Greer.
"It should surprise no one that despite refusing to return a single penny to Floridians who gave to him in good faith, Charlie Crist wasted no time in refunding money to his indicted political confidante," Alex Burgos, Rubio's communications director said to Fox News.
Greer was arrested in June by Florida authorities for fraud, and money laundering, stemming from his time as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Greer has adamantly denied the charges.