September 9th, 2009
10:53 PM ET
9 years ago

Wilson calls White House to apologize

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports that Republican Rep. Joe Wilson called the White House Wednesday night to apologize for his outburst during President Obama's speech, and spoke with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

UPDATE: CNN's Ed Henry reports that a senior administration official says that in the phone call, Emanuel accepted the apology on behalf of the president and told the congressman: "We can disagree without being disagreeable. That was the point of the President's speech."

Filed under: Joe Wilson
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. DeeDee from Nashville

    This man owes an apology to the nation. Rep. Wilson disgraced his country, his state and his family tonight. The Joint Session of Congress was not the place to call the President a liar. I was absolutely disgusted.

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. jj

    Rep. Joe Wilson who is a former Colonel should be ashamed of himself for disrespecting the President, how could he like it if i did that to him.
    i call upon him to resign.

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. Jay

    I want Republicans to keep acting like shows how out of touch and wacky they are.

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  4. wakeupamerica

    What a poor example Rep. Joe Wilson is as a member of the House! He needs to not only apologize to President Obama but to the American people. He is a pig. I believe their is room for cordial political discourse but there needs to be civility to the President, especially when you hold an elected office. The Republicans have completely spun out of control – vote him and Boehner and Cantor and all the jerks out. They're not doing anything to move this country forward.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Rick from Bowie

    Reprehensible act and an apology will not suffice. I'm donating money to any challenger for this clown's seat. Worthless pig.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. K. Cavanaugh

    The hypocrisy of the extreme right wing knows no bounds. Can you imagine their reaction if a Democrat had heckled President Bush in such a fashion? And I don't remember any Democrat pulling their kids out of school when President Bush visited. They have sunk so low that they are incapable of civil debate. It's time for the level heads to take back control of the Republican party and civility to return to our political forums.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. Louis

    Joe Wilson is a shameful human being who has no place in our country as an elected official! His racist attitude showed for all the world to see. Yes, RACIST!! Because there is NO WAY - whether the President was a democrat or a republican would this IDIOT have blatantly disrespected the Office if the President was white! No way!!

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Too late! What he did was beyond the beyonds!!

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. azdem

    needs to apoligize in public.

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. Carol

    I do not accept his aplogy..
    I was a citizen watching and saw him disrespect my President.
    He needs consequences for his actions.

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. paul

    What can you expect out of the a Southern Republican. These southern Republicans are slowly but surely destroying the fabric of our great Democracy. They are a cancer on the body politic.

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Mr. Wilson should be chastised for his outburst. America gives everyone the freedom to disagree, but does not condone uncivil outbursts such as the world witnessed. Whether anyone agrees or disagrees, likes or dislikes the President, they should, at the very least, respect the office. I give Mr. Obama thumbs up for his eloquent remarks and courage to face such barbarism.

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  13. samiam

    They have fed this fake outrage to the American people so long that they themselves don't have a clue any longer on protocol.

    Just make an ASS!! of yourself at will thats the reform republicans are pushing total anacrchy. And we want to push our democracy around the world.... HA!!

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. Justin

    What's said is said. No taking it back, and now we have a better understanding of the true nature, and insensitivity, of the GOP. I don't care who you are; you do NOT treat the President of the United States of America with this kind of dis-respect. Not called for, and not appreciated. You don't like how we run things here? Find another country, my friend.

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. pam

    this shows how stupid joe wilson is. he is a disgrace to the people who elected him to represent them, america and the G O P.

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. JIlly in SC

    As a resident of the "RED" state of South Carolina. I am a Poud to say I never vote for the Republicans. I am usually horrified by the "back woods antics" of this State, but Mr. Wilson, you should be ashamed.
    Who heckles the President of the United States? What a disgrace to your party and to our State.

    On behalf of all residents of the State of South Carolina, I am sorry for Mr. Wilsons' antics. This is a direct result of his Education in this State, which last I read was 48th out of 50

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. fred

    Good, he should, and he should be ashamed of himself. I'm no Democrat, but that was out of line~

    September 9, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  18. steve

    Rep Joe wilson (R) is a disgrace to the nation.
    He demonstrated how low the republican party has sunk.
    You would be remembered as the RACIST poster boy of your party.

    September 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |

    Rep Joe Wilson's apology was proabably encrouaged by his senior republicans. I do not think that he meant it sincerely and that it was only empty words. His attitude is just typical of the Republican party and right wingers who has no respect for this president, simply because of the color of his skin.

    September 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Jide

    Fire !!! Aim !!! Ready !!! He just tarnished his reputation.Sure got himself in the history books..Way to go !!!!..

    September 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. Gwendolyn

    The tone of disrespect was set yesterday by the Republicans that claimed the President's speech to the children was socialism. The Department of Education owes the President, the students and the parents an apology for the blatant disrepect of the President by not showing the speech yesterday. When the President speaks, everyone should listen. This is out of respect for his position, title and that he is the Commander in Charge. Rep. Wilson should be removed from his position. There is no excuse for his behavior. I have never heard of anything like this in my life. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, President Obama is your President. We should have a zero tolerance for disrespecting our President. Never in history has a President speech to children have to be sensored. Do not confused your rights as an opportunity to be disrespectful to our leader (President Obama).

    September 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  22. CTGIRL

    I am happy he got through to Rahm. I can only imagine how many meffers Rahm shared with him during that conversation.

    September 9, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Stephani

    Called the White House? Noooo not good enough. He should be made to apologize in front of everyone he offended – and that's most of the American Public.

    September 9, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. riceroni

    It's the least he can do, it was downright despicable and disrespectful.

    September 9, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  25. Lynne

    CNN has reported over and over again that none of the bills proposed will cover health insurance for illegal immigrants. The point is not just that Wilson was disrespectful but that he was inaccurate as well. I hope CNN will interview him and press him on this point as well.

    An elected official who is so disrespectful and lacking in any class is only apologizing because of the outrage he is receiving not for any wrong he thinks he has committed. this is the type of attitude the Republicans are bringing out in people and preventing factual, rational debate.

    September 9, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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