MSNBC's Hayes: 'Morally Obtuse' for Grayson to Say Syria 'Not Our Problem'

On Thursday's All In show, as he hosted Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney to debate whether President Obama should attack Syria, MSNBC host Chris Hayes declared that it "sounds a little morally obtuse" for Grayson to use the words "not our problem" as he argued against intervention in Syria.

Referring to an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry from earlier in the show, Hayes asked if the Secretary said anything that Grayson found "compelling or convincing," leading the Florida Democrat to begin his response:

Not at all. Listen, most people understand this is simply not our problem. This is not our problem to solve and we're  not going to be able to-

The MSNBC host jumped in: "That sounds, I have to say, that sounds a little morally obtuse to me."

After Grayson replied, "Sorry," and laughed, Hayes continued: "Well, no, but, I mean, to say I'm being totally honest."

After the Democratic Congressman noted that American voters overwhelmingly oppose military action, Hayes responded: "Well, the American people can be wrong about things."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, September 5, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES: Is there anything you saw in your interview, in the interview with the Secretary of State Kerry, that you find compelling or convincing?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D-FL): Not at all. Listen, most people understand this is simply not our problem. This is not our problem to solve and we're not going to be able to-

HAYES: But that sounds-

GRAYSON: There's nothing we can do-

HAYES: That sounds, I have to say, that sounds a little morally obtuse to me. I mean, to say-


HAYES: Well, no, but, I mean, to say I'm being totally honest.

GRAYSON: That's how the American people feel, overwhelmingly so. The calls are running 100-1 against intervention.

HAYES: Well, the American people can be wrong about things.

GRAYSON: No, listen, they're not wrong about this. And, they've got a right to decide. They're the ultimate vote here. At our website that you mentioned, 50,000 people came to our website in no time and signed our petition against this.

The calls that they said are running 100-1 against this. The polls don't show something. The polls say maybe the public is 2-1, 3-1 against this. It's the intensity of feeling. People don't want war. It's not that they're tired of war, it's they're disgusted with war and anything that looks like a war. And that's exactly what this is.

They can't micromanage this. This is going to backfire. Everybody knows it, everybody sees it except for the people in Washington, D.C., and that's why the people are going to stand up, as they have, and dictate to the Representatives exactly what the outcome is here.

HAYES: Karen?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Chris, I'm not comfortable with the idea that, you know, we think it's not our problem when over 100,000 people have been killed. I mean, we've been talking about the use of chemical weapons. But we're talking about, I mean, insidious ways that this man is killing his own people, that we should care about that.

But, I just don't think that the air strike, and I hope that this is what the majority of Americans are saying when they say don't do this, that the air strike in and of itself is going to solve that problem. Not "it's not our problem." Certainly, we should care, but certainly, you know, is the air strike the way to get us to the Geneva process that the secretary was talking about? I don't think it is.

And, I think a majority of Americans recognize that the chances that this becomes a, you know, we get sucked into mission creep, are so high that we want better assurance of what we're really trying to do here. And, we don't think an air strike is going to solve it.

Congress Middle East Syria MSNBC Karen Finney Bashar Assad Chris Hayes Alan Grayson Barack Obama