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. Frankie

    He may disagree, but show some respect. South Carolina, I would be ashamed.

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Nick

    This will do alot to dispell the Republicans are angry, white men myth.

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Amy Candor

    Shame and disgraceful .He can be sent to argentina as well.
    DISRESPECT TO OUR AMERICA! He should be expelled we have become a laugh for rest of civil world

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. keith from atlanta

    This congressman disrespected the President Of The United States it just goes to show that obama was right, Mr.Wilson is now a marked man the media is going to expose the hell out of him. lol

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  5. Julie from California

    Totally disgraceful! His constituents should be ashamed to have a representative that would heckle the President of the United States. Moreover, he's perpetuating the "whomever screams loudest wins" behavior that has been dominating the health care discussion. I hope the good people of South Carolina kick this bozo to the curb!

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. Eric in Colorado

    Sad to see that republicans have to drop to such a low-class stunt. Funny all through Bush administration, throughout the theft and lies, no one screamed out those words during a Presidential speech. I guess when your only left wit the lowest of the scum, you get responses like Joe Wilson.

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  7. Robin

    Everyone in Washington Metropolitan area needs to be at the Capital in tomorrow morning and protest his disrespectful behavior and he needs to get out of Washington, DC.

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Larry

    Joe Wilson ...

    What a disrespectful jerk

    The man does not deserve the seat he sits in

    What have you done for this country in the past year Joe????

    We The People say YOUR FIRED !!!

    And using the word jerk is generous, compared to my real thoughts

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. Loup Garou 782

    Bravo to Joe Wilson, we need more people with his courage to speak out. Let that creep (obama) know we are on to him.

    September 9, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  10. Lena

    Funny ,he didn't listen nor understand the healthcare plan addressed. How disrespectful of him to shout at the presdient of the united states of america,. Bush didn't get that, and when will the NO sayers ever grow up?

    September 9, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Candy Taylor

    What kind of people are we sending to congress? It makes me sick to see the rude, common behavior of those who should be examples of civility for our youth

    September 9, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. Big Suprise

    Is this really a big suprise? These dumb republicans after supporting a retarded monkey the last 8 years cant stand that we actually have a smart president, oh and get this an African American. That is actually trying to do some good for this country.

    If we dont get health care reform now, we will never get it and the US will no longer remain a super power. Just look at China and the rest of the world on how they are passing us on pretty much everything.

    God help us

    September 9, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Ved

    This moron Republican is the real liar ... Congrat to President Obama for call Republicans what they truely are – liars and fear mongers

    September 9, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. lori

    For shame

    September 9, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. unknown

    That was very rude! Grow up.

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  16. John B. From New Hampshire

    that's a no-no!!! i couldn't believe my ears when i heard that! seeing nancy pelosi's face said it all! you do NOT disrespect the president in that arena under those circumstances like that no matter what political affiliation! just seeing the republican 30 second rebuttal with lies thrown in, lies the president had just debunked said it ALL to me! They are truly the party of NO. no ideas, no concrete thinking and now no on education of our young people... maybe they should all be in Canada?!

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  17. wow

    I'm a Republican and found this behaviour quite revolting and damaging. I crinched in embarassment when this blowhard uttered those words. Terrible mistake.

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. Mitch

    The poster child for the 'class' actions of the GOP.

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. So Tired of This

    Wow. Seriously? No respect wahatsoever. What an arrogant jerk. Tell me again why anyone votes republican

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  20. Carolyn Miller

    What an IDIOT!!!

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Jen

    Absolutely unforgivable behaviour. If you vote for the moron, you should be ashamed!

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. Marty, FL

    Rep. Wilson's rude outburst & lie confirm why I left the GOP and the fringe element too prevalent amongst its ranks. His fellow colleagues and the American people deserve better than the disgraceful behavior he showed in the Chamber tonight. Shame on you, Wilson!

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. John

    I wonder if he realized he would get Identified so quickly, or maybe he expected more outbursts from his congressional fellows.

    September 9, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. james jones

    joe wilson totaly out of touch with his enviroment ..........totally not called for and he must be punished for his actions.

    September 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. vette gal

    What is the matter with the people from the southern part of our united states. Are they all illiterate and rude? I am beginning to think so! Whether you agree or disagree with Pres. Obama's speech context, it is definitely rude to yell something like this out. After all, this person is our president. And for those that are going to respond with the standard "freedom of speech" routine. Freedom of speech does not excuse rudeness.

    As a side note, if there were term limits for these people, they would not be worrying about being re-elected and would concentrate on doing what is best for our country during their time in office. Jpw sad that our country is being run by a group of people that are more worried about their own jobs than the plight of the american people. They have all obviously forgotten why they were voted in or why they even have a job.

    September 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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