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Alan Grayson: People Like a Democrat with Guts

Democratic Representative Alan Grayson of Florida, who has come under fire from Republicans for suggesting on the House floor Tuesday night that "Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick," said in an interview with Wednesday that the response to his comments has been "overwhelmingly positive."

"People are calling us from all over the country to congratulate us for telling the truth," he said. "People are happy to see a Democrat with guts."

Asked if he expected Republicans to put forward a resolution of disapproval criticizing him for his comments, Grayson said he expected that it would happen, though he is "quite sure it won't pass." Rep. Tom Price of Georgia has drafted a resolution rapping Grayson for "a breach of decorum and degraded the integrity and proceedings of the House," though he has not yet introduced it.

"A resolution like that doesn't save one human being's life," Grayson said, arguing that it instead will give people reason to focus "yet again on the fact that the other side is incapable of even coming up with an alternative" to Democrats' health care reform efforts.

A similar resolution of disapproval criticizing Republican Rep. Joe Wilson for yelling "you lie!" during President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress was passed earlier this month.

Asked his position on that resolution, Grayson said the two situations are "not the same thing."
"I don't know how anybody can equate what I said on the floor…with rudely interrupting the president," he said.

In response to Republican calls for him to apologize for his initial comments, Grayson was defiant on the House floor Wednesday afternoon, offering an apology not to Republicans but "to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," a reference to Congress' inability to pass a health care reform bill.

Grayson said in the interview Wednesday that "no one, other that these Republicans who are desperate to change the subject, has asked me to apologize."

The freshman Orlando-area representative, who hails from a swing district and is reportedly being targeted by Republicans in the 2010 election, said he is not worried that his opponents will use the controversy against him.

"No one's drumming me out of office. I beat a forth-term Republican incumbent [in 2008]," he said.

"I'm not going anywhere," Grayson added. "I don't even have an opponent yet."

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