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. Chris - Denver

    If "die quickly" isn't the Republican health care plan, then what is?

    September 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Farrell in Houston

    Sounds like Grayson was man enough not to take millions from big insurance lobbyist. But, for certain we all need to find out who did and how much, especially if you were with them and didn't get your share.

    September 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Vets4Obama

    People are asking how many die with health insurance. It's WAY UP THERE...that's how bad our health care system is. People can't get any and die and then those who do get it are MURDERED by our current FOR PROFIT GENOCIDE health care industry.

    We MUST have the PUBLIC option to stop the MASS GENOCIDE in america.

    September 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Angela

    I with you "Go_Grayson", I'll donate to his campaign also!!!!

    September 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Bryan

    The guy deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Reality bites. Republicans are representing the insurance companies. CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME OUT THERE? MAKE THIS GUY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

    September 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Brian from NJ

    So let me get this straight... Grayson accuses The Republicans of killing people and it is considered fact and the liberals hail him as a hero... but when Palin accuses the Democrats of doing the same thing, she was treated like crap all over this country and she was labeled a dumb, racist, hateful, moose killing slimebag. amongst all the rest of the names she was called... as stupid as it was when Palin used the term "death panels" this is right up there. Plus he acted this way on the floor of the House. If the Congress is going to rebuke Wilson for his behavior then Grayson deserves the exact same treatment... we cannot demand good behavior from one side of the aisle and then not demand it form the other side, too. Let's see Pelosi stand up and do the right thing for a change.

    September 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Chris - Denver

    Who says America has lost the edge in manufacturing? The GOP is unsurpassed in manufactured outrage!

    September 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. usualone

    The GOP don't know how to take second place with grace. They can dish it out (the uglies) and if anything may smack of their approach, they are on the attack. The dregs of America are alive and well. Why should anyone care about America...with the nasties showing their heads. What happened to polite discussions and disagreements?

    September 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Rewhinagain

    I am not usually in it for partisanship, but its nice to see a Dem picking up one of the stones and throwing it back

    September 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. catmom

    Republicans have got to be kidding !!! They are really showing how hypocritical they are. What is the difference of them saying that President Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma? They have called President Obama everything they could, they have allowed "entertainers" to vilify him and his wife. They keep telling us it's free speech, why can't people criticize President Obama? They keep whining about everything Obama but the minute someone says something to them they want to whine? Pu-lease !!! Suck it up. If it is okay for them then it's okay for Grayson. What the problem really is , is Republicans know what he said is just about right.

    September 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Samuel

    Mr. Garyson, you are correct. Watch as the Democrat's health care plan is passed and is successful. Americans are not stupid or as ill informed as the Republican Party hopes they are.

    Sara Palin will be able to afford health insurence from the sale of her book to many people who will not be able to afford health insurence.

    September 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Ocie Clelland

    You know what??? Its ridiculous that instead of handling the business that really matters to the American people these folks that we have elected are busy squabbling with each to say "I'm sorry". Are you kidding me??!! How about doing the job we have elected you ladies and gents to do?? How about you all stop acting petulant and get some work done??

    September 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Peoples Voice

    No need to apologize for telling the truth.

    The GOP is representing the health industry. The health industry would prefer their clients to die rather than have to cure them.

    That is an indisputable fact. Deal with the true once in a while, GOP.

    September 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. gg_C

    The DNC needs to recruit more of those congressman Grayson.

    September 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. virginia for obama

    I LOVE IT!

    GO GRAYSON GO! They can dish it out but can't take it.

    September 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. The Voice

    He does not need to apologize to the Republicans. It is the truth. The wealthy can afford healthcare and those that cannot, wont get it. That what the Republicans represnet, the wealthy.

    So he said the truth, for all other we cannot afford it, they die.

    September 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Rewhinagain

    How many thousands die with health insurance?
    Sums it up. "Republicans: You're going to die anyway".
    Just like the Earth will get exploded by some deity in the clouds so why worry about environment? Thanks for making everyone's point.

    I can't believe they even try to continue the farce they care about Medicare! You guys with me and the rest of the country laughing at that one?

    September 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. a politician worth listening to

    he has more than two words to say, watch and learn Wilson

    September 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Stop being stupid. This has nothing to do with "oh yeah? how many people die who HAVE health insurance?" Some people can be saved, some people can't. The Harvard study measured how many people are dying each year on average from disease and sickness and syndromes that are otherwise treatable and would have been treated had the person been able to obtain insurance. This, by necessity, includes statistical consideration of the fact that even with insurance some people die with those diseases, etc. It's all right there in the study. They didn't just pull a number out of thin air by saying X people have non insurance and Y of them died. It's HARVARD, you dim bulbs.

    September 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Alexis

    I don't see how different Grayson's comment is from the republican's comment saying that the dems health care plan has a death panel. There is no need for appology here, Mr Grayson is telling the truth and I don't see anybody on the right appologizing, not Sarah Palin, not Rush, not Hannity, I named these three cause I see that they are the leaders of the republican party,none of them. So please Mr. Grayson do not back down.....

    September 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. Deliphus

    Hopefully this is just the beginning of the backlash against the Micropublican tactics used to ensure their Insurance Company masters are in no danger. I believe it's worth repeating that 44,000 Americans die yearly due to no access to Health Care, and repeating again and again. I don't have the figures myself, but it would also be useful to put out the amount of money being spent to kill this bill. Put the two together and you've got an effective tool to further marginalize the GOP.

    September 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. GEdwards

    Making an inappropriate statement, then owning up to it and apologizing.
    Example - Joe Wilson

    Making a false and inappropriate statement, then refusing to apologize for it and fanning the flames even further.
    Example - Alan Grayson

    September 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. DJ

    The Republicans can't handle the is what it is. You're on your own without the public option, quit playing games or hiding from the facts.

    September 30, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Mary Gilkey

    At last, a Democrat with a spine! I hope more of the Democratic politicians will emulate him!

    September 30, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Joel Miller

    Glad to see Grayson sticking to his guns. As for the efforts of Republicans to discipline him, I think that's frankly just as stupid as the House disciplining Joe Wilson after he already apologized to the President. Dead horse beating in Congress is something most of us are sick of no matter what side of this debate we're on.

    September 30, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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