by Javier ManjarresI received a phone call Friday night from Sarasota REC Chairman and RPOF Chairman candidate Joe Gruters, and he expressed his intention to set the record straight regarding any involvement with an anonymous attack video that was sent out to voting members of the RPOF electorate last Tuesday. Gruters categorically denied any knowledge of the video and condemned it on its face. Gruters also went on to vouch for his staff and confidants that they would not have anything to do with such libelous behavior.
In addition, Gruters dispelled the rumor that his candidacy was based on whether or not Congressman Vern Buchanan would run for higher office, that being U.S. Senate. Gruters is a long time supporter of Buchanan’s, and he stated that if he were to win the State GOP Chairmanship, that he would step down if Buchanan decided to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Hat tip to Joe Gruters for being a stand up guy.
Here is Gruters’ official statement that was sent directly to me after our telephone conversation:
No one held Charlies feet to the fire more than me after he left the Republican Party, your reporting could have been fairer if quotes that I made being critical of Crist following his departure would have also been included.As for the video that has been released against you my team and I had zero involvement. It is a cowardly act to attack anyone anonymously. I have still not seen the video and do not plan on watching it anytime soon. If any of my associates or operatives are involved in creating or spreading the video or any other negative material, I would immediately fire them. I appreciate your role as a conservative blogger and I think that you should be congratulated in the role you played in exposing Jim Greer which eventually led to his removal.
As for the concern that I am running for the benefit of Congressman Vern Buchanan potential US Senate race, I don’t think I have to remind people what happens when a party leader focuses on the benefits of one politician instead of focusing on what is best for all candidates and the Party.
If Congressman Buchanan decided to run for the US Senate I would resign my position as Chair but will say that he is committed to fulfilling his role as Finance Chair for the NRCC by raising over $50 million over the next two years.
Please let me know if you have any other concerns or questions.