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. Anonymous

    Finally someone has enough back bone to say what they mean and mean it. I am so tired of the people putting everything excent people first. Congratulations! Let's have some more Grayson's and then maybe there will be change.

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Tom L

    The anti-semitism is palpable. It is scary. All of the comments defend him for this comparison. I just don't know what to say.

    You have no shame.

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Lynda

    Yea for Grayson! Finally a democrat who's not afraid of fighting back. No apology needed. The Republicans do not want a health care plan. They are in the pockets of the health care corporations. I will contribute to his future campaigns. I want to see more of this honest & rational congressman. The Republicans lie and don't care about their constituents.

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Arthur

    It's not the government's job to confiscate my money (i.e., taxes) to pay for your healthcare.

    September 30, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Kudos to Grayson – you have the American Backs and hopefully we in turn will have yours. Let's stand up to Politicians with backbones and speak the truth!

    September 30, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. k,clark

    FINALLY! A Dem with Balls!!!! Don't back down G rayson

    September 30, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    I think he should do just what Joe Wilson did..give a half-hearted apology then go out and sign autographs of the speech he just gave. Republicans can dish it out but sure the hell can't take it can they?

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Earl Walker

    Finally!!! Someone stands up and tells it like it is. Alan Grayson, you are my hero. Keep it up maybe you will embarass your colleagues into "Doing The Right Think" and pass a health bill with the public option. The republican party is a disgrace. They are only interested in scaring the masses to do their bidding and further enrich the insurance industry and therefore their own financial well-being.

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Tracy

    Praise God for Rep. Grayson who is willing to tell the truth! It is beyond me how our elected officials continue to let 40,000 of their fellow Americans die each year due to a lack of health care coverage - just because they want to defeat the President???!!! That is sick and wrong (read evil)!!!

    I also thank God that we finally have a Democrat with backbone. Thank you Rep. Grayson for not apologizing to would-be murders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    It's good to hear of someone new to polictics have the courage to say the truth. The questions asked by "the most trusted team in news" were riduculous. Trying to compare Grayson's comments to that of Wilson is a stretch. A message to CNN... quit trying to become part of the story. Be true journalists and stay away from sensational reporting! Isn't there enough news to go around?

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Im a Graysoner

    I now want to switch my representative. Hey let's create a new party. All kidding aside, when does Americans ever get serious about serious issues. No matter the issue we must have two sides. Some things are just necessary. I feel that the Healthcare issue is one, but as usual their are two sides. Call in the boysssss. Thank you Grayson for being a representative.

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Paul in ABQ

    Rep Grayson: Don't even think of apologizing to those elephant know nothings. Let THEM apologize to the American public for supporting insurance COMPANIES at the expense of insurance holders.

    September 30, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |

    I love Grayson for standing up for the "People".

    More Democrats need to follow suit and remember that Americans
    are passionate about the Public Option. If we do not get the Public
    Option, the Bill will not mean a thing.

    Remember, this is not just about us. It affects our children and grandchildren. We have been fighting long enough for Health Care
    in the U.S.

    September 30, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. qmastertoo

    Finnally, a dem with some balls!!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Tara in Santa Barbara

    Donations sent to Rep Grayson. This is the kind of leadership I want in our Congress. Let your money do your talking even $10!

    It's easy to get distracted by all the rhetoric but the bottom line is.... what plan does the Republican Party offer.... tort reform, tax cuts for the insurance companies, the fox watching the hen house....

    I only hope that other members of Congress will be motivated by the example of Rep. Grayson and find their voices and comittment to the PEOPLE.

    PUBLIC OPTION!! without it there is no reform!

    September 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. Michael

    Without question he is the strongest pro-national health care guest I have seen on the Situation Room. Have this guy back again. It was a great pleasure to see him befuddle your so-called experts with the overwhelming truth of his beliefs. A fantastic panel guest!

    September 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. callmecrazy

    Awesome! I'm not condoning what he said, but these days you have to use extreme politics to be heard over the right wing grumbling.

    This guy was just in the situation room and was kicking butt and taking names.

    September 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    I agree with Grayson......


    September 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. Pissed off Republican

    This is just a FRESHMAN Congressman trying to get his name out in the public. What a JERK!

    September 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. Joshua College Station Texas

    Go Grayson! Speak the truth, loud and clear! You are a hero to put your neck out and say it like it is! I applaud you! Thank you for not backing down!

    Republicans (and Dems and all politicians who support campaign contributors over constituents) are fools.

    September 30, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. David Radovanovic

    Way to go congressman Grayson! It's about time a Democrat has enough guts to tell the country about the reality of Healthcare Reform. I wish I was a FL constituent. You made me proud to be a Democrat this evening watching the pile on via CNN's Situation Room.

    September 30, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. USA Citizen

    Yes, Grayson!

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |

    Atleast Grayson's comments were factual !

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Nick 27, So Cal

    Funny how the Rethugs are crying foul after they have been spouting "Death Pannels" and "Kill Grandma"!!! Fight fire with fire!!

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Michaela

    Congressman Grayson:

    Will you marry me?

    What you said was spot on! Now, who is really behind these alleged "death paneels" hmmmmm?

    September 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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