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. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    This man should not just apologize he should step down. There is no place for people like him in what is supposed to be a civilized, dignified place like the Capital. You should be ashamed Wilson(you don't deserve to be called Mr.) and anyone who votes for you in the future should be ashamed. Hats off to John McCain who denounced him immediately. There is the McCain that many of us admired before he hooked himself to the Lunatic Fringe of the Republican Party.

    September 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Kiki

    Congratulations, Wilson (no, you don't deserve a title): you just outed yourself on national TV as a boorish pig.

    September 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Beth

    "Biggest disappointment of evening, the total lack of respect shown by one member for the President.Never acceptable to behave like a jerk." – Claire McCaskill via Twitter

    September 9, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. geoffery opata

    Wilson sir i don't see why you should shoute at the president,why take
    it personel immagrant just human like sir,

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. a.k.a.

    Despicable.

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. A Nurse who cares.

    In our society, to call someone a liar is the height of insulting. GOP Rep. Joe Wilson, who obviously doesn't understand the word "dignified", sinks to a new low. Contrast his behavior to President Obama whose bipartisan speech brought class and dignity to the chamber tonight. When I think of Mr. Obama, I think of Jackie Robinson and the manner in which he changed minds into accepting that a man of his race could be one of the greatest sportmen of his time. So too, Mr. Obama is changing minds. With his speech tonight, he hit the proverbial ball out of the ballpark!

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  7. Jill Carson

    How ignorant and disrespectful can you get? This kind of behavior only reinforces most Americans' feelings about the republican party...disgusting!!!! The people of South Carolina must be mortified.

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. Jacquaz

    This is shameful,and disrespectful individual

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. Rusty Shunt

    It's Tool Time with Joe Wilson
    Way to represent yourself, and your state, on National TV!

    Welcome to Dirty South Carolina
    And the man who makes it dirty!

    September 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Terri evans

    To do what Congressman Wilson did is disgusting. There should be some respect shown in the Halls of Congress for the President of the United States. Is this the way Republicans want to be seen by the American people?

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. gale godfrey

    how childish, but considering he is from the south, it is to be expected. good ole boy sydrome is strong and well in the south. dumb dumber and dumbest politicans live there. not too many from the south , can see above their own selfish gains. they do not care about the people they serve. i have lived in the south and did not like it! they need to grow up and join the rest of the country!

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. Dan, WA

    Barack Obama is a liar. This is true.

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Orange County democrat

    What an embarrassment. He should be publicly proven wrong. The bill clearly states that no illegal immigrants are to receive benefits.

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  14. Aaron

    Joe Wilson is a confederate piece of garbage

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. The 44th

    Typical of these far fringe republican crazies.

    "The time for bickering is over"

    September 9, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. robrubin

    What do you expect? He's a Republican from South Carolina.

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Garytown

    Wow, no class whatsoever. I hope you enjoy your final term in office.

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. munkyshein

    Joe Wilson-what a low life

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Ricardo Enriquez

    I hope he plans to apologize to the President for his rude outburst.

    Ricardo Enriquez

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. Going Public

    What an incredibly rude thing to do. Having said that, it's nothing compared to what you see in the House of Commons in Great Britain. Many's the time, I'd wager, that Tony Blair or Gordon Brown wished they'd had it that easy.

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. Bill

    Total lack of decorum. He should be ashamed of his actions and owes the President, is party, and the nation an apology. Even John McCain said this was out of line!

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  22. Sam

    How embarrassing to be from South Carolina. What an idiot! Way to represent South Carolina!

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. vernalee

    I'm not surprised that it came from a White Rich Man from S. Carolina?

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. Debra

    He's a fool and he demonstrates just another clown from South Carolina. I don't know who should secede first, Texas (my home state) or South Carolina. They both produce some reall classless folks.

    September 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  25. Cheri

    I have never seen such disrepect for a President than I have seen from the Republicans tonight.Joe Wilson needs to be fired from his job... what a disgrace he is!! South Carolina should be ashamed of him!!

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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