Congressman Joe Wilson, who undoubtedly embarrassed his southern mama with his bad manners last night.
As soon as I heard the heckler during President Obama's speech, I knew what state he was from.
I just knew, probably because of my recent town hall meeting experience.
I cringed, told Mr Daisy what I thought, Twittered OH NO (or something to that effect) and waited to be proven right. And I was. I am just grateful it wasn't Bob Inglis (far too polite to do that, even if in full ideological agreement with the heckler) or somebody closer to Greenville County.
But still: ANOTHER RIGHT WING EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE STATE. Ye Gods.
Politico writers Daniel Libit and Victoria McGrane:
On his Twitter feed Tuesday, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) wrote that at a parade he attended in Chapin, “many people called out to oppose Obamacare which I assured them would be relayed tomorrow to DC.”As stated above, Wilson memorably shouted "You lie!" Apparently he believes this will get him re-elected.
It wasn’t quite the next day, but Wilson did indeed bring the August town hall boorishness to Washington when he shouted “you lie” at President Barack Obama during Wednesday night’s health care speech before Congress.
Within 15 minutes after Obama wrapped up his remarks, Wilson’s website server had crashed and his Wikipedia page had been locked on account of “vandalism.”
In an interview with CNN immediately after the president’s address, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called Wilson’s behavior “totally disrespectful,” and joined a chorus of Democrats calling on the congressman to apologize.
Wilson’s office soon followed with a statement expressing regret for the 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,” Wilson 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.”
A short while later, Wilson’s office put out a notice that the congressman had called the White House to personally apologize. A Democratic source told POLITICO that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel accepted the congressman’s apology.
This is not the first time the Wilson has stirred controversy with his remarks.
In 2004, Wilson was forced to do a similar walk-back when he challenged the patriotism to Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), calling the Democrat “viscerally anti-American.”
That same year, Wilson grabbed headlines again when he called on Sen. John Kerry to apologize for testimony the Democratic presidential candidate and Vietnam veteran gave to a Senate panel in 1971 about the Vietnam War.
“Many veterans, including myself as a veteran,” Wilson said at the time, “view John Kerry’s testimony that day as one of the worst public slanders ever against the valor and character of the American military.”
That statement drew the rebuke of former Democratic senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland, who noted that Wilson had in fact avoided fighting in the war by receiving a student deferral.
Politico's Glenn Thrush writes:
All eyes were on Barack Obama entering Wednesday night's address to Congress, but a little-known South Carolina Republican may have done more than the president’s combative speech to unify besieged Democrats around health care reform.Well, what did you think of the speech? Comments welcome on the speech, Obama, and ill-mannered Joe Wilson.
The night's defining moment — which Democrats hope to transform into a turning point – came when Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted "You lie!" as Obama claimed his plan wouldn't offer free care to illegal immigrants.
Wilson's boorishness — for which he quickly apologized — enraged audience members on both sides of the aisle.
It also overshadowed a speech that included some of Obama's harshest attacks on his GOP critics to date, including a denunciation of "death panel" alarmists as liars — a veiled swipe at Sarah Palin — and a warning to Republicans who want to "kill" reform.