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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Well, we"re fighting back. We"re fighting back the same way that we always do, with the help of good-minded people, and by telling the truth.

But it is true, my opponent bragged that when he went on Fox News a couple of weeks ago, he raised $100,000. He was very proud of that, and he"s using it like an ATM, just like O"Donnell is, just like Sharron Angle is. That"s her angle, to try to be able to put together money that she needs for a campaign.

But I look at these people and I say to myself, it"s like seeing a bad movie all over again, because I think we had a Tea Party president for eight years. Think about it, the same sort of beady eyes, the same sort of vacant look. And where did that leave us? Do we have to elect the same kind of people over and over and over again who end up trying to destroy the country?
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SCHULTZ: Congressman, do you think this is just the way it"s going to be for election cycles to come, that there"s really no way that the progressive movement in this country and the wage earners of America are going to be able to keep up with this money? And now, of course, the foreign money that"s coming in from the Chamber of Commerce.

I mean, it doesn"t bode well, does it?

GRAYSON: It"s hard. We"ve had almost $2 million spent in our campaign against us by these outside special interests, these mostly anonymous special interests. We"ve pieced together that the insurance companies, the oil companies, David Koch"s money, the Chamber of Commerce, foreign money, we"ve pieced it together, but they don"t even have a disclosure argument.

And believe it or not, Ed, according to Politico newspaper from a week ago, 20 percent of all of the money that"s been spent by these outside right-wing forces in the entire country has been spent against me. And I can"t believe it myself.

I mean, I"m a first-term Democrat. I don"t sit on the Appropriations Committee. I"m not a member of leadership. And they are really, really out to get me.

But luckily for us, we"ve had people come to our Web site, congressmanwithguts.com. Over 80,000 contributions so far -- 80,000 people have contributed to our campaign. So we have the ability to fight back.

But they"ve tried to pick me off. They"ve tried to pick off all the people like Carol Shea Porter, like Tom Perriello, people with a conscience. And they destroy us with these negative ads, these blistering, evil, negative ads.

In front of my--in front of my children, on my TV set, they called me a liar, they called me a loudmouth. They said that I"m a national embarrassment. And this is their idea of constructive dialogue.

SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Congressman, I think you answered your question why they"re coming after you. They"re afraid of your guts. They"re afraid of the way you speak up for the people and the way you go right after it, because you"ve had success in life. You don"t have to have this job in the Congress.

You speak for the people. And I think you"ve got them really afraid.

This is an ad that you took against your opponent, Mr. Webster, with his record in the state Senate in Florida. Here it is.

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SCHULTZ: Congressman, what is the message there? You"re going right to the money, but it has somewhat of a "Sopranos" theme. Is that over the top? What you think?

GRAYSON: The message is that my opponent has been a tool for special interests for the past 28 years, a career politician who never met a toll he didn"t like. When he was in office, he cut taxes on the rich and opposed toll after toll and property tax after property tax increase, and sales tax after sales tax increase on ordinary people. And that"s what that ad is all about.

But it has nothing to do, Ed with me versus him anymore. It"s now me versus the special interests. They couldn"t buy me, and now they"re trying to destroy me.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks for speaking up, as always.

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