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. UmValli Lowenthal

    President Barack Obama has just expressed in his message, to the Members of Congress,what the conscients of America yearns to say to her political leaders in reference to health care for her citizens.

    Once again, this young and brilliant American leader has spoken for his people pleaded with the politicians and the cooperation to be their brothers and sisters' keepers.

    I hope and pray that the persons to whom he was speaking and pleading were listening with the ears of God.

    UmValli

    September 9, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  2. daren thibert

    If Obama wants a Canadian style health care system then opponents should be allowed to grieve opposition out loud during public political discussion just like we do here in Canada.

    September 9, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. McEmtol

    Shame beyond words!

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Sally

    This is a vile human being. There is no excuse for this behavior. He should represent no one!!!

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Brian

    What an embarrassment to the nation! South Carolina should be ashamed of their representation. I don't care if he apologizes, he has shown his character and been found wanting. If there is justice in this nation, his career will fizzle and he will be unceremoniously tossed out of office next year.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. James Holmgren

    Breaking news,Breaking news. Where was this "news". For Sure it wasn't on Cnn. I never saw Rep. Wilso's face or name,yet all I get ON Cnn is breaking news, breaking news.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  7. Gary

    I think the republicans lost more than they gained tonight. The total disrepect shown towards the man and the office demonstrates just how disfunctional and low they have become. Makes me sick to think they were actually elected.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. s allem

    This is totally uncalled for. People need to get a grip. Anger stiffles debate.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. Al

    This is what the great party of Lincoln has stooped to. They are nothing more than playground bullies and foul mouthed dimwits blinded by their overpowering hate.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. Farrell in Houston

    Wilson can kiss his you know what good bye. Ignorance and arrogance will not support a wanna be who thinks it was cute but quickly find out from his own, not so cute. You are out of here.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. MyraJ

    I hope he does not get re-elected...our state is FOREVER in the news for some IGNORANCE...but what do you expect when you are in one of the most racist states in the nation.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. Nea

    That was DISRESPECTFUL Im glad the President didnt stoop to his level. even CNN said that the plan will not cover illegal imigrants but they have to be seen in the EMERGENCY ROOM.

    September 9, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. williefloyd

    Wilson should apologize on his way to the airport to pick up his 1 way ticket to the most distant point planes fly-Iran, N. Korea, might be good choices!! As a S. Carolinian I would gladly contribute to his plane fare. Wilson, you just outdid our "esteemed Gov." in your idiocy.

    September 9, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. S M R

    Wilson is the first punk President Obama should call out. IDIOT!!!

    September 9, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. scott f.

    republicans everywhere should be embarrased with their leader's behavior tonight! Grow up!

    September 9, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. kits

    YES! Is all I can say. Someone has COURAGE to tell the TRUTH!
    How can anyone sit there and listen to Obama Lying and not do what this courageous man did. Our Founding Fathers would be so proud!

    September 9, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  17. troset

    Look at the face of the little boy on the left. Did these guy's every get out of middle school?

    September 9, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  18. Paul from Kissimmee

    He's right. Obama is a liar.

    September 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. Jane Floyd

    This response simply shows how little respect some have for our President. How Sad...

    September 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  20. Dee

    Hey Mr. Congressional heckler, you should go work for FOX NEWS. You don't belong here. Here it's only for grown ups. Shame on you Sir!!! Shameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    September 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. MH

    Shame on this guy! Disrespectful to his president, his congress, and his country. This is not democracy. Don't abuse your right.
    MH from Canada

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Post always rejected by CNN

    Well this is what republicans have come to...we know that they are callous and low class and this jerk proves it...he is seeing his health care and drug money slip away....if someone had done that to bush they would have had the Sgt of Arms pick them up and throw them in jail...

    So if he shows no respect...let us show HIM NO RESPECT. Lets flood him with emails, letters and phone calls and write letters to the papers in his state.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. dironada

    this man should apologize on live TV and directly to the president. Regardless of your beliefs, he is the president, and deserves the upmost respect!

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  24. Butch Dillon

    As crass, mean and ugly as Rep. Joe Wilson (R of SC) was tonight, he accurately portrayed the soul of the republican party. He is what they are.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  25. Tesap;Savannah, GA

    Completely uncalled for, ignorant and disrespectful. This was not the place for his ranting. Idiotic move on his part.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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