Inter-GOP schism over early FL primary heats upby Dara Kam | March 31st, 2011
GOP leaders in South Carolina and Iowa are pushing national Republican leaders to yank next year’s convention from the Sunshine State unless lawmakers change the presidential preference primary date.
South Carolina GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd sent a letter to members of the Republican National Committee this morning saying Florida is “thumbing its nose” at the committee’s rules, Politico http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52303.html today.
“Simply put, if Florida does not respect the process by which our primary calendar was set, the RNC should not be bound to the process by which the convention site was selected,” Floyd wrote.
Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn sent out a statement backing up Floyd.
Florida’s 2012 primary is currently set for Jan. 31, a violation of both parties’ rules requiring the primary to be held no earlier than in March.
Florida GOP leaders aren’t backing down. They say they’re doing what they can to ensure that Florida plays an integral role in the selection of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
Get over it, Senate President Mike Haridopolos suggested in a statement. The Merritt Island Republican and U.S. Senate candidate wants the Sunshine State to be fifth in the primary lineup, after New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada.
Read Haridopolos’ and House Speaker Dean Cannon’s reactions after the jump.
“It continues to amaze me that Republican leaders in other states feel threatened by Florida in next year’s presidential preference primary. I have said all along that Florida does not want to jump the traditional early states of New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina or Nevada. We simply want to go fifth.
As the ultimate swing state with a population reflective of the country’s demographics, Florida should have a significant role as early in the nominating process as possible. Vice President Biden said last week that the President Obama’s fortunes for reelection rest on Florida. That should be our total focus.
Idle threats by other states are not productive. Unified Republicans will gather in Tampa in August 2012 to select the person who will replace Barrack Obama as President of the United States,” Haridopolos said in a statement.
House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, issued a terse one-liner: “I look forward to meeting Chairman Floyd and Chairman Strawn in Tampa next summer.”