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. Disappointed South Carolinian

    Shouting...the next best thing to being right.
    It seems that at every turn representatives from my State seek to embarrass themselves and their co-residents. I am ashamed this man represents anyone from South Carolina.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Well

    Has the line now, finally, been crossed? Okay media... Now call this out for what it is.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. Citizen AJ - Northern Virginia

    What a moron. That was really acting responsible and adult like.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  4. roy

    cong.wilson 's outburst,is the worse thing i have heard in the congress to a president. SHAME ON YOU ,SIR .you do not deserve to to be allowed in the sacred hall of congress, democrat or republican

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Ellie

    What a mess the Republican party has become.

    September 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. Long

    Obama really truly "scared" us. But, let's examine similar policies in Canada, England and Australis, and listen to their citizens.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. Chelle in Fla

    Disrepsectful Jerk!

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Roger

    Disgusting! The proper protocol and title for Members of Congress is: "Honorable".

    Joe Wilson (R-SC) does NOT deserve to be called "Honorable" by anyone! He showed no honor tonight; even if he disagreed, he should have done as all other Republicans in the chamber did – keep quiet!

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. Rita

    Seriously? How old are you to be heckling in the middle of a speech? You consider yourself a congressman? I thought that required maturity but apparently not. You just proved the President's point and made yourself and your state look bad.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. JES

    So a Democrat has never done that before. The President is still in a dream world and still doesn't know how to do his job.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. Shareena

    Unfortunately, a lot of these Republicans are idiots and liars themselves.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Teesha

    This was the most disrespectable act to a President by an elected official I have ever witnessed and SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED! It is this type of behavior that has brought us to this state in our nation. Sen. Wilson should be reprimanded for his action and made an example of a no tolerance of this type of behavior especially during a NATIONAL ADDRESS .!

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. laurie

    Joe Wilson is a redneck and his constituents are rednecks. What else do you expect other than Wal-Mart behavior?

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Gregory Thompson

    Totally disrepectful. It's one thing to disagree with the President's position on an issue, but an outburst such as this shows disrespect toward the Office of the President, sends a bad signal to the youth of our country, and is completely unprofessional. Representative Wilson should be sanctioned for his outburst.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. Frank Emery

    Oh my how some people will do to get recognized. Ramble rousing behavior at a dignified assembly of lawmakeers is totally unaccepetabe.

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  16. Jackson

    wow that is just disrespectful!

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  17. Don

    What an idiot! And you have the gall to call yourself a congressman. Shame on you. Shame on you!

    September 9, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Gene

    That's the one part where I wish Obama would've turned and said "show me where in the bill that I say illegal immigrants are covered"

    I guess this was the wrong forum to do that in.. but that's what should've been said. I read the bill, and it specifically says that it only covers legal residents. I'm sure some will fall through the cracks.. Doctors won't turn away an illegal immigrant if he's in the emergency room on the verge of death.. but in general.. the bill does not cover illegal immigrants.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. TOM

    What is wrong with the Republicans of South Carolina??....first Sanford and now this idiot!!

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Keith Johnson

    This guy is pathetic.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  21. Nancy Vanpelt in Phoenix

    shame on Joe Wilson. Some role model! (not) If he is re-elected it will be a statement about the people of South Carolina.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. Mark

    How proud the Palmetto State must be tonight of its goober Congressman.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. Arya Novinbakht

    I'm one South Carolinian who now wishes to hide from the rest of my nation for the leaders who can somehow still make the news. As a concerned citizen I ask my representatives one thing and one thing only, please stop embarrassing me!!

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. Sandra Schroeder

    Rep. Joe Wilson is a total discrace.After 8 years of Repulbican control with nothing achieved and their support of a divided nation..what else can you expect. They left the country in a complete mess and take no responsibility for all our problems. At least this President has tackeled tough issues and seems to care about its citizens. I think a nation should be judged on how it treats the lesser among us, not the ones on top. We have money for war but not for the things that would life easier for most of us. At least this man seems to care about the people that need the most help.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. Dan in Massachusetts

    A complete moron if there ever was one.

    September 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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