Larson: Grayson should apologize for 'die quickly' remark

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus is calling on one of his members to apologize for charging that Republicans want Americans who get sick to "die quickly."

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Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said on the floor Tuesday night that "If you get sick, America, the Republican healthcare plan is this: Die quickly." Republicans expressed outrage at the remark, comparing it to Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting, "You lie!" at President Barack Obama during his address to Congress.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chair of the Republican Study Committee, has drafted a "resolution of disapproval," which is what Democrats passed after Wilson refused to apologize on the House floor.

Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) said Grayson's remark wasn't as serious as Wilson's outburst, but still said he should apologize. Wilson apologized privately to the White House, but was officially scolded by the House when he wouldn't apologize on the House floor.

"It's not the same magnitude, clearly, and didn't deal with decorum, as it did in the case of Joe Wilson, but I would encourage Alan to apologize," Larson told reporters. "And I would encourage members that, as we get into a very heated and emotional and visceral debate, that we keep in mind the rules of the House and the way we treat and respect one another."

Republicans quickly took to the floor to demand that Grayson apologize.

But Democrats were quick to point out that Republicans have been making inflammatory comments themselves in the healthcare debate. Aides circulated the quotes and Larson noted them in a short press conference.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) said in July that “Democrats released a healthcare bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: Drop dead.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said, “Government-run healthcare” will “absolutely” “end up killing more people than it saves.”

And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said, “One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine! I would hate to think that among five women, one of 'em is gonna die because we go to socialized care.”

Asked if Grayson should be sanctioned if he doesn't apologize, Larson said, "If that's the case, we should have Ginny Brown-Waite, Tom Coburn and Louie Gohmert apologize for similar things that they said."