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Jeff Greene’s Gipper-nesia persists during Century Village of Boca appearance

by George Bennett | July 13th, 2010

Democratic Senate hopeful Jeff Greene says he still doesn’t remember whether he voted for Republican icon Ronald Reagan in 1980, but reminded a Democratic retiree crowd today that the U.S. was “in a mess” at the time and “Ronald Reagan didn’t get elected just by Republicans.”

Palm Beach billionaire Greene campaigned at Century Village of Boca Raton, where Democratic club president Marvin Manning — speaking personally and not in his official role — told the crowd of about 150 that Greene is the “strongest candidate to represent our party in November.”

Greene’s main primary rival, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, released an Internet video today calling himself the only “real Democrat” in the race. Meek has repeatedly noted that Greene ran for Congress in California as a Republican in 1982 and, after years of being registered with no party affiliation, didn’t register as a Democrat until 2008.

When MSNBC host Chris Matthews probed the early-1980s phase of Greene’s life on Hardball last month, Greene said couldn’t remember whether he, as a 25-year-old, voted for Reagan or Democratic President Jimmy Carter in the epochal 1980 election.

A woman at Century Village pressed Greene on the issue again today.

“I heard the Chris Matthews program with you on it a couple weeks ago I think. And he asked you a question you couldn’t answer. Could you answer it now? Did you vote for Ronald Reagan?” the woman asked.

“In 1980, I’d just gotten out of Harvard Business School…The country was in a mess,” Greene responded, reminding the crowd of high inflation and unemployment rates, long gas lines and the Iranian hostage crisis.

“You know what? I strayed away for a couple years. I did become a Republican. I don’t remember who I voted for that year because I can tell you, you asked me the question, I know that I was troubled in 1980 and I wasn’t sure where this country was going. I was upset…..

“I became a Republican for a couple of years. You know what I learned? I learned during that period that I’m a Democrat…Look, Ronald Reagan didn’t get elected just by Republicans. People were upset at that point. I was upset, I was frustrated. I’m not embarrassed about that. And you know I think the time was a troubling time.”

Heavily Democratic Palm Beach County, and particularly Democrat-dominated retiree condos like Century Village, will be key battlegrounds in the Aug. 24 Democratic primary. Meek scored a key endorsement last week from United South County Democratic Club founder Murray Kalish, while Greene picked up the endorsement of the Voters Coalition of Palm Beach County, a nonpartisan group that is influential in south-county Democratic politics.

Kings Point Democratic Club President Lawrence Victoria and former Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg attended today’s Greene event, but both said they aren’t making endorsements in the primary.

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4 Responses to “Jeff Greene’s Gipper-nesia persists during Century Village of Boca appearance”

  1. cb Says:

    Jeff Greene can’t give straight answers already- and he’s not even at the primary! No sane Democrat can put their support behind this man with any hope that he will support their best interests at the national level. I hope no one has forgotten exactly HOW he made his money- betting against homeowners for personal profit seems like exactly someone who you’d want far away from a government position.

  2. Your'e No Dem Says:

    Pretending you don’t know who you voted for in a Presidential Election is Ludicrous.
    From his stammering I think its fair to say he is a Reagan Republican.

  3. MeekIsDirty Says:

    OK so Meek has had a (D) next to his name longer. If he’s a scumbag and dirty, does that make him more of a Dem or less of a Dem? Read on:

  4. LynneC Says:

    Be sure to read this, Wall Street Journal article from 2008, to get a better feel for Jeff greene.

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