Jim Greer, the indicted former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, has issued a statement (via the Palm Beach Post) apologizing for calling a speech by President Barack Obama last year an attempt to spread his “socialist ideology.” Greer now says that he was placating “extremists” within his party who held “racist” views.

Greer, who is awaiting trial on six felony charges alleging he stole thousands from the party he led, writes: “Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party today.

Last year Greer gave a fiery rebuke to President Obama’s national address to school children that began, ”As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology.

Republican Party of Florida officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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