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. michael, AZ

    Wait, condemning Wilson for screaming out on national TV that the president is a liar is "political" but condemning this guy for poor decorum is ok? I cannot take the hypocracy any longer.

    September 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    More, please.

    September 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging and least you Rightwing NUTS forget, Bush had 47 Czars

    Now the G"NO"P is getting a taste of their own medicine! – guess it taste like bile; and they can't swallow their own hate and fear-mongering!!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. joe

    It must be George Bush's fault that 44,000 die every year from lack of insurance. Maybe it is the fault of Fox networrk, or the religous right or maybe it is the Republicans fault. This guy is a real piece of work.

    16% in Canada and 18% in Great Britian- those are percentages of people who die in those countries more so then in this Country of cancer due to Nationalised Health. But lets not let the facts get into the way of a good argument.

    September 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Dex Houston TX

    Grayson, you are my hero....Republicans have nothing to offer but lies and more lies. How dare they want an apology for the truth you speak.
    Republicans have some nerve

    September 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. dan

    hip hiphoooray!!! finnally someone understands the stakes are bigger than insurance company profits...

    September 30, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Allen, Texas

    Once again, the Republicans don't want to hear the truth. I guess the truth hurts. I applaud Rep. Grayson for apologizing to the dead and their families. If the Republicans cared about those dead Americans who had passed on just because they were unable to secure or buy health insurance, they would have done something about it during the Reagan years, during four years of Papa Bush, and during the eight tumultous years of Baby Bush. They did not, and now they are trying to deligitimize the President since President Clinton, who's trying to do something about it just because they are beholding to the Death Agents – the Insurance Industry. Thank You Rep. Grayson for speaking the truth to power!

    September 30, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. alaiyn

    FINALLY!!!!!!!! A democrat that is actually fighting against those rethuglicans. its amazing to me that the repulicans are acting so offended when they go around claiming that...
    1. obama is a terrorist
    2. obama is not a natural born citizen
    3. obama wants to murder your nannas and poppas
    ...........i dont have all day to sit here and name the rest.

    September 30, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. Jobrater

    More than 44,000 are killed every year in car wrecks. "Stop the Murder – Ride a Horse". No, no, they poop in the street and it's cruel to make them do work, especially now that they have rights to sue humans. "Walk America, Stop the Killing". Wait, what about the poor who can't afford adequate shoes? We'll subsidize shoes for everyone. Liberal drivel never stops.

    September 30, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. JustWilliam

    Are the republicans serious? They want to compare Joe Wilson's calling the Commander in Chief a liar in the midst of his speach, to Grayson speaking his mind WHILE HE HAD THE FLOOR!

    Is the republican leadership so desperate and paranoid that they can't grasp the differnce between knee-jerk disrespect and waiting till it's your turn to say something provocative?

    September 30, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. DB

    Grayson is a hero and the democrats should take the same line and push it!

    September 30, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. RRRUSA

    Nothing but a sad GOP SMOKESCREEN to hide that their plan is horrible and would do nothing but protect the rich and oppress the poor and needy....this is America First?????

    The GOP is doing anything they can to derail health care reform because the rich insurance companies are filling their coffers to do so!

    WHO RUNS THIS COUNTRY???? People or corporations??? Stand up for America, stop the GOP!

    September 30, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Mickey Kampsen

    Than you Grayson...I sure hope that Florida has the metal to make sure you get re elected to the Congress! We need many more like you Sir. I dont live in your State but I will donate to you and please...GO GIVE EM HELL!

    September 30, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. patty

    Go Grayson! I wish you were my Rep!

    September 30, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Allen, Texas

    Once again, the Republicans don't want to hear the truth. I guess the truth hurts. Bravo, Rep Grayson!! for speaking the truth to power!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Cynthia Stavish

    I have an advanced degree in nursing and find it more and more alarming what people are willing to accept. People are dying needlessly in this country for many reasons related to health care. The underlying theme in many of the deaths I have witnessed in many states over the last 20 years....... NO ONE is willing to stand up and demand the right thing for fear of being ostracized. The world needs more Alan Graysons in the world! Until then we will continue to watch people suffer and die.

    September 30, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. Tom

    So, it's OK for GOP leaders to say on the House Floor over five times last month that ...

    ... the Democratic Bill will "Kill Seniors".

    ... "ask seniors to DROP DEAD".

    etc, etc...

    but, now, Grayson is "distracting" from a national debate?

    Give me a break.

    September 30, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Johnny DC

    Wow, amazing how many of you Liberal sheep flock to this nutjob.

    His grandstanding just went from insulting the GOP, which was completely reasonable given the tempers of the current climate - to invoking the HOLOCAUST and offending hundreds of millions. Not to mention making the losses from Iraq and 9/11 sound less important.

    And yet, still you applaud him.

    His "apology" was disgusting. Offensive to holocaust survivors and their families, and on a closer front, offensive to 9/11 survivors, Iraq veterans, and their families.

    Shame on all of you.

    September 30, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. David Radovanovic

    Go for it congressman! Against CNN's and republican negative nonsense... the congressman is a shining example for the rest of the gutless democrats!

    September 30, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Jasmine in Germany

    The USA has the worst health care system of any first world country in the world (wake up you brain-washed tea partiers, editorials in intelligent countries are mocking you; therefore the USA, due to your ignorance). Many countries have a higher life expectancy rate than the US and one reason for that is the health care system (the other is America's astounding high crime rate). Alan Grayson is just telling the truth. He is a hero to me, he is fighting for the citizens of the United States of America. Keep it up, Representative Grayson! Accolades to you! The USA needs to "shape up" in many areas, health care is certainly one of them!

    September 30, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. Joe

    Congressman Grayson epitomizes why Americans are enraged at this health plan. The Democrats refuse to work in a bipartisan manner.

    September 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    LOL – This is getting good!!!! DEMS go to your corner – REPUBS go to your corner. When the bell rings – COME OUT FIGHTING!!!

    Grayson – now YOU will get many donations because YOU did not back down to the Party of NO REPUBLI-CAN'Ts!! But I bet your donations or donatations to the Democratic Party will be MORE than WILSON's and the REPUB party!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. James in Texas

    Thank God there's a Democrat with some Guts to challenge the do nothing Republicans. I commend Rep. Grayson for telling it like it is. He was not exaggerating by saying what he did. Everyday that the opposition no matter where it comes from, seeks the easy way out people will suffer. Way to go Congressman Thanks you.

    September 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. Margaret

    People, YOU HAVE HEALTHCARE. Why do you think foreigners come here for treatment? If you're too lazy or ignorant to apply for it, then call me and I'll take you.

    You're all throwing baseless accusations our your rear ends.

    If this is such an emergency, why is he not starting it before 2013? And why is his family not going to be covered under it?

    Go ahead, ask him. And please stop blaming others for your shortcomings. Nobody but a 5 year old is going to be impressed with such a libelous statement. If this is the best we can send to Washington, God help us all.

    September 30, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Finally...

    Amen Grayson. At least one Democrat has the nerve and the audacity to tell the truth. You already know that they can talk mess but they can't take the truth. I support you 100%!

    September 30, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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