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. Pete

    God bless Grayson. Republicans and Blue or Red Demo should be ashamed of themselves. 40,000 Americans per year.

    September 30, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. J.P.

    Anyone who disagrees with the notion of holding a gun to the head of one man, stealing his wallet, and handing it to the next man out of "compassion" is obviously a racist.

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, eh Kommrade?

    September 30, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Deborah

    Only liberals can utter death and holocust in one paragraph and the media ignores it. Conservatives would be labled barbaric and racist. Pathetic..........

    September 30, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Chandler

    Grayson is CORRECT!!! Americans have been dying, getting terrible treatment from this corrupt system for DECADES!! So good to see someone getting passionate about this outrage!

    September 30, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Alexander T!

    This is really great. The lack of this attitude, and not in a partisan fashion be it as there is plenty of that, but this general excitement and high energy approach has been sorely lacking from the Democrats why there are many who may be more sympathetic to the party are not.

    I've been hoping to hear from more Freshman Congressman on this with the hopes of them having a different, less soured/watered-down perspective and position.

    September 30, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. michael

    Republicans are representing the insurance companies
    -anti-health care reform
    Democrats are representing Trial lawyers
    -anti tort reform
    Who is representing th people?

    If what Wilson said was a lie then why did democrats make changes to the bill that directly affected what Wilson called Obama out on?

    People need to realize that what the Republicans are doing now is what the Democrats did for the first 6 years of the Bush administration.

    Democrats can pass reform without republican help with their majority yet it has not passed maybe there are democrats who are blocking it's passage.

    September 30, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. mjm

    "I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he concluded.

    Ok....this guy is going too far. How low can someone go?

    And it's NOT THE REPUBLICANS! Democrats have the majority. Write a better bill and be done with it. The public option is only one option. Co-ops would insure more people at a lower cost and keep gov out of health care.
    I should point out that 250,000 die each year from iatrogenic causes such as bad reactions to medications.

    SO Grayson has a very weak point. Then again, he is a Democrat

    September 30, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. frank

    Finally a Democrat who stands up to fight this campaign of misinformation and insurance company welfare. Keep the status quo and more will die. I need to donate to this guy.

    September 30, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. S. Tisa

    Bravo Representative Grayson. I only wish more would speak up as you have.

    September 30, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Brett Bevell

    A Democrat with guts! I thought they were extinct, but am glad to see at least one of them is still alive!

    September 30, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. D. Tree

    Finally a politician who is standing up for the American people – a majority of Americans support health care reform with a public option!

    September 30, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Oweta

    This may be the first I've noticed Rep. Grayson ... but, man, I'm glad he's a Democrat! And that he's willing to stand up to the hypocritical Republican members of Congress. Go, go, go ....

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

    He's got my support. Speak truth to power. The Republican thugs would rather not talk about those who die from neglect (or for that matter, those of our brave men and women who give their lives in an illegitimate war), and do not want to state the simple truth - that they have no compassion for the poor or less fortunate.

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

    Go get 'em Grayson!

    September 30, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. MaryanneAZ

    Woo-hoo!!! The ActBlue donation site is ringing for Grayson. He spoke the truth, and I do not care if the GOP is allergic to the truth. Maybe they should see a doctor? At least, they have one. As one of the many uninsured (new SSDI beneficiary, excluded from Medicare for 2 years post-approval and Cobra too expensive on SSDI income), I need a public option, no pre-existing conditions and not to be dropped once I receive insurance I can afford. Thank you, Rep. Grayson.

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Kelly

    Why is reality so hard to face up to in the US?

    This congressman deserves accolades foe simply speaking the truth.

    A Canadian

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Grayson's a reprobate carpetbagger. Go back to the Bronx.

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. Todd

    Only 44K per year? I thought it would be higher than that. That's nothing compared to the 1.37 million babies we kill every year in the US simply because they are not wanted.

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. ltl lulu

    He should not apologize!!!! Unless the Republicans apologize for not providing healthcare for all Americans at an affordable rate and for giving more money to the healthcare companies instead of where it's needed most! Of course the Republicans will not apologize for this! So therefore, there will be no apology!

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Brooke

    Thank you Mr. Grayson. I wish more Democrats had the nerve to speak the truth like you do. Please give us a public option!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Brian in California

    Oh my god!! It is so freakin' amazing how sensitive the republicans are. They spew lie after lie about healthcare and misrepresent the facts throughout the August recess and continue to do so and then they act like victims when a Democrat makes a negative statement about their healthcare plan.

    Cry babies, primadonas, whiny children are phrases that come to mind to describe their response to this.

    They dish it out for months and not just about healthcare but virtually EVERY policy Obama and/or democrats put forth yet when someone criticizes one of their pieces of legislation they can't take it in return.

    This party has really become irrelevant without any substance whatsoever.

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. S M R

    Right on Mr.Grayson, WE GOT YOUR BACK ON THIS ONE!!! The GOP doesn't have an ARGUMENT ABOUT ANYTHING!!! PERIOD!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. Dan

    When Dem's are in power everywhere (house, senate, WH) and Rep's are complaining and making noise, the media being in the left, is there to complain about it and warn us of the atmosphere..... and then this guy is doing the same thing (for internal Dem's fighting, which is directed at Rep's).

    Do not complain if you do the same! It is a fact of life, now both parties are vicious, especially when the other party has such a huge majority... Opposition should oppose after all!?

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  24. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    OMG! A Democrat showing some SPINE??? I must be dreaming, but it sure feels great.

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. independent Jim

    All the partisanship by both sides is disgusting. There is a cost/benefit analysis done for all spending. We do it when we tolerate 50,000 deaths per year in cars. They could be made safer, but it might cost $100,000 to do it. Gongressman Grayson is merely "playing to the public" as the Republicans did in August.

    The cost of universal health insurance will have to be paid by the taxpayers. The real question is whether the 80% who have health insurance want to pay for the 20% who don't have it. No such thing as a free lunch. It will add to the deficit unless you raise taxes.

    Just saw the CNN headline that says 47% of the country does not pay any taxes at all. We may start out trying to only increase taxes for the "wealthy" (whoever you are, $250k and above?), but eventually this experiment in giving tons of money away will cause almost everyone to pay taxes – and lots of them.

    d'Touqueville would laugh at us all.

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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