Sanchez to Grayson: Did You Call Sarah Palin An Alaskan Dingbat?

On the day after the historic healthcare reform vote in the House of Representatives, CNN's Rick Sanchez decided to use his interview with Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) to bash former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

After spending a few minutes getting the outspoken Floridian's views of what happened in the House Sunday, Sanchez moved on to what he and his producers must have felt was a more important topic: "Let me ask you about something that just went on between you and Sarah Palin. You got into a little bit of a scuffle recently."

Moments later, Sanchez said, "Well, you came back and you called her a 'Alaskan dingbat.' Did you really say that?" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):

RICK SANCHEZ, HOST: Let me ask you about something that just went on between you and Sarah Palin. You got into a little bit of a scuffle recently.

She said in a speech in Orlando, your district, your area, she said, "I can't even talk about this guy because there's kids in the room."

I mean, you've got to be a pretty awful guy for someone to say they can't even talk about you.

GRAYSON: I want to know why her kid was in the room. My kid was in school that day.

SANCHEZ: Well, you came back and you called her a "Alaskan dingbat." Did you really say that?

GRAYSON: What I said was that scientists were studying very carefully her trips between Florida and Alaska to learn more about the migratory patterns of the wild Alaskan dingbat.


SANCHEZ: My goodness. Now --

GRAYSON: And I also told her that I'd welcome the opportunity to debate her on the issues as soon as she learns anything about them. SANCHEZ: Oh my goodness. So you don't think that Sarah Palin's all that qualified, then, from what I hear you saying, huh?

GRAYSON: You know, I think that she's an inspiration to quitters all over the country.


GRAYSON: I think that she's an inspiration to every student in school who cheats. That handwriting business, that was really original.

SANCHEZ: Palin recently said that she'd got some treatment. She was giving a speech in Calgary, I believe, and she said that she got treatment with her parents and would go down to Canada for -- to use their single payer system.

Now, that was weird, because she's been a real fighter against the system. Were you taken aback when she said that?

GRAYSON: Oh, look, you know, she's not even a political figure anymore. She's just a reality show personality. That's where all of this is heading. She just want to make money. That's it.

SANCHEZ: When you --

GRAYSON: It's all about -- go ahead.

SANCHEZ: Sorry about that. We've got a little bit of a satellite delay and it looks like we're stepping on each other just a little bit.

You're the kind of guy who says what he thinks. And when recently you were in the news for coming out and turning things around, as you tried to do with Republicans, and saying, no, they're the ones who are creating a situation where they'll kill old people, did you say that --

GRAYSON: No, no. Look, I mocked the absence of their health care plan.

There is no Republican health care plan that would actually give insurance to the people who don't have it. There is no Republican health care plan that will give you cheaper insurance. So what I said is, the Republican health care plan is, don't get sick.

But they understand that people are going to get sick anyway from time to time. So their backup plan is, if you do get sick, then die quickly. That's what I said.

SANCHEZ: Final question -- when you say things like that, which you know are going to -- I mean, Congressman, you know that they're going to get a lot of attention. Are you playing to the audience? Are you trying to get folks to say, hey, you know what, look at that guy down there in Florida, he's interesting? I want to see him -- are you making a lot of noise for the purposes of making noise?

GRAYSON: Look, you know, what it really comes down to is what the other side is saying. The truth hurts. And truth is very powerful.

SANCHEZ: And you believe that you were telling the truth?

GRAYSON: Oh, no question about it. No question about it.

SANCHEZ: Alan Grayson, congressman --

GRAYSON: Truth to power.

SANCHEZ: --- from Florida, is Alan Grayson. He's good enough to come and join us to have this discussion.

I'm glad you came on, sir. This is your first go-around, but we'll get you back. OK?

GRAYSON: I'll love it. Thank you very much.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

Add it all up, in a six minute interview with a member of Congress just hours after a historic vote in the House, Sanchez spent half of the time chatting with the man about his caustic opinion of Sarah Palin.

Now THAT'S good journalism.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.