Video: Rep. Grayson: GOP wants ‘you to die quickly’

  1. Closed captioning of: Rep. Grayson: GOP wants ‘you to die quickly’

    >>> welcome back to " morning joe ." it's time now for our must read op-eds. i'd like to review something. joining the table here at the table in new york, editorial writer for "the washington post " and msnbc contributor jonathan capehart. good to have you here. you look very nice today.

    >> thank you.

    >> all right. gentlemen, i'd like to review something and regroup. can we play congressman grayson again please. now.

    >> the republican health care plan is this. die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. do you want the democratic plan or the republican plan? remember, the republican plan, don't get sick. and if you do get sick, die quickly.

    >> he's holding up a sign that says "die quickly." did he do that?

    >> yes, he did. how is that -- in terms of hyperbole, it's off the charts, and it's not true in the way that death panels weren't true.

    >> but how is this funny comparing to the republicans being dangerous and dastardly and shrill and evil.

    >> it's i don't want the republican plan. that's it. look, i know what you mean --

    >> in terms of both sides being guilty of ridiculous, stupid, even dangerous language.

    >> it is a stupid over the top statement by this character, and he should pay a price for it politically in his district. he should apologize for making it. my only point is that these guys do this all the time, and the idea of taking what they did to that guy on the floor. i disagreed with rubbing his nose on it after he'd apologized to obama. he apologized to obama. he said, i'm sorry. so it endeded up the black caucus and other guys said, let's rub his nose in it and sanction him in some way. i don't believe in doing this unless you've got something really serious, and this is stupid.

    >> joe wilson had an outburst which was not appropriate, but it happened quickly with not a lot of thought on his part. this guy made a sign. he had it print. i think joe has a good point.

    >> but the wilsons and this character are two different things. joe wilson spoke out at a joint session of congress on the floor of the house with the president of the united states . this guy is giving a floor speech before his colleagues, and as you said, this happens all the time. i bet you could go through and find tons of wacky things.

    >> it is true. joe wilson was spontaneous. he didn't go in there and prepare it. this guy walks on the floor with a sign and says, here's what i'm going to say. there's an awful lot more premeditation, if you will.

    >> i think we're laughing at it because we went through the death panels thing. so we're now more attuned to things that aren't true. barnicle.

    >> if we can't get the irony involved in bringing the sign on the floor of the house and saying republicans want you to die quickly and, for example, the death panels argument, which was sustained for months on talk radio with some legitimacy behind it in the minds of some people. if we can't configure the difference between that and congressman grayson saying the republicans plan is die quickly, which is sort of like a dave letterman or jay leno deal, there's something wrong with us.

    >> you know what, i have to say i think this argument has gotten extreme on both sides, and some people are putting words out there as well as concepts that are not true, and we've got to call them on it.

    >> you can't have it both ways. you can't r rail against demagoguery and say people are going to die and then do this.

    >> it's almost cartoonish.

    >> there you go, thank you. the defense rests.

    >> mike is saying he's a clown.

    >> well, exactly, but i think in this debate, i don't think we need clowns. i think we need a real conversation. i do.

    >> but we're having it.

    >> okay. let's go to our

updated 9/30/2009 3:19:06 PM ET 2009-09-30T19:19:06

Republicans want a Democratic lawmaker to apologize or face a reprimand for saying the GOP wants Americans to "die quickly" if they get sick. They note Democrats' insistence on a similar scolding of a Republican who shouted "You lie!" at President Barack Obama.

Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida has refused to apologize for his remarks on the House floor Tuesday night in which he criticized Republican health care proposals as a "blank piece of paper."

"If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly," he said. "That's right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick."

His remarks weren't spontaneous: He reinforced his point with signs saying the same thing.

Republicans are likening the remarks to Rep. Joe Wilson's widely criticized shout of "You lie!" during Obama's address to Congress earlier this month.

They say Democrats should insist that Grayson apologize just as they insisted Wilson, R-S.C., should.

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, drafted a "resolution of disapproval" that mirrors the one Democrats approved against Wilson, saying Grayson's conduct was "a breach of decorum and degraded the integrity and proceedings of the House."

Price said Wednesday afternoon that Republicans would withhold introducing it to give Grayson more time to apologize.

"The American people want open and honest discussion," Price said. "They want respectful discussion."

House Republican leader John Boehner supports Price's efforts, said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner.

Grayson's spokesman has not responded to a request for comment, and Democratic leaders so far have been silent. But behind the scenes, Democratic aides point to comments that Republicans have made in recent weeks alleging that Democratic health care legislation would kill people.

Grayson, a first-term Democrat known for being provocative, represents a Republican-leaning district around Orlando and was already among the GOP's top targets for the 2010 elections.

Ken Spain, spokesman for the House Republican campaign arm, said Democrats should be "lining up to call on him to apologize."

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has an opportunity to condemn the very behavior and tone of this health care debate that she claims will 'incite violence,'" he said, referring to Democratic concerns that the bitter tone of the health care debate could lead to attacks.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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