October 3, 2009

The more I hear from this man, the more I like him. Chris Matthews asks Alan Grayson if the Republicans are going to go after him for his statement on the House floor that their health care plan is for people to die quickly. Grayson says he’s been told he’s their number one target for the next election but he’s not worried about that. He’s worried about doing the right thing with getting our system reformed and that he’s received an overwhelming amount of support as opposed to negative comments about what he said.

Matthews: Are they circling around you because you’ve shown some cajones on this thing—they think they’ve got you?

Grayson: Well, we’ll see. You know, we’ll see how it goes but certainly if they don’t feel that way already (crosstalk) they sure will because I’m going to continue to speak out.

Matthews: Are they… I’m looking for some insight here. I’m a reporter. I’m trying to find out what you know and I don’t know. When you walk around the floor, when you walk past the Republican’s cloak room, when you get on the elevator, when you get on the subway over there, in the capital building, do these Republicans come up to you and say “Your number’s up buddy”? What do they say to you?

Grayson: Yeah. I hear that all the time. I get dirty looks from the Republicans all the time, but I can’t decide on my vote. I can’t decide on health care, on energy independence, on jobs, on the economy based upon dirty looks from people who throw hissy fits all the time and expect that we’re supposed to decide America’s policy on that basis. And that’s what they’ve been doing time after time. This feigned indignation time after time—we can’t let America be run in that way.

Matthews: But you can’t call these guys Neanderthals you know why? They don’t believe in Neanderthals. They believe it’s all about three or four thousand years old… all we’ve got is about three or four thousand years. They don’t buy this thing of Lucy and way back four or five million years. They don’t buy all that by the way, so this… calling them Neanderthals doesn’t hurt these guys. You know that don’t you?

Grayson: Well, actually I said knuckle-dragging Neanderthals and one of them came up to me on the floor—I won’t tell you who— he came up to me and he said to me I don’t like you talking about me that way and I said I wasn’t talking about you. And he said I think you were talking about me. He was trying to prove to me that he was a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal and I said no, no, no. I’m serious. I wasn’t talking about you. Look at your knuckles. There’s no calluses.

Matthews: Okay. Well, let’s talk about real people and real problems. My thinking is that you want to make health insurance accessible, affordable, everybody’s got to chip into the ability they can, nobody’s getting a free ride here. Talk about why it matters to you. I want some heart here.

Grayson: Oh listen, why it matters to me—I was so sick when I was growing up as a child… I had to go to the hospital four times a week for treatments and when I was growing up my parents had union benefits. Both of them belonged to a union. They both got union benefits and twice when I was seven and when I was seventeen they went out on strike. And I had… I wondered whether I would survive, whether our health benefits would remain in place and whether I might be able to continue my treatments and it’s a hard thing. It’s a hard thing when you’re a child to think about whether you’re going to live or whether you’re going to die. And I don’t want to see anyone in America go through that.

I was so happy to vote in favor of health insurance for children in our, my first week in Congress. Four million children all across the country didn’t have to worry about that any more. And why should the sins of the parents descend on the children? Why should children ever have to worry about that? Ten thousand right here in Orlando alone saved from ever having to worry about whether they would live or die.

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