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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.

Alan Grayson, he has been known as a congressman who"s not afraid to speak truth to power, and the truth is what this guy is all about.

Republicans have made it their mission to take him down in November. Now Kurt Kelly, one of the three Republicans vying to run against the congressman from Florida in this fall, is actually accusing him of wanting American troops to die.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURT KELLY ®, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: He actually missed the vote. He took a walk on the vote to actually provide the supplemental funding for our soldiers, and he put our soldiers and our men and women in the military in harm"s way. And, in fact, maybe he wants them to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Congressman Grayson joins us now to respond to that.

Alan, good to have you with us tonight.

Your thoughts on that kind of rhetoric that was thrown at you?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Well, it"s nothing new. In Kurt Kelly"s case, he"s running in a seven-man Republican primary against me. So I think what he realizes is that the stupider he sounds, the more votes he"s likely to get.

I also am reminded of Mark Twain"s statement. In his case, Mark Twain said, "It"s better to keep your mouth closed and have people think that you"re a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

This is somebody who"s this odd combination of ignorant and arrogant.

He thinks he knows everything; he actually knows nothing.

And when it comes to people"s patriotism, my God, aren"t we beyond that yet? Isn"t that the kind of wrong thinking that got us into these wars in the first place and has kept us there for nine years? Who lied us into these wars? Was it Alan Grayson or somebody else?

SCHULTZ: Why did you miss that vote? I mean, he"s making that an issue. Obviously, he"s playing it up to be a big vote.

Is he correct? What"s happening here?

GRAYSON: I said before and after that vote that I was going to vote against the supplemental. I missed it because of a personal matter involving one of my five children.

I"m the only member of Congress who has got five children who are school age, and I have to say good-bye to them every Monday and go back every Friday in order to make this job work. Every once in a while, something bad happens. If you"re a parent, you know what I mean, and I had to take care one of them that day.

But I said before the vote and after the vote, I would have voted against the supplemental because these wars do not make us any safer. We have spent $3 trillion dropping into the sands of the Mesopotamia and the mountains of (INAUDIBLE), and we are no safer than we were before.

That"s one-20th of our entire national wealth. And we have left a quarter of a million Americans with permanent brain damage as a result of serving their country. Permanent brain damage. When is enough enough?

SCHULTZ: Congressman, back during the health care debate, you were very aggressive on the Republicans, and you said this on the floor back in September of last year.

I want to play it for you. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAYSON: If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That"s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And I totally agreed with you when you did that on the House floor because they had absolutely nothing on the table for the American people of any substance whatsoever. But that piece of tape right there, do you think that that was pretty much a setup, and now they"re coming back and trying to say, well, heck, you want to see troops do die?

GRAYSON: If that is their setup, it"s a sad setup. Is there really no difference anymore between truth and lying?

When I said the Republican health care plan was don"t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly, I was telling the truth. And when he says I want the troops to die, he"s telling a lie.

So, where are we now in America? Are lies now the same as truth?

Maybe if you"re a Republican that"s the way it works.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

Congressman, give us a sense what kind of resources are being thrown against you. We know that you"re definitely in the top five that the Republicans would like to get away, get you out of the Congress, because you"ve been a thorn in their side telling it like it is and being very aggressive. And you have really garnished a great deal of support in the progressive community.

How do you think they view you?

GRAYSON: Well, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee said that I"m their number one target for 2010. But we"ve had almost 50,000 people come from all around the country, including in central Florida, to our Web site, congressmanwithguts.com and make a contribution. And it"s made a tremendous difference.

We have people power on our side, we have people volunteering at our Web site, walking the district every day for us, and we"re going to tight back. I think it"s time a Democrat knew how to throw a punch. And I"m that kind of person.

SCHULTZ: Yes you are.

Congressman Alan Grayson, great to have you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much for joining us.

GRAYSON: Thank you, too.

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