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. Piper

    Totally disrespectful and totally out of line. I thought Obama accepted it well, knowing full well that the Republicans are idiots. I thought Pelosi and Biden were going to come out of their seats!!!

    Yeah to McCain who also called Wilson disrespectful and recommended that he apologize!!!

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Ivonne

    Rep. Wilson, was completely out of line-disrespectful. He must have some financial interest or ties with the private insurance companies. I support Obama 100%

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. jewel Carmen

    If he had heckled anywhere else.....he would have been thrown out. He was an embarrassment to this country before the entire world. His constituents should all get an immediate apology. Who does he think he is representing..... his children his in-laws, his wife, who?????

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. devans00

    Congressman Joe Wilson should take John McCain's advice and apologize. And be happy he doesn't get disappeared like he would in other countries.

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    wilson should be kicked out of congress. This country has no place for scum.

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  6. CBH

    I am not suprised. A GOP Rep calling the presdient a liar. I knew something like that could happen. I thought this was the president's chance to explain how he is planning to help the American people, but has usual the GOP finds a way to dirty the process. The President has a good heart, but he his powerful enemies within the GOP.

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. kinogirl

    Tackless! Just as bad as the people shouting at townhalls.

    September 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. D.A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Did anyone teach this heathen knave any manners? I am getting real tired of the rudeness of the neo-cons. If they can't get their way, they resort to bullying tactics and using "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler as their playbook.

    Boys and girls, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco represent what the right-wing are all about. Do yourselves a favor and read history so that people like them don't get into power.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. AJ

    For once I agree with a Republican!!

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. catmom

    And this tells you everything we need to know about Republicans and their willingness to engage in any type of credible dialogue. He should be censored for his total lack of respect to the President and the office,

    I am listening to responses from various Republicans who are basically calling the President a liar. My understandingis that these bills are still being written, nothing has been passed. Republicans don't seem willing to negotiate unless they have it their way. The Republican way seems to be no health care reform period. I believe they went in determined to nit pick everything President Obama said and were determined not to agree with him and to remain negative. Rep. Wilson sealed their fate.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I'm not sure, but the heckler may be wrong, at least on that one issue. No illegals get health care from Medicare or Medicaid, but they do get basic emergency care through the Hill-Burton Act, requiring hospitals to provide uncompensated in emergencies. Is this the case?

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Maggie Macpherson

    Rude and Juvenile.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  13. Terry C.

    I am ashamed, as a proud citizen of South Carolina, to have that un-American man representing me. As a Republican, that is saying something.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. olu

    what a jerk!

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. tt

    Joe Wilson, is very disrespectful a disgrace to his state and a loser.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. frank

    Disgraceful. Another reason for not voting republican. They respect no one. The world is watching and a public figure disrespects the president of the United States.

    September 9, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. boubacar

    he's an idiot

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. Brenda

    What a disgrace. This so called Congressman has no respect. Is this the person SC wants representing their state?

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  19. Michael

    Classless idiot.

    No wonder the health care debate has reached such disgusting lows.

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Myra Wright

    Go Joe, keep Obama's feet to the fire. We need to read the final bill and call him out when what he said tonight is not in the bill.

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. bill

    disrespect

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. jts

    Is anyone surprised that a middle aged white guy from the south thinks its okay to yell and call the first AA POTUS a liar during a world wide televised address to Congress? Why do people continue to suggest that there is no element of racism at the base of the criticisms and opposition of Pres. Obama? Wilson's hate so overwhelmed him that he could not contain himself. So sad.

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  23. Steven

    What a classless display of ignorance from an elected member of government during a formal address from the President of the United States. Unbelievable.

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. Alesia Adams

    Yet another vivid and disturbing illustration of exactly how Republicans get "their job done"

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  25. Jim Wolf

    Wilson, and the GOP as a whole embarrased themselves tonight. I have never seen a President treated with such disrespect ever. I hope the GOP enjoys the hole they dug for themselves tonight. They're gonna be in it for a long time to come.

    September 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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