Ed Schultz talks to Alan Grayson about the Republicans collective hissy fit asking him to apologize for his remarks the other day and the NRCC's statement that "This is an unstable man who has come unhinged. The depths to which Alan Grayson will sink to defend his indefensible comments know no bounds. This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior".
You know what my response is? Whatever... America is sick of you, Republican Party. You are a lie factory. That's all you ever do. Why don't you work together with the Democrats to solve America's problems instead of making stuff up?
When asked if he is worried about any of this hurting his chances for reelection Grayson replied by saying if he had to choose between his job and saving the lives of 44,000 Americans a year, he knows what his decision is. Grayson also said that the response he's gotten to his remarks so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Transcript below the fold.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to THE ED SHOW here on MSNBC. We got a Democrat with some guts. I‘m a big fan of Congressman Alan Grayson, as in “no gray area.” He‘ll join us in just a moment for a conversation. But isn‘t it interesting how the Republicans are just so offended. They‘re kicking up dust over Grayson‘s comments.
Grayson said the Republican health care plan is, “don‘t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” He‘s relating to a lot of people. Now, when asked to apologize - this is a classic - this is how you apologize to the Righties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Several Republicans asked me to apologize. Well, I would like to apologize. I would like to apologize to the dead, and here‘s why. According to this study, health insurance and mortality in US adults which was published two weeks ago, 44,789 Americans die every year because they have no health insurance.
That is more than 10 times the number of Americans who died in the war in Iraq. It‘s more than 10 times the number of Americans who died in 9/11. I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven‘t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You see, when you throw facts to conservatives, they really don‘t know how to handle it. I want to thank the Congressman from Florida for reminding us that this debate is not about cost curves and projections. It‘s about life or death. That‘s what it is. It‘s life or death. If you‘re the person who just got a pink slip and a cancer diagnosis - that was the story told to Minority Leader Eric Cantor, for which he had no answer. Let‘s not forget that.
The Republicans predictably have jumped on this because you see they really don‘t want to talk about health care reform. They want to talk about just how the Democrats are so mean all the time. Frankly, I think it‘s mean spirited for the Republican leader to say to a person who‘s got cancer, “Hey, go beg for charity.” I can‘t let him off the hook on that.
The Congressman spoke from his heart. This wasn‘t some outburst. This wasn‘t an emotional set-up or anything like this. This wasn‘t flippant. He just took it to them by the rules - and he doesn‘t have to apologize to anybody for anything. And you know what? There‘s a lot of lefties around this country that are in their living rooms tonight saying, “Yes! This is how you got to handle these folks!”
The Republicans are demanding apologies for the same reason they‘re offering amendments about czars. They have nothing to offer into the health care debate. Well, joining us tonight is Congressman Alan Grayson, the new hero on the lefty block. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
GRAYSON: Thanks, Ed and I‘m a big fan of yours as well. I listen to you on satellite radio all the time. That‘s a free plug.
SCHULTZ: It is. I appreciate that. That would be channel 167, all right (ph)?
GRAYSON: Let‘s be specific.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman, do you take anything back? I mean, are we going to see more of this?
GRAYSON: Absolutely not. The people who should be apologizing are the Republicans. They‘re the ones who should apologize for - for dragging us all through the mud here while we‘re just trying to improve health care in America. That‘s all we‘re trying to do.
SCHULTZ: Now, the thing I liked about it is that you had charts I mean, this was planned out. You must have known that this was going to kick up a lot of dust. Did you fire and fire for effect?
GRAYSON: Listen, Ed, we‘ve got to get past this point where everything is stalled, where the Republicans are winning just through inertia. We have a majority, we have to use it. We have to change America. That‘s the promise that President Obama made. We have to keep it.
SCHULTZ: I agree with you on that. Congressman, I‘m sure you‘re aware of how they‘re pushing back on you. The National Republican Campaign said this about you. They‘re going after your character, and they‘re - I think they‘re trumping up a bunch of stuff.
But here is it. “This is an unstable man who has come unhinged. The depths of which Alan Grayson will sink to defend his indefensible comments know no bounds. This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior.” What is your response to that, Congressman? I mean, this is character assassination. What - what‘s your response to that?
GRAYSON: You know, my response is - whatever. America is sick of you, Republican Party. You are a lie factory. That‘s all you ever do. Why don‘t you work together with the Democrats to solve America‘s problems instead of making stuff up?
SCHULTZ: Well, they are making it up. Now, not to offend you in any way, but we did go back and check your background and we did find out that you are a Harvard grad, correct?
GRAYSON: That‘s right.
SCHULTZ: OK. And you also worked with Judge Antonin Scalia, correct?
GRAYSON: Among others, yes.
SCHULTZ: Along with Robert Bork, correct?
GRAYSON: Yes, and Judge (INAUDIBLE) who‘s the president‘s council and also Justice Ginsburg, and when I finished working with Justice Ginsburg, I went to work for her husband‘s law firm.
SCHULTZ: And you also have put together a very successful business before you ran for office. So you came from the private sector to go do what you‘re doing in Washington right now.
GRAYSON: That‘s right. A multibillion dollar business, traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
SCHULTZ: OK. So what we have here is a classic example of character assassination. We also checked your background. You don‘t have anything in your background at all about unstable behavior, and I want the American people to know that this is how they play the game when you have the courage to come out and stick it to them with the facts. And the fact is that people in this country are dying because they are sick and they are being excluded for coverage because of a preexisting condition.
This is a sound cut from Nancy Pelosi about this whole conversation about who ought to apologize to somebody. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Apparently, Republicans are holding Democrats to a higher level than they hold their own members, because you‘ve seen the statements regularly made by the Republicans on the floor about issues that relate to death. There‘s no more reason for Mr. Grayson to apologize than for - if anybody is going to apologize, everybody should apologize, you know? But let‘s just - you know, the point has been made. It‘s time for us to talk about health care. Typically, the Republicans would like to use this as a distraction from the fact that they have no plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I think you‘ll agree with all of that. I just want to know from you tonight, are you going to continue to be on the offensive and not back down? Because right now on Liberal Talk Radio across America, you‘re the guy that people have been waiting for. I mean, we‘ve got some folks in the media that get after the Righties, but you really stuck it to them. Is this going to continue?
GRAYSON: Just like you do everyday on the radio. It sure will. These people are “No” mongers. They‘ve got no answers for anything. I said that two days ago, 48 hours ago. I said there is no Republican plan, and here it is, 48 hours later, and there‘s still no Republican plan.
SCHULTZ: And Congressman, what do you say to those who were trying to develop the narrative that - oh, this Congressman Grayson, he is really going to be in a tough reelection bid next year and he‘s doing this for attention and to get money and everything else. What‘s your response to that?
GRAYSON: My response is if I have to choose between my job and saving the lives of 44,000 Americans a year, I know what my decision is.
SCHULTZ: And the response you‘ve gotten from Americans around the country has been very encouraging? Do your office (ph).
GRAYSON: Overwhelmingly positive and, in fact, it is true that thousands of people have already contributed to our campaign just in the last 24 hours.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, I can‘t work every day, but would you do my radio show one day when I‘m gone? Because I got some pheasant hunting coming up and I - I think they want to talk to you.
GRAYSON: Listen, you are the man. I‘d love to do your show.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us. Keep - keep up the good fight. I love it when we get a Democrat that calls them out, because that‘s what this is all about.
GRAYSON: We need Democrats with guts.
SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. Thank you, Congressman Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida.