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SC Gop Rep. Joe Wilson Apologizes for Heckling President Obama


South Carolina GOP Rep. Joe Wilson issued an apology last night for shouting "You lie" at Obama during a joint session of Congress convened to hear a speech on health care by the President.

Said Wilson: "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. 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."

Rachel Maddow has the report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I'm sorry, but that outburst was just one of a string of insults hurled at the President. Sure, there's dissent and signs of disinterest to express disagreement, but other Republicans brought along props and flashed signs during the Joint Address. Wilson himself has repeatedly pulled stunts like this.

    You don't have to agree with the President to show respect. I could respect Bush in his role as President even as he did what were, in my opinion, abominable acts.

    The Republican Party has demonstrated for over 8 years now that they are not in any way interested in fixing problems or even caring for the nation. They're only interested in short term political gains and seek out violent retrograde fringe elements of society and provoking them with FUD.

    This was not Wilson's disgrace. This was a disgrace for the once noble Republican Party.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 10, 2009 8:12:36 AM

  2. Contribute to his opponent here:

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Sep 10, 2009 8:23:24 AM

  3. What a shallow little man.......his outburst is indicative of the levels of vitriol and contempt for civil discourse to which the Republicans have's not enough that they pandered to high income earners awarding them a tax cut, attempted to privatize Medicare, attempted to privatize Social Security, implemented torture as a state policy,introduced warrantless wiretaps, suspended Habeas Corpus, kidnapped unconvicted people,(and thought it clever to call the crime "rendition") and most egregiously, allowed themselves to be bought by Corporate America in the guise of Health Insurance Companies whose agenda they have espoused so enthusiasticly ......and this little man dares to call the elected President a liar ? Now the people have awoken........and seen the Birthers, Deathers, the hysteria of not letting the President speak to school kids about education......and what must be our conclusion be ? That America must reclaim its reputation for equity, compassion and
    justice that has been a hallmark of its decent people.......and little people, like this uneducated, disrespectful, sour, smug little racist must not be allowed to besmirch the innate high resolve of the majority of both Houses. Republicans have sold their soul and little Joe Wilson, Palin, Bachmann, et al are the living proof of the moral vacuum their absent souls have left behind.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 10, 2009 8:45:35 AM

  4. Could you imagine if a Democrat yelled out during a speech before Congress by George W. about WMDs in Iraq? He/She would have been called a traitor and taken out by the Republigoons and shot in front of the Capitol steps.

    It's all over for the GOP (aka Goons of Paranoia). They are nothing by trash.

    Posted by: B-rod | Sep 10, 2009 8:51:57 AM

  5. It really is amazing how unhinged and rude the Republicans have become.

    Posted by: Latebrosus | Sep 10, 2009 9:06:15 AM

  6. once upon a time, there was a collegiality among and between the houses of congress. once upon a time there was a respect for institutions. the republicans have lost all sense of decorum. they are shameless. nevertheless, i keep hoping that they will continue down this reckless path of self-destruction.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 10, 2009 9:17:02 AM

  7. This isn't good by any means, but I do remember a lot of negativity everywhere I turned towards the former President.

    How anyone can take refuge in any of the two political parties is beyond me. They both have failed us miserably - we're in wars we don't need to be in and the deficits keep growing and growing. Seems to me the main function of a political party these days is to contest the other party, instead of working together to solve our problems and exploit our strengths.

    If you really want to exercise your freedom, drop your party affiliations and support issues. I also suggest stop sending money to these clowns and find some local charity that really could use your dollars - you'll see better and faster results for your money.

    Posted by: DVDINORL | Sep 10, 2009 9:37:41 AM

  8. JeffNYC


    The reason this schmuck apologized

    1- Iraq War vet dem opponent came within 8 points of ousting him last time

    2- last night's shenanigans saw $20,000 + raised in less than 2 hours via act blue etc for opponent. 2 hours from small internet donations = a snowball rolling down hill that any repub neanderthal can understand

    3- Sanford's shenanigans in SC has hurt all SC repubs 2010

    sh@t brings in cash for opponent + strong opponent + hurt SC repub party = QUICK apology

    Kudos to mccain for calling this guy out last night for this sh@t

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 10, 2009 9:42:44 AM

  9. Very insulting for someone who calls himself a congressman.Rep.Joe Wilson should be ashamed of himself and I am confident that he will live with this shameful act for a very long time.Shameful and very insulting.

    Posted by: Patrick | Sep 10, 2009 9:46:11 AM

  10. simply horrible? what happened to the respect of the President? This is not a town hall meeting, this is a joint session of Congress.

    Republicans love to hit the self destruct button here lately.

    and as others said, who said "you lie" about the whole yellow cake Uranium from Niger lie?

    Posted by: Astro | Sep 10, 2009 9:59:22 AM

  11. They just can't stand the idea of having a black man as president. These guys are the most hypocritical group of opportunistic cowards I have ever seen. They obviously have absolutely no shame. The vast propaganda machine they have created has spun completely out of control to the point they are actually believing their own lies - and the lies just are compounding themselves geometrically - just listen to FOX News and conservative talk radio.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 10, 2009 10:03:45 AM

  12. Mike

    Many do act out due to racism BUT Joe Wilson is a big health biz darling bring in the majority of his csh from them. Simply put BIG health BIZ whore hating Obama for his masters, probably not racist (though SC = highly likely)

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 10, 2009 10:10:12 AM

  13. When Bush was in the White House, the Republicans were outraged by anyone who disrespected the President.

    Now that a Democrat is a President, it is no longer a requirement to respect the President.

    The Republicans are full of shit.

    And Mike, I don't think it is because Obama is black. I think it is just because he is a Democrat. If Obama were a Republican, they wouldn't be attacking him. Don't confuse partisan politics with racism.

    Posted by: Eric | Sep 10, 2009 10:15:26 AM

  14. Um did you see Nancy Pelosi's face? LOL She looked like she was about to cut someone...

    but seriously, bad form. terrible terrible decorum and outright idiocy. he deserves censure for that

    Posted by: Androjai | Sep 10, 2009 10:26:44 AM

  15. It's possible, ladies and gents and everything in between.

    The Repugnicans have hit a new low.

    Posted by: ED2 | Sep 10, 2009 10:43:28 AM

  16. LOL Wilson opponent has now raised over $100,000 in less tha 24 hours

    no wonder he appologized

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 10, 2009 10:54:35 AM

  17. Please fill out this form and tell Joe Wilson how disgusting his behavior was.

    Posted by: James | Sep 10, 2009 11:11:01 AM

  18. Wilson is also, himself, a great big liar. In his apology, he claims "I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks," as though it was a spontaneous outburst that he just couldn't hold back.

    But Wilson had a copy of the President's speech that afternoon. So he knew what and when the president was going to say what he did. It wasn't spontaneous. His outburst was planned. In advance.

    So his apology is full of the same stuff Wilson is full of.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Sep 10, 2009 11:11:28 AM

  19. I agree Wilson was out of line and his actions disrespectful. However, recall that the Democrats "booed" and heckled Bush at his 2005 State of the Union address.

    Posted by: luke | Sep 10, 2009 11:26:40 AM

  20. isn't that guy to his right Mark Sanford?

    Posted by: cd | Sep 10, 2009 11:40:56 AM

  21. @dvdinorl There's a difference between really harsh criticism in public forums that encourage discourse and a joint Congressional Address.

    Yeah, there was staunch disagreement with Bush and lots of frankly insults hurled by Democrats. Republicans did the same thing to Clinton. In both cases, however, it was never done in this sort of context. Some level of decorum was maintained.

    As repulsive as the Republican interference in the August townhall meetings, it was at least an appropriate setting.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 10, 2009 12:07:16 PM

  22. I'm not from South Carolina. I'm not a Republican. But I have to ask, is EVERY Republican politician from that state an immature, self-centered, semi-retarded douche bag? I've been though South Carolina, vacationed there once. It's beautiful. People are lovely. What's with their Republican law makers? I live in California where the Republican law makers are pretty much on the same level (for proof look at the current debacle of the fat ass frat boy law maker talking about screwing some hosebag lobbyist. Hey fat boy, you couldn't get the girl without the vote. I'm sure she closed her eyes tight and dreamed of Zac Efron.)

    The Republicans law makers in this country are embarrassing even my Republican friends. Makes me snicker...except these idiots are the very people make our laws. Scary times.

    P.S. -- can someone please explain to me why Rush Limbaugh is not in prison on federal drug charges? And why Karl Rove hasn't been indicted on charges he tampered with the hiring and firing of federal judges? And last question...Dick Cheney? Why is he not in prison? I could name specific reasons but the list is too long.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 10, 2009 12:07:36 PM

  23. "What happened to respect of the President?"

    That went out of style 7 years ago. Every chance that a democratic congressman go to go on TV and attack Bush, they took. Granted, in this setting it was inappropriate...but at least there is passion. The fact that you people think that just because Obama says so we must do it is ridiculous.

    There was and is NO respect for the previous administration at all. Why do you all now suddenly expect everyone to respect this administration? It's funny how short memories are.

    And, BobbyJoe - they did not get copies of the speech. They got "talking points" on a piece of laminated paper.

    Democrats are just as full of shit as republicans. I for one am taking next year's election and voting against any congressional incumbent, regardless of party. We need new blood in there. Maybe then, we'll get people who will work together and get something done.

    Posted by: BC | Sep 10, 2009 12:18:44 PM

  24. It's about time people stopped saying stupid things only to apologize later.I feel so sorry for the people Rep.Joe Wilson represent.They do not deserve this childish act from someone who represent them.He should first aplogize to the good people he represent and then weep for this silly behavior.I am glad that he is already seeing the folly of what he did,because his website is now 'under maintainance'.

    Posted by: Patrick | Sep 10, 2009 12:19:07 PM

  25. @Jimmyboyo: Perhaps, but notice the moment where he could no longer contain himself...when the topic of immigrants came up. Because we all know that when you mention immigrants in this country of immigrants, they don't think of Europeans who overstay their visas, or the tens of thousands of undocumented Canadians, they think of brown folks and it sends them into fits of rage. I think this had a lot more to do with hatred of poor Mexicans than it did with his insurance company cronies.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Sep 10, 2009 12:47:09 PM

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