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. Reddy4Change

    Gooo Grayson! I hope your courage is contagious and the rest of the Dems grow a pair. Defense is good but offense is best! Someone has finally stood up and pointed out that the emporer (GOP) has no clothes!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. Lola

    These Republicans apparently have a ten minute memory.

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Dem_In_Utah

    Give em 'heck' Congressman Grayson,

    I'm am with you 100%!

    The local (Utah) Gentry hasn't a clue!

    September 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. john

    You made a point but dont go overboard. Fame is a dangerous thing. You did a great service but you will get burned if you keep grandstanding on all the shows like you are doing. I have been burned, just dont back down and be cautious. You could be the voice the people who need health incurance reform needs, my family and my specialneeds children. Thanks

    September 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. DZ

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Rep Grayson for telling it like it is and bringing it home with real statistics! The numbers of uninsured who die each year because they cannot get adequate care is shocking and appalling - you're right to call it a "Health Care Halocaust."
    God bless you for standing up for what's right and ethical!

    September 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Fulvio

    For those Republicans who wrap themselves in the flag with patriotic fervor, think about this: more Americans die every month for lack of insurance than 9-11 killed!! Republicans don't have a plan about Healthcare and never did !! the only time they talk about it is when Clinton or Obama brings it up!! otherwise ziltch!!! what did they do for the last 8 years under Bush?? nothing. . . . their inaction kills more than 9-11 did, who are the real terrorist?

    September 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. carlos, THAT one

    let all the repugnants face the DEATH PANELS, what a wonderful world it would be, thank you Congressman Grayson, yes indeed, what a wonderful world it would be, YEAH!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. I Am the Great and Powerful Wizard of Rush

    Time for the complaining Rethuglican pus.sies to call for a

    September 30, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Ken, AZ

    What a bunch of hypocrits republicans are. Hell no Grayson should not apologize to the GOP. They've said much worse and have knowingly lied about proposed health care reform. At least what Grayson said was factual. The GOP should apologize to the American people; first for the mess they put us in, and second because they refuse to even try to help fix it.

    September 30, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. Maxwell

    Not knowing how to lose does not mean constituents should suffer. For months now we have watched in amazement as the GOP, after losing an election, use all sorts of scare tactics to cover up the real issue behind health care reform: That the biggest advanced democracy has worst outcome with health and it is time to overhaul. It is time also to see a courageous congressman stand up for the rest of us, with the truth to back up his courage. Kudos, Mr. Grayson.

    September 30, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. American Me

    A democrate with a spine? Wow. It's about time.

    September 30, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Jan

    My written comment said, or should, Rep. Grayson did NOT encourage anyone to kill a Repulican.

    September 30, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Doug

    The people responding in support of this guy are idiots as well.

    The United States has the Best Health Care in the World. People come from around the world to be treated by doctors who know what the heck they are doing. To say that the Republicans are for Senior citizens dying quickly is the most laughable comment I have ever heard. This guy will be booted from office, not be promoted to speaker.

    All of you radicals who want big daddy government to pay for everything need to move to Canada and see how rationed health care really works. Please, Move!

    September 30, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. suresh

    Grayson should have first asked Republicans to apologize for the Death Panel remarks before giving his apology. Democrats do not stand up for what they believe in. They let Republicans get away with anything.

    September 30, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Grayson_Is_A_Tool

    Somebody dies from heart disease after a lifetime of eating butter and sugar, smoking, and avoiding exercise, and their death is equated with 9/11 and Holocaust victims?

    September 30, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Phoenix

    Way to go! Refreshing even. Great idea...FLIP THE SCRIPT!

    September 30, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Joe

    Please explain to me how this is in any way different than a "death squad" remark made by a much more famous politician?

    September 30, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. D. D.

    The Grayson man reminds me of Glen Beck, the Cowboy Clown, onlty this elected official is the Floor Clown. He has a sign whereas Beck has a chalkboard. They both play to the base when we reside in a real world. However, insurances for some people really deny them the opportunity for betterhealth benefits, One man said on Cavuto we all need to face it children in proverty will not be airlifted and admitted to the Mayo Clinic. Who won't make this recommendation and why not?

    September 30, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Marty

    Someone should tell the Democratic Party that their spine has been located. They should ask to borrow it back once in a while.

    September 30, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!

    This Texan just donated $20.10 for your 2010 election.

    We need more Dems like you, you have a SPINE!

    Do not dare apologize to the neo-con LIARS!

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

    This is what the Republican's REAL problem is: They admitted that healthcare is broken and needs to be addressed – but did NOTHING about it when they had the power for 6 years. That makes them either in bed with the insurance lobbyists or hypocrites. Either group is not one you want deciding healthcare for America. Their solution is to not let bureaucrats get between you and your doctor – let insurance agents and your banker get between you!

    September 30, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. geekman

    Grayson's right. And we need a nationwide insurance program similar to the "Bismarck" model used in several European countries and Japan. Profit needs to be taken out of the insurance equation NOW!

    September 30, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Joe

    Oh, wait. That's right. My bad. The difference is that Grayson's remark is based on evidence.

    September 30, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Leo

    If he spoke his views inside Congress where he was voted to be in and is paid to represent his constituency, he cannot be censured at all, and cannot be forced to apologize once this is the right time and forum to do it.
    Debate him if the GOP have better arguments...
    That is the sole reason that building is built for...
    I thought he hat a point in make those analogies, very clever, I Just hope the Democrats do not shy away from the loud minority...
    Very nice response...


    September 30, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. SNAPPA

    DON'T YOU DARE APOLOGIZE!!! Finally a democrat standing up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. With all the crap the republicans have put out there and NEVER apologized. The dems want to pull the plug on grandma, the dems plan creats death panels all of which are so much more insulting than the comment you made. In fact your comment was right on the money. I wish you were my congressman, just know that I support you 100% I only wish the other democrats would show as much gumpshun as you did.

    September 30, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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