And wouldn’t you want to have been a fly on the wall during this meeting?
Rep. Alan Grayson angrily confronted Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday, disrupting a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in front of dozens of staffers and members of Congress.
Grayson (D-Fla.), who Reid vehemently opposes in his bid for the open Florida Senate seat, arrived at the meeting with Reid’s February statement in hand, according to two sources in the room. In that statement, Reid said Grayson has “no moral compass” and “used his status as a congressman to unethically promote his Cayman Islands hedge funds.”
As each member took a turn to speak to Reid, it was Grayson’s turn. He asked Reid if the Nevada senator knows who he is. After Reid answered in the affirmative, Grayson went on the attack.
“Say my name, senator. Say my name,” Grayson told Reid as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tried to shut the confrontation down. Ellison chided Grayson, asking him what he was doing and why he was distracting from the meeting’s goals.
Grayson responded by angrily waving a printout of Reid’s searing February quote that called on Grayson to drop out of the primary race against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.).
“Why’d you say that?” Grayson said, insisting Reid’s statement was false.
Reid calmly faced his inquisitor: “I want you to lose. It’s true.”
As a member of the House, Grayson was no stranger to bomb throwing. He famously said during the Obamacare debate that the GOP plan for healthcare was for old people to “die quickly.” He routinely referred to Republicans as Nazis and is known for some really bizarre behavior.
So it’s not surprising he’d burst into a meeting where he wasn’t invited and pop off against Reid.
In a gaggle with reporters after the conflict blew up and sent shockwaves through both sides of the Capitol, Grayson made clear that he believes a public battle with Reid — a “smear monger” in his view — is to his advantage.
“Let’s face it, I’m not the establishment candidate. The establishment wants somebody who is a callow tool,” Grayson said. “As far as I can tell, the only criteria that the Democratic establishment has among Senate candidates this year is obedience. In that regard, perhaps I fall short.”
In a separate statement Grayson called Murphy a “Republican sock puppet.” Murphy responded that Grayson is acting a lot like Donald Trump and is hijacking the caucus to further his own ends.
“The Progressive Caucus is a place to fight for progressive values, not fight for Alan Grayson’s narcissistic desire to hear someone say his name,” Murphy said.
Murphy has a comfortable lead over Grayson at the moment, which probably explains Grayson’s high-profile attack on Reid. But Grayson doesn’t have Trump’s humor when cutting up an opponent so he comes off like a petulant, spoiled child.
Grayson polls pretty well against his GOP opponents, but he would make a much better target than the nondescript Mr. Murphy. If Democrats are going to take Marco Rubio’s old Senate seat, they better hope for a national Democratic wave because neither Grayson or Murphy appears to be exciting anyone in Florida.