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. Pier Giacalone

    Actually Grayson was being kind. The truth is Republicans don't give a crap how poor people die. Slow, fast, painful, whatever. The very definition of being Republican is not caring what happens to anyone but yourself. The biggest laugh is watching them get "insulted" when this obvious point is stated in public.

    September 30, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Robert from Tulsa

    Grayson is an embarassment to the political system who is currently sweating profusely on The Situation Room with Wolfman Blitzer. It's a real comfort to know that he will be part of the process to revamp healthcare. The whole issue of healthcare and our country for that matter is out of control, I miss Ronald Reagan...

    September 30, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Fulvio

    Kudos to Alan Grayson!! finally a Democrat with a spine!! if only Carville would run!!

    September 30, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. rjstallings

    You are a joke. I am an independent and all I hear is gobblety goop coming from your mouth about what republicans are doing wrong. You need to listen to the public. That is who voted you in. All of the polls I have seen say the public is against government run health care PERIOD. Where is the money coming from and don't sit there and lie to the american public and say it won't cost a thing because we kinow differently. Nothing is free unless it goes to the non-working people. WE CANT AFFORD MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. WC Booze

    There is only one death panel in America.It's in Texas.It's called The Advanced Directives Act of 1999.Passed by a republican legislature.Signed into law by former Gov Bush(R).The first execution was a an infant named Sun Hudson.Who was removed from life support against the expressed wishes of his mother and her attorney.When another hospital agreed to have the child transferred and treated.That's how the pro-life,limited gov't,compassionate conservative republican party does business(a lot of lip service and a hand on your life support).

    September 30, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. cjg

    Just saw him with Wolf, I think I like this man!!!!
    You go Rep Grayson , I think it is time we fight back!

    September 30, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Webhoncho

    Sadly, Grayson's facts and figures on deaths attributable to lack of adeqate insurance, healthcare and life-saving procedures are accurate. Actually, I'm surprised the figure is so low. These deaths are an important part of the debate that those against health care reform want to dismiss.

    And to all those politicians who claim they are so insulted by Grayson's behavior, tactics or decorum in the House, all I can say is
    "You lie!"

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Steve in Kentucky

    He should absolutely NOT apologize to the Rethuglicans.

    It's a shocking thing to say but it is indeed based on fact - that the alternative to health reform is a continuation of the existing "death panels" run by insurance company bureaucrats.

    I guess if there's anything wrong with Grayson's statement it was to refer to a GOP "plan." That dignifies their position too much.

    Imagine ... a Democrat actually pulls off the gloves and starts dishing out what the Repuglicans have been doing non-stop for most of this year! It's time for more Dems to stand up and start dishing it out!

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Gwenyith

    I happen to think it is just about time, someone stood up and told the American Public exactly what is going on! That many of our elected officials are getting paid to sacrifice those who voted them into their high paying, little work, jobs with perks of thousands, and millions of dollars, when we the working people are doing without!
    Health care for all is something we should of always had, there is no excuse in the United States that anyone should not be given medical care. Oh and I have coverage, I do not need free health care...I just care about other human beings!

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. John

    Did the Representative anything that isn't true?

    This gentleman actually cares about the 45,000 Americans who die for lack of health insurance. This gentleman actually cares how the skyrocking prices are causing families to lose the their health insurance. This gentleman actually cares about vile practice of denying coverage to people on the basis of pre-existing conditions. This gentleman actually cares the curious American custom of forcing families into bankruptcy when a family member has the bad judgement to get cancer.

    There is no evidence that Republicans gives a snot about any of these things.

    And I don't hear this gentleman bring up the bogus medical malpractice "reform". Ask the people of Missouri about how draconian anti-patient legislation brought down the cost of health insurance? IT DIDN'T.

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. bettie

    I just donated to Grayson also. You go, Alan!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Diane

    I have tears in my eyes.

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Irene Miscione

    How dare these republicans demand an apology. They owe the American people an apology for spouting their lies, for fostering an environment of hate and biogetry and further for not standing up and doing the moral thing. Americans need health care reform now – yet these politicians continue to deny the need for health care reform, as they continue to take millions of dollars from the health care industry. Shame on them all. These people are not public servants – they are merely politicians. It is a disgrace.

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. They call me "tater salad"

    No apology!!! Joe wilson didn't apologize!! ( that was no apology in my opinion) Turn about is fair play, so all of you whiney little Republicans can EAT IT!!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. eli day

    A star was born today!!!!!!!!!! Wolf Blitzer got so upset, I thought he was going to become apoplectic!!!!!! They hit Greyson with four repugs (including Blitzer) and he stood up to all of them. Great job, Sir!!!! Cnn ought to be ashamed of itself. Wolff Blitzer needs to be in commentary not a program that tries to pass itself off as news. Shame on you CNN!!!!!!!! You are becoming Faux News Lite!!!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. Susan

    Finally a politician who tells it like it is!!
    Thank You Congressman Grayson.
    Right On!

    September 30, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Will B.

    44,000 people die a year becuase they lack insurance. Astounding! What if we built a memorial wall for the the Vietnam Memorial or 9/11...wouldn't that spread shame on the faces of every politican that walked by. And the Republicans had the gall to spread rumors about Obama death camps!

    September 30, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Scotttsaunt

    Yeah, Grayson.

    September 30, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Jane - Vt

    Alan Grayson tells it the way it is! Thank you sir.

    September 30, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Tom L

    If you only knew how offensive to Jews this is you would be ashamed of yourselves right now.

    6,000,000 Jews were killed for just being Jewish.

    Please find some moral decency here. Please realize how hurtful that comment is.

    September 30, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. GOPHater

    Yea, that's right, repuglicans are not only killing the country as a whole, but individually by blocking what most Americans want. It's time to take this country back from the idiot rightwing nutcases.

    September 30, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. a.harris

    is telling the truth. If he called upon all the unemployed and all the people that are being pushed out by the insurance companies to march on washington there would be no room and no roads left open of to get there. He speaks for all of us who cannot be heard, because the republicans clog the media with the same old lies and fear and yes hate
    anything to keep we the people from getting the health insurance we all deserve.

    September 30, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. MCD, SF, CA

    Typical Republican tactic.... he made them look bad so they tried to distract and confuse. Absolutely no reason on earth he should apologize or feel the least bit bad about what he said. Fortunately, most Americans now see thru the tricks and tactics of the Republican party. The republican party does not care about the average American.... only the rich americans.

    September 30, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. crew

    yeah for him. as a doctor (and a republican until recently) i support him 100%.

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Kim-SC

    Wow, you folks really need to put down the kool-aid! Who cares what he said, did it create a job or get health care passed? Start caring about what counts.

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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