September 9th, 2009
10:48 PM ET
5 years ago

First on the Ticker: GOP heckler blasted by 2010 challenger

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Democrat hoping to unseat South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson in next year's midterm elections quickly seized on the Republican's shout of "You lie!" during President Obama's health care speech on Wednesday.

"Representative Wilson's behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington," Democrat Rob Miller said in a statement provided to CNN. "Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our Commander-in-Chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian.

Miller added: "He owes both the President and the people of this district an apology for his embarrassing behavior during tonight's speech."

Wilson apologized to the president after the speech, calling his comments "inappropriate and regrettable."

Miller, a 13-year veteran of the Marine Corps, gave Wilson the toughest re-election challenge of his career last year in one of the country's most conservative congressional districts. Miller lost by eight points, and decided to challenge Wilson again next year.

National Democrats are also looking for a win: Wilson is on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's 2010 hit list.

Wednesday's commotion is likely to give both candidates a financial boost. Miller's supporters quickly took to Twitter and urged Democrats to support the campaign, while Republicans on the Web urged their readers to donate to Wilson.

Erick Erickson, the conservative voice behind RedState.com, called Wilson a "great American hero." South Carolina Democratic party chairwoman Carol Fowler, meanwhile, said Wilson gave the state yet another black eye.

"Once again a South Carolina Republican has embarrassed our state," Fowler said in a statement, making a nod to scandal-plagued governor Mark Sanford. "Never has any member of Congress shown such disrespect for the president during a speech."

UPDATE: Miller's campaign says they have raised $40,000 since Obama's speech ended tonight.


Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama • Rob Miller • South Carolina
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Kent in CA

    Congressman Wilson committed an act of slander on the floor of the House. He needs to back his remarks up with facts! This fear mongering is exactly what the President was warning us about. Shame on Representative Wilson!

    September 9, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  2. Courtney

    I hope Rob Miller supports single payer.
    In any case, I will be donating to his campaign next week.
    I already convinced a friend to do so tonight.

    September 9, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  3. adm

    I hope he plays the loop of Joe Wilsonj 24/7 during the midterm elections. Joe needs to be put to shame. Further, he needs to apologize to the American people who were watching the speech.

    September 9, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  4. Ori

    House rules prohibit calling the President a liar. Will Wilson be censured?

    September 9, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  5. tonyt

    OK CNN, Don't Turn It into One Of Those Dumb Town Hall Moments!

    First rule of media: If it bleeds it leads.

    Let It GO!

    September 9, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  6. Luka

    While I don't live in Wilson's district I will be donating to his challenger's campaign this evening

    September 9, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  7. nick in SF

    Why President Obama? Why not Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter,Ford, Johnson? Nixon was not even DISRESPECTED WHILE GIVING A SPEECH ? I just want to know WHY? Why America? Why?

    September 9, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  8. Sharon

    Leave it to the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot. How disrespectful to shout at the President of the United States. I'm sure that there were Democrats who would have liked to shout at Pres. Bush; but they have more class than the current members of the GOP = just angry, grumpy old men who can't get their way and are totally out of touch with everyday Americans.

    September 9, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  9. tastytone

    just donated to his campaign. It's the only way I can "censure" that idiot.

    September 9, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  10. The Real Issue

    Congressman Joe Wilson is going to lose his next election. He totally embarassed his state along with his governor. His archaic thinking in a state where some of his own constituents still fly and hang the Confederate flag is something that good Americans would not want to identify with. Wilson doesn't get it. You do not interfere with the speech of the President during his address to Congress. This is a 1st and it's has to be the last.

    No apology can make up for this upsurd blunder. What will make up for it is support for the Health Plan of President Obama which we know will not happen by a partisan Republican. So, Mr. Miller, a Democratic challengerwill begin receiving support against an incumbent who like his GOP colleague has again embarrased the state of South Carolina.

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  11. SC Resident

    I live in South Carolina and will not be voting for Joe Wilson. All you GOP supporters in the other 49 states can just eat it.

    September 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Chris

    Wilson's behavior was reprehensible and barbaric. He was obviously never taught normal decorum. I can't blame anyone for supporting Miller over this spoiled juvenile.

    September 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. Tim

    I spent time in SC and I never met any of these people donating money to a stupid elected offical. So if you voted for Wilson please send me money and I will send you a offical looking document saying you own your very own piece of ocean front property in South Dakota. Bring your trunks in December when it is 100 down south, the white sand will cool you down up here.

    September 9, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  14. susan riegler

    I don't think that Joe Wilson is nearly the embarrassment to S. Carolina that Nancy Pelosi is to the president. Did anyone else notice how she wouldn't let go of his hand? She looks like a love sick mullet! Wilson's comment was the most honest part of the speech.

    September 9, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  15. sharon jeff

    Wison is a disgrace. he should be censored!

    September 9, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  16. T Mckinley

    THIS is the absolute hight of hypocracy! After all of the outright, deliberate lying many Republicans have been doing for months on this issue, this "richard" has the gaul to call our President a "liar"?

    September 9, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Health reformer in Colorado

    Rob Miller, keep reminding the good citizens of South Carolina how Joe Wilson embarrassed your state by interrupting President Obama – what a disgraceful display of behavior! And good luck in your run for Wilson's seat... I suspect you will do an excellent job of truly representing the hopes and interests of the people of SC!

    September 9, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. Another GOP "leader" in S.C. with no self-control

    Wilson is a rude jerk and an embarrassment to America. He is a career politician corrupted by lobbyists and has no business serving in the House. No one should disrespect the President like he did, shouting and interrupting as if he were part of an angry mob. Wilson is the one who lies because illegal immigrants will not be covered; they are specifically excluded. Wilson has shamed himself and his state and should take responsibility for his disrespectful, outrageous outburst and resign.

    September 9, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  19. bob

    obama had a good overall speech but he's comment about palin was unnecessary and the republican's are super lame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  20. rob

    What does a 'great american hero" have anything to do with respecting the president?

    seriously...have we lost ALL sense of courtesy? you wouldn't interrupt a bosses' speech. why would you interrupt (in a really obnoxious way) the president of the usA?

    September 9, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  21. JOPY

    joe wilson is a HYENA and needs to resign.

    September 9, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. obama2012

    I will sending miller a big fat check i cant wait until the bigots are siffed out of american government

    September 9, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  23. Liberal from Boulder

    Beyond Reprehensible. Accordingly, I am sure that Mr. Wilson is quite the hero on FOX "News."

    I wish you the best of luck, Mr. Miller. I think the people of South Carolina can (and should) do much better than Representative Wilson.

    September 9, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. independent

    I would be happy to see every Republican unseated. However the ignorant and racist of the south just keep voting them in. If you haven't ever seen the movie Idiocracy – watch it. It's what will happen if we let them have control again.

    September 9, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. lfcfl

    The Republicans once again have shown their true colors...good going Joe Wilson, you classless, disrespectful, moron.

    September 9, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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