MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’: Alan Grayson a ‘Loose Cannon,’ Democratic Version of Donald Trump

Friday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” guest host Steve Kornacki and his panel made up of Mother Jones’ David Corn, Michael Kruse of Politico and Sabrina Siddiqui of The Guardian discussed Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), a likely candidate for U.S. Senate, and his antics.

According to the panel Grayson was “loose cannon” and possesses Donald Trump qualities, which led the panel to question Grayson’s viability as a candidate for U.S. Senate.

Transcript as follows:

KORNACKI: Democrats have a shot at taking back the U.S. Senate next year. But in Florida`s open Senate race, they could be facing a gigantic headache.

“Politico” reports Democrats primary nightmare comes true. Alan Grayson runs for Senate. “Grayson is a progressive hip-shooting fire brand beloved by liberals,” the article said. National Democrats are worried that if Grayson wins their party nomination he could blow their chances in the general election. They are already putting their support behind Florida`s Patrick Murphy.

But a defiant Grayson is taking a page out of a Tea Party playbook and running anyway. He told NBC News, quote, “One reason why Democrats are willing to crawl over hot coals naked to vote for me is because I`m willing to tell the truth.”

A St. Rio University poll matching up Murphy and Grayson shows it within the margin of error, with Murphy leading by three points.

Grayson became a hero for the progressives in 2009 health care debate when he vilified the Republican opposition.


ALAN GRAYSON (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Here it is. The Republicans health care plan for America: don`t get sick.

The Republicans have a back-up plan in case you do get sick. If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this — die quickly.


KORNACKI: But the outlandish statements didn`t stop there. Here`s another example in 2013 when he compared the Tea Party to the KKK in the wake of the government shutdown.


GRAYSON: This temporary shutdown ended up costing America $25 billion. That`s almost $100 for every man, woman and child in this country. Frankly, they want their money back and want the Tea Party out of their lives. At this point, the Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan.


KORNACKI: So, could this loose cannon candidate blow the Democrats chances to win the Sunshine State back in 2016?

We`re back with the roundtable.

So, Sabrina, let me start with you. We started the show talking about the dilemma that Republicans face when it comes to Donald Trump.

And all the inroads Republicans would like to make with Latino voters, with voters they did not win in 2012, in all of the messaging nightmares that Donald Trump is causing them. Now, you look at Democrats trying to win back control of the U.S. Senate in 2016. Florida, a prime pick-up opportunity for them, and now that you have this situation where Alan Grayson wants to run. He speaks the language of the base.

How can the Democratic Party in Florida keep him from being their nominee without riling up their base in revolt?

SIDDIQUI: Well, it certainly poses a significant challenge. And I think as you mentioned, the Republicans are very much don`t want Donald Trump to become the face of their party, and national party Democrats as well as strategists in Florida don`t want Alan Grayson to become the face of the Democratic Party over there.

One of the things about him is, as you mentioned, he has absolutely no filter. There`s no telling what he might say, when he might say it. He has — questions have been raised about his ethics. He had a very ugly and public divorce.

So, I think they feel that he would be a distraction. Patrick Murphy, on the other hand, he defeated Allen West, one of the most expensive House races of 2012. He`s a play it safe Democrat, and I think they have to really saw a shot with him.

So, you know, there`s not much they can do with Alan Grayson throwing his hat in other than hope that Patrick Murphy is able to stay on message and rally the support he needs.

KORNACKI: Well, David Corn, it`s the tone, though, isn`t it? I mean, Alan Grayson obviously is pretty far out there on the left. We just did a segment about Bernie Sanders who is pretty far out there on the left.

But with Alan Grayson, you get this piece where it can become very strident, it become very personal, it can become very edgy, and the message then, the liberalism almost gets lost in the bombast.

CORN: Well, it is. Sometimes his methods distract from his message. And he reminds me in a lot of ways of Newt Gingrich. When Newt was coming up, the enemies on the left, socialists and communists. And he would just come up — any time something happened bad in the nation, he would blame it on the leftists and liberals and Democrats. His rhetoric was exceedingly excessive and extreme.

It still ended up working for him for a while. He got to be house speaker. I`m not sure Alan Grayson is going to win the Senate primary.

But Democratic establishments are always worried about people who are more to the outside ideologically than the center. And so, I think this will play out the way it plays out in a lot of places. It will be a campaign — he`ll have a lot of money. He`ll be able to Alan Grayson. And Patrick Murphy will have a lot of money. This will all happen before the general election.

And by the time of the general election, I think whatever scars they may occur on the Democratic side will probably largely be gone and people will be more focused on the presidential race.

KORNACKI: All right. We`ll see. Funny how these things always happen in Florida, too. I remember the Republicans down there got stuck with Katherine Harris a few years ago in the Senate race.

Anyway, thank you to David Corn, Sabrina Siddiqui, Michael Kruse. Appreciate you all being here.

(h/t Mediaite)

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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