Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are trying to create a "diversion" on end-of-life care to distract from their healthcare bill's failing chances, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Trump says he won't give up tax returns | Likely Dem chair vows to subpoena | Stocks rally on Dem House takeover | Tough midterm for many GOP tax writers Feinstein: Acting AG must pledge to Senate he won't interfere with Mueller Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week MORE (R-Iowa) asserted Tuesday.

Grassley said that attacks on him for having spoken about concerns on end-of-life care at a town hall meeting in Iowa last week were meant to distract from a "miserably poor" healthcare bill in the House.

"I think that there's a bigger goal that they have here -- a diversion away from what's wrong with the Pelosi bill," Grassley said during a phone interview on Fox News.

"I think that this is what a president or speaker of the House has to do when they have a miserably poor healthcare bill that's not being received well by the people," he added.

The veteran Iowa Republican said that President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were "intellectually dishonest" to criticize Grassley's words on end-of-life care, which some conservatives had derided as "death panels" for the elderly.

Grassley also echoed what Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) had said on Sunday, that the public (or "government-run") option on healthcare for consumers wouldn't be able to pass through the Senate.

"Kent Conrad's absolutely right," Grassley said of the public option's prospects. "That couldn't get through the House or Senate."