Republican shouts “You lie” at Obama during speech, says sorry. Opponent raises $75,000 in one night

By | September 10, 2009

Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie" after President Obama denied health reform would cover illegal immigrants.A Republican House member shouted “You lie” during President Obama’s health care speech to Congress on Wednesday, and members of both parties condemned the heckling.After the speech, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson issued a statement apologizing for his outburst.

“This evening, I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” the statement said. “While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

Perhaps his web site was flooded?

joewilsonsiteWilson also called the White House to apologize and spoke with Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who accepted the apology on the president’s behalf, according to a senior administration official.

“We can disagree without being disagreeable,” Emanuel said to Wilson, according to the official. “That was the point of the president’s speech.”

The outburst came when Obama denied that proposed health care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants. Immediately, Wilson shouted, “You lie!”

The outburst caused Obama to stop and look toward the heckler. “That’s not true,” the president responded.Behind him, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared shocked and turned toward the outburst as Vice President Joe Biden looked down and shook his head. Loud boos echoed through the chamber immediately after the outburst.

While it was the most attention-getting, Wilson’s shout wasn’t the only demonstration of displeasure made by Republicans during the speech. …

Other Republicans also criticized Wilson, along with the expected Democratic condemnation. …”The president’s combative tone did not justify a member of Congress shouting out, ‘You lie,’ ” said Graham. “Our nation’s president deserves to be treated with respect. It was an inappropriate remark, and I am glad an apology has been made.”

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler took it further.

“Once again a South Carolina Republican has embarrassed our state,” Fowler’s office said in a statement that referred to S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s extramarital affair.

“Never has any member of Congress shown such disrespect for the president during a speech,” Fowler wrote. “One would think that as a member of the military, Joe Wilson would have more respect and patriotism than he displayed tonight. When Congressman Wilson insulted President Obama, he also insulted the American public. Joe Wilson is a poor example of a statesman and an American. He owes an apology to the president and the American people.”

– via CNN

It seems Wilson learned nothing from the last Presidential debates. Persistent polite directness makes rude people seem like asses. This was a tremendous political gift to Obama. This will help Obama win the next election. Note: This is not Valerie Plame Wilson’s husband, Joseph C Wilson. Wilson’s opponent, Democrat Rob Miller, just raised $80,000 and counting. Jake says he raised $75,000 of that in one night due to Wilson’s comment.

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