September 9th, 2009
10:09 PM ET
4 years ago

GOP congressman heckles Obama during health-care speech

Rep. Wilson the congressional heckler.
Rep. Wilson the congressional heckler.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Republican House member shouted "you lie" during President Barack Obama's health-care speech to Congress on Wednesday, and members of both parties condemned the heckling.

When Obama denied that proposed health-care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants, South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted, "You lie!"

Obama paused and looked toward the Republican side of the chamber before
continuing his speech.

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.

McCain said there was "no place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately."

Other Republicans also criticized Wilson, along with the expected Democratic condemnation.

"It was crude and disrespectful," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a top Senate Democrat. "I think the person who said it will pay a price."

Updated: 10:00 p.m.


Filed under: Joe Wilson • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Penn Voter

    Of course he was lying, he's a politician, his lips were moving.

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Angela

    I just moved away from South Carolina. I am now glad that I did. Joe Wilson showed total disrespect for the President. They were not at some out of control town hall meeting. He should be ashamed!

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Joseph Ricciuti/Toronto

    Not surprising from a GOP Rep. Joe Wilson, set a new low water mark for the House. He has no class and should be barred from Congress.

    Joseph Ricciuti

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Way To Go Mr. Wilson

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. John Stansbury

    So the Grand Old Party can't muster basic logic and debate, so they resort to nana-nana-boo-boo? Their lack of respect for the Office of President, let alone for the man currently holding it, at least matches their level of respect for The Constitution.

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. E

    How low class can you get? Someone elected this fool who does not have the common decency to disagree with someone with some kind of decorum. I think that his behavior is representative of "republican" behavior.

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Rhonda T

    This is more of the disrespectful, rude, unhelpful behavior that we can expect from the Republicans. This type of behavior has become all to common in America, it's just really sad to see it in our Congress. We can't diagree without name calling and other disgraceful acts. I guess rude and shameful acts will be the norm from this group from now on. What happened to being gentleman and gentlewomen. What a Disgrace!

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Ron , West Coast

    Rep. Wilson is an Idiot, and a disgrace .......

    September 9, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Minu, NC

    Very immature and highly disrespectful to the POTUS.

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. robert

    What a shameful thing to do. I don't care who the President is, or whether you agree with his policies, it's just absolutely tasteless to scream at him while he is addressing Congress and the nation.

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Sharon

    I am so saddened by the idiotic behavior of the people who oppose health car e reform, but to have a member of Congress shout out like a common heckler during a speech by a sitting President is shameful. Sen Joe Wilson needs to publicly apologize to President Obama.. Congress should lead, not engage in riduculous and disrespectful behavior, but oh, he's a Republican.

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. Kevin

    This guy is from S.C. no wonder he is an idot to say out loud the President is lying. This is not what we need in this Country right now.....This guy is an idiot.

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  13. Lindie

    This man has no business holding any office for this country........you can disagree with the President but there are other more intelligent ways than this man exhibited in this Chamber on Tv........he should have to make a full apology as soon as possible........this in not Parliment like over in Great Britian.....this man's future in politics has just come to an end........we expect more respect from our elected officials........But take a look at the State he is from ...... the Great State of SC where the Govenor right now is being asked to step down from his office

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  14. Regina

    Joe Wilson, should have some better respect. How did he get elected. Good speech, I give the President a B.

    September 9, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. ben

    This is all part of the repubs strategy to dehumanize and make his presidency look illegitimate. Why do you think fox won't show his speeches? it's because if they dehumanize him, it makes it easier for people to hate him or be scared of him. Repubs think the american people are fools but the ones who hang on every word fox news tells them are the fools.

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. vic nashville , Tn

    I think this his last term

    We have to respect our president

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. orphan

    absolutely classless!

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Paul

    Is this the way people in congress act? Where was your outrage when Bush lead us in to a war under false scare tactics. You should be thrown out on your ear.

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. Keith

    Typical Republican. Downright rude. If you don't agree with the President that's fine, but respect him!

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. R U For Real?, CA

    That's okay, apparently he was yelling the same thing at Cheney and Bush when they were making their case for the Iraq war.... Right.

    Seriously, what's up with these guys? Is it they just cannot handle a man of color telling them how it's done?

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Mike, Albany

    Rep. Wilson: A true representative of the republican party. Obama gave a truly great speech. The republican response, by contrast, was lame and irrelevant, just like the republican party and it's representatives like Joe Wilson, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh.

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. g

    how come he didnt call bush out on his many lies where do republicans find these people i know now why reagan quit funding mental illness there would be know republican party left

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. Georgia

    Rep. Wilson is REALLY doing a GREAT JOB himself – isn't he???

    S. Carolina is the WORST in EVERY category except golf courses – and he has the nerve to disrespect the President of the United States????

    What a MORON!!!!

    Remember: Republicans = Incompetence

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  24. Pam

    This man should be removed from office. He is a disgrace, all the childish tempertantrum throwing repugs in tonights speach. Its beyong pathtic.

    Obama needs to get some Bush balls and make it clear that HE is the descider now. There is a new Sherrif in town.... A BLACK Sheriff.

    September 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. Yeye

    What a total idiot!

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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