A South Carolina rep named Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie” during President Obama’s health care speech to Congress on Wednesday. Wilson later apologized for his outburst. You can see video of Obama’s Health Care Plan speech below.
Rep. Joe Wilson yelled out “you lie” when President Obama denied the health care plan would cover illegal immigrants.
Afterwards, Joe Wilson issued a statement apologizing for his emotional 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.”
The outburst came when Obama denied that proposed health care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants. Immediately, Wilson shouted, “You lie!”
Obama paused and looked at Joe Wilson and said, “That’s not true.”
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.
After the speech, Republican Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate defeated by Obama last year, called Wilson’s outburst “totally disrespectful” and said he should apologize.
Appearing on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” he said there was “no place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately.”
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler took it further, saying Wilson disgraced his home state.
“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.”
The Democrat hoping to unseat Wilson in next year’s midterm elections also quickly seized on the Republican’s outburst.
“Rep. Wilson’s behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington,” Democrat Rob Miller said in a statement provided to CNN. “Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our commander-in-chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian.”
After the speech, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, tweeted that it was the “biggest” disappointment of the evening.
“Biggest disappointmnt of evening, the total lack of respect shown by one member for the President,” she wrote. “Never acceptable to behave like a jerk.”
Wilson, who has served five terms, represents the state’s 2nd congressional district, which includes the state capital, Columbia, and stretches to Beaufort and Hilton Head Island.
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