September 30th, 2009
06:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Grayson remains defiant on 'die quickly' remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Alan Grayson finally apologized - but not to Republicans."]
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.

Grayson refused to do so, and Republicans were quick to blast him for it.

"Alan Grayson not only refuses to apologize, he is doubling down on his despicable remarks and he is dragging his party with him," said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is targeting Grayson in next year's midterm election. "This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior. He is derailing the national debate on healthcare reform and embarrassing his constituents as a result.

Spain also called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to "end her silence and demand an apology."

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soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. Gus The Willie

    Give the guy a break to his right to free speech. He is the captain of his own ship, and besides, the guy is only telling it like it really is. Too bad the Republicans can't face the mirror on this.

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Kristen Burgess

    Hurray for Grayson. We need more representatives like him! People really are suffering in America, but perhaps republicans can't see that from their safe havens and ivory towers.

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Guilty Bystander

    I too will donate to Alan Grayson's campaign and thank him for having the balls to call out the GOP.

    Do not back down, Mr. Grayson. You are absolutely correct.

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. bernie

    Rep. Grayson: you not only have guts and glory but my deep respect for your tenacity and throwing the truth at the GOP thugs. Where do I send my donation to your re-elecdtion??

    September 30, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. mark

    Greyson should be our next president!

    September 30, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. robski

    HAHAHAHA! This guy's great, someone finally telling it like it is. The rest of the Dems are weak. Truth hurts and the Reps are feeling it good!

    September 30, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Jay T.

    What a fantastic response! Who is this guy? God bless him!

    September 30, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Lynne

    Why didn't Wolf Blitzer demand Sarah Palin come in and explain her claim that Democrats wanted to kill the elderly and each of the Congress people who continued to falsely claim this on the House floor?

    September 30, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. robski

    Less people die w/o healthcare (prevention) then those with, PERIOD. Try again.

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Jan

    Rep. Grayson is right to bring the uninsured and under-insured Americans into the health care debate taking place in the House. He did not interrupt any one's speech. He did not filibuster to get his way. He did encourage anyone to threaten the life of any Republican.

    He represented his constituents, as well as the faceless, voiceless uninsured Americans throughout this country.

    Thank you Mister Congressman

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Steve

    Rep. Alan Grayson is a disgrace. Hopefully, he will be the next to get sick and die quick.

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. Hilda Torres

    I agree with Rep. Alan Grayson on his stand regarding health care reform. He is fighting for the right of all Americans to have affordable access to health insurance. It's time to act. Much have been said, discussed, debated; we can't keep losong lives because of the unwillingness of some, be they Republicans or Democrats. We elected a President with a message of CHANGE and that is what Americans are waiting for. Reprentative you've said what many of us think and dare not say.

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Representative Grayson is correct in his remarks. Our "for profit" health care system, which the republicans seem to unanimously support "pulls the plug" on tens of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens every single day because it is not profitable to insure them. Brian Meckel

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. Michelle

    Congressman Grayson, I applaud you. Finally a Dem had the guts to tell it like it is. All those Americans who are against Health Reform are the ones who were against Obama tax increase on persons making over $250,000. It makes you wonder, are'nt you going to benefit from what Obama is trying to do for the less fortunate of this country. PPL WAKE UP!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    After donating to Grayson's re-election and viewing his videos on his site, the DNC has just found a NEW voice for the people.

    Grayson, you rock!

    September 30, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. Charlie Brown

    Good for you! Never apologize for standing up for the less fortunate!!!

    About time a democrat with some balls is fighting back!!!

    My check is in the mail, sir

    September 30, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. RE:Brian in NJ

    Brain, unfortunately when Ms. Palin was speaking she was LYING....... AND your comments comparing Rep. Grayson to Rep. Wilson, Mr. Grayson had the house floor to SPEAK.... it was his turn.... when Mr. WILSON spoke he spoke out of TURN and should have kept his comments to his self. Of course you will not understand this......

    September 30, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Reagan was wrong

    This is nothing compared to all the birthers, death panels, town hall chaos, gun nuts, racist posters, Joe Wilson, "pallin' around with terrorists", Muslim communist socialist afro-fascist nonsense the GOP has been spewing for the past year.

    September 30, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Doug

    He actually said "Holocaust in America"............WOW!

    I guess you can say anything on your last day of work, or in his case the last month's of his term.

    Do you think that will be played in campaign ads against him?

    In Florida, the retiree state.

    That guy is Idiot!

    September 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Sniffit 4 Palin 2012

    Bash my hero Sara Palin all you want, but even she would not have said something this dumb.

    September 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. KCarlin

    I'd have more respect for Grayson if he talked about how much money trial lawyers spent electing him. Tort reform anyone?

    And what government program are we modeling "reform" after? Medicare, which is bankrupt and riddled with fraud? Medicaid, which is worse? The VA?


    September 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. ER

    I just witnessed this guy's performance on the situation room and he should be a regular commentor! Borger and Castellanos had their heads cut off verbally and it was long overdue. This guy Grayson is about to become a national hero and CNN ought to let this guy on at every opportunity possible. This evening's show was the best exchange I've seen since crossfire.

    September 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. john

    I'd say the right thing to do is to see who is taking millions from the health care industry and vote them out weather they are Democrate, Republican,or independant. Let's send a true message to Washington. Are there any Republicans for that idea? bet not. think about it 44,000. Folks, that is a real travisty, along with saying something very nasty about how "compassionate" we really are.

    September 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Ruty

    The man spoke the truth. Leave him alone. Is there somethign wrong in speaking the truth?

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Aaron

    Finally, a democrat with a spine! If we had more democrats like Alan Grayson we wouldn't have republicans watering down the health care bills being pushed through.

    While the rest of the spineless dems cave in to republican pressure over the public option, it's nice to know there is at least one democrat saying it how it is.

    Republicans have nothing to offer America, they are out of power and should be ignored. They don't deserve any air time!

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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