WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson issued a written apology Tuesday evening for a comment for a month-old comment that has stirred controversy on Capitol Hill in recent days.
During a September radio interview, Grayson called Linda Robertson, an aide to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who has also worked as a lobbyist, a "K Street whore."
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Grayson said his comment was inappropriate.
"I offer my sincere apology," Grayson said in the statement, "I did not intend to use a term that is often, and correctly, seen as disrespectful of women.
"This characterization of Ms. Robertson, made during a radio interview last month in the context of the debate over whether the Federal Reserve should be independently audited, was inappropriate, and I apologize."
(CNN) - A spokesman for Florida Rep. Alan Grayson is defending the outspoken congressman's recent comment calling an aide to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a "K Street whore."
The comments - directed toward Bernanke aide Linda Robertson - came during a radio interview a month ago but are just now circulating Capitol Hill.
Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski said the congressman's comments came in response to an attack from Robertson over the his support of a GOP-backed bill to audit the Federal Reserve.
"She actually questioned his understanding of the difference between fiscal and monetary policy," he said in a statement to CNN. "She had the audacity to attack a congressman who used to be an economist. She's a career lobbyist who used to work for Enron and advocates for whatever she gets paid to promote."
Jurkowski also questioned why the comments are making news a month after the interview aired.
"Why is this coming up now? This interview happened weeks ago. This is just another way for the NRCC to attack their number 1 target," he said.
The comments are the latest in a string of controversial statements from the freshman congressman, who last month angered Republicans but became a hero to the left when he declared on the House floor that the GOP health care plan is to let sick people "die quickly."
NEW YORK (CNN)– Controversial freshman Rep. Alan Grayson, who has become famous for attacking the Republicans' health care plan, went on the attack again Friday night, calling former Vice President Dick Cheney a vampire for his recent criticism of the Obama administration's handling of the war in Afghanistan.
"I have trouble listening to what [Cheney] says sometimes because of the blood that drips from his teeth while he's talking," the Florida Democrat said on MSNBC's Hardball Friday night. "But my response is this: he's just angry because the president doesn't shoot old men in the face. But by the way, when he was done speaking, did he just then turn into a bat and fly away?"
In a hard-hitting, wide-ranging speech last Wednesday, Cheney targeted the administration's decision-making process on how to proceed in Afghanistan, saying Obama has failed to give troops on the ground a clear mission or defined goals and appeared "afraid to make a decision."
"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," Cheney said at the Center for Security Policy. "Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries."
In responding to Cheney's attack, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday got in a jab of his own.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Alan Grayson - whose statement that Republican health care calls for the sick to "die quickly" - has launched a new Web site, namesofthedead.com, that invites users to submit stories of loved ones who have died because they lack health insurance.
"I have created this project in their memory," reads a message on the new site. "I hope that honoring them will help us end this senseless loss of American lives."
In the midst of the national health care debate, the freshman Florida Democrat rose to national prominence recently when he declared from the House floor that the Republican health care reform proposal is "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."
The National Republican Congressional Committee slammed Grayson Wednesday over the new site.
"What is wrong with this man?" NRCC spokesman Andy Sere said in a statement e-mailed to CNN. "Alan Grayson's morbid exploitation of 'the dead' for personal political gain may be the most shameless stunt he's pulled yet."
Sere also told CNN that the NRCC believes the new Grayson site violates House ethics rule.
According to the House Ethics Manual, Members' official House Web sites may not include any personal or political information and also may not be directly linked to or refer to Web sites created or operated by a campaign or any campaign-related entity. House rules also prohibit Members' campaign Web sites from including a link to Members' official House Web sites and prohibit official House Web sites from being advertised on campaign Web sites or other campaign-related material. Grayson's new site contains links to both Grayon's official House site and his re-election campaign's site.
(CNN) - Could a little-known freshman Democrat from a conservative-leaning Florida district be just what the doctor ordered for liberals wary of what they view as a timid president too ready to compromise on overhauling health care?
A little more than a week ago, few Americans had heard of Rep. Alan Grayson, who represents the Orlando area, and more than a handful of his congressional colleagues may not have been able to pick the 6-foot-4, 51-year-old out of a lineup.
But that was before the combative Bronx-born congressman and Harvard-educated lawyer took to the floor of the House of Representatives last week, shocking the few Republicans within earshot when he dramatically declared the GOP health care plan is "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."
WASHINGTON (CNN)– Rep. Alan Grayson's re-election campaign is seeing an increase in donations since his House floor speech last week in which the freshman Florida Democrat said the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."
"The campaign has over half a million dollars in the bank and over 5,000 first-time contributors in the past three days," Grayson told CNN Saturday, saying he has his floor speech to thank for the influx of cash.
"People want to see a congressman with guts," Grayson said. "[And] America likes to hear the truth."
On Tuesday, Grayson called the Republican health care plan a "very simple plan."
"Don't get sick. That's what the Republicans have in mind," he said. "And if you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped congressional Republicans Thursday for holding Democrats to a higher standard in the rhetoric employed in the often acidic health care debate.
"Apparently Republicans are holding Democrats to a higher level than they hold their own members," she told reporters on Capitol Hill. "If anybody's going to apologize, everybody should apologize."
Pelosi made her remarks after being asked to comment on a controversial speech made earlier this week by Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, who said on the House floor that Republican health care plans call for sick people to "die quickly."
GOP leaders charged Grayson with crossing a rhetorical line and demanded an apology. Grayson responded by apologizing not for his remarks, but for the government's failure to enact health care reform sooner.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Republicans will not offer a resolution Thursday asking that Rep. Alan Grayson be condemned for charging that the GOP health care plan calls for those who get sick to die quickly, but Republicans did not rule out taking future action against the controversial Florida Democrat.
"No resolution will be introduced today. Mr. Grayson's actions on the floor were an embarrassment to this Congress and warrant an apology both to his colleagues and, more importantly, to the people of his district who he insulted on the House floor," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Georgia Rep. Tom Price, who chairs the Republican Study Committee.
"It is the job of the Speaker to ensure the House runs with proper decorum, and we would hope that she would not tolerate such behavior. As Mr. Grayson has shown no remorse for his antics, we have called on the Speaker to take the appropriate action to resolve this matter. Any future decision on a resolution will rest on the ability of the Speaker to control her members."
In fact, Grayson - a Democrat who represents a central Florida swing district that includes Orlando - made another floor speech in which he apologized to the dead and their families for not acting sooner on health care reform, and then defended both speeches on CNN's "The Situation Room."
"What I mean is they have got no plan," Grayson told Wolf Blitzer. "It's been 24 hours since I said that. Where is the Republican plan? We're all waiting to see something that will take care of the pre-existing conditions, to take care of the 40 million Americans who have no coverage at all.
"That's what I meant when I said that the Republican plan is don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Under fire for his claim that the GOP health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly," Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans.
"Last night, I gave a speech, and I'm not going to recount everything I said, but after that speech, several Republicans asked me to apologize," the Florida Democrat said in a defiant speech on the House floor Wednesday. "I would like to apologize."
Grayson then pointed to a Harvard study that reported more than 44,000 Americans die yearly because they lack health insurance. "That is ten times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11," he said. "But that was just once. This is every single year. That's right. Every single year. Take a look at this. Read it and weep."
"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he concluded.
House Republicans initially wanted to introduce a resolution condemning Grayson for breaching House decorum with his remarks on Tuesday night, but the resolution's sponsor, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, decided on Wednesday not to introduce the resolution and instead asked for Grayson to apologize to House GOP leadership.