November 5, 2009

November 04, 2009 CNN


REP. ALAN GRAYSON: What the Republicans have been doing is an insult to America. They`ve been dragging their feet. These are foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who thinks they can dictate policy to America by being stubborn.


BEHAR: You`re the greatest, "knuckle - dragging Neanderthal" apparently voters in New Jersey and Virginia didn`t agree. The governors- elect in both states both Republicans. I`m joined by the man that threw those bombs, Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, congressman. Thank you for joining me. I really do enjoy you, I must tell you.

GRAYSON: Same here. I enjoy you, too.

BEHAR: But you know the governor`s races were won in Republicans in Virginia and New Jersey. And Obama stump for both of them, what`s this say about Obama`s influence these days? Is it waning or is it OK, what do you think?

GRAYSON: Well look, there`s lesson for both parties. For the Democratic Party we have to activate our vote. The Republicans activate their vote. The Democrats this year have not done as good a job as the Republicans in that regard. The voter turnout in Virginia was down by half since last year. Now, I don`t think half of all voters in Virginia disappeared. What happen was some of them felt motivated to vote. And too many of people on our side didn`t feel motivated to vote. And that`s why there was a sharp drop in Democratic performance in both states. So we have to motivate our base.

BEHAR: It was interesting the exit polls in Virginia and New Jersey, all -- both of them said they still like President Obama. That their vote had nothing to do with him. Do you agree with that?

GRAYSON: Well look, people elected Obama, they elected me, they elected the Democrats and put us in charge of the government because they want change. And they need to see more of it. We need to deliver. We need to make sure that the people who voted for us with expectations in mind have those expectations satisfied. It`s that simple. There are lessons for Republicans too. You didn`t talk about the election in New York.

BEHAR: I`m about to ask you about that one because that was one for the team.

GRAYSON: Well listen, I think we`re witnessing the disintegration of a major political party. Something that happens only about once a century. The last time that two of those counties that New York congressional district were represented by Democrats was in 1850. 1850. So I think what we`re seeing is that the tea baggers are no longer obeying the corporate pay masters.

BEHAR: It`s interesting because both Limbaugh and Palin both backed the Republican up there. And it didn`t work. I love that. Does it mean the attack machine -- what is it about the right wing attack machine. That they`re full of bluster and they`re out there all the time voicing their hatred, a lot of it. And it still doesn`t translate into votes, by and large.

GRAYSON: They`re down to 20% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans now. And even at 20% split -- they`re split and splintered and falling apart.

BEHAR: What does it about independent voters, this whole thing, do you think?

GRAYSON: Well the independent voters have a lot of say. They`re the balance of power between the two parties. But I think at this point we`re down to 1 1/2 parties. Because the Republicans just can`t seem to get it together. They have nothing to offer ordinary people. You know you ask what people want for health care, for education, for jobs, the Republicans have no answers for any of that. They`re the party of no, and no don`t cut it anymore.

BEHAR: OK and thank you very much for joining us I hope that you`re going to keep speaking out and saying those wonderful things that you say. We like them.

GRAYSON: Thank you, Joy.

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