September 9th, 2009
10:53 PM ET
5 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. Mike

    Joe Wilson should apologise to the american people for wasting our time. If the republicans want to be part of the solution they must stop this disrespectful atomosphere and get to work. If I did what they did at my job I would be fired immedeately. Guess what, keep it up and you will lose more seats and then there will be no balance in the house or senate.

    September 9, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Becky in Ohio

    I would LOVE to hear all that Rahm had to say.

    September 9, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. E Evans

    Well, isn't that nice? A US Congressman calling the the President of the United States a liar during a joint session of Congress needs to do a lot more than apologize. This would be disgraceful behavior from a 15-year old. I wonder what the Republicans would have said if a Democrat did a similar thing when Bush repeatedly lied to the American people about the war in Iraq.

    September 9, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  4. Len (Colorado)

    The apology is not acceptable. The bill is very clear that illegal immigrants will not be covered. Rep. Wilson direspected President Obama and the Office of the Presidency. He should be removed from office. He is the Liar and unamerican.

    September 9, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  5. New Democrat

    disrespectful....to the floor...cant this idiot read to know that the plan does not cover illegal immigrants....I believe the people who oppose this plan did not or cannot read....thats make them white gop ...another name for idiots....a disgrace to tax payers.

    September 9, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  6. Joel Weymouth

    It may have been bad manners, but it is simply the way that things are going and what many Americans are thinking. I think the time of politeness has long been over: the radical left did away with it over 20 years ago under Reagan. It will get violent before this is over: and maybe that is good. The left and right/Free Market and Socialism/Conservatism and Liberalism are diametrically opposing beliefs: how can they peacefully coexist?

    September 9, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. DEBBInola

    Was a great speech and he made what he wanted very clear, and checked the lies being said, by SARAH PALIN and others..
    Love the idea of requiring everyone to have the insurance, just like car insurance we must all have ..
    Competition too, hopefully that will make all our insurance companies drop, its getting crazy.
    The S.C. REPUBLICAN Joe Wilson I believe, that screeched and heckled the President of the United States stunned me, was very disrespectful, and showed the maturity level of some on that side. Where did he think he was, I would be very embarrassed if he was from our area?
    The republican response, a Louisianian, and although he and I have different ideals/politics, he did very well and didn't embarrass us as Jindal did when he tried awhile ago....

    September 9, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. TKW-New Mexico

    I am really sick of these Republican fools in Congress! SICK, SICK AND MORE SICK! They don't have any ideas, but they want to criticize the people who do have ideas. They have plenty of time to come up with a plan and where is it? I haven't heard anything constructive but lies and slander. At least the democrats are trying to make life better for American families. This outburst was another example of why the Republican clowns lost so badly in November 2008! That was so disrespectful. Even if you don't agree with the President, respect his position!

    September 9, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  9. nelda castaneda

    Rep. Joe Wilson is a disgrace to his people and he obviously does not have respect for the highest public office in America. He probably detests the idea of having an African American president and hate just comes out of him. It is shameful that we still live in a country that hasn't progressed as much as people "pretend" it has.

    He should fear God's judgement.

    September 9, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. Chin-Tai Kim

    Joe Wilson defamed his party and his country. President Obama's speech shamed him so, he responded with his desperate wish that Obama was lying. Do Republicans ever worry about how they and their country are being perceived around the world? Foreigners must view the US as a country divided into racist lunatics and a coalition of diverse progressive people who because of their gentility are in danger of being defeated.

    September 9, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. randy

    i was really mad at this congress man, is he calling obama a liar in what ground obama was saying the truth.

    September 9, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  12. coco

    Never heard of Rep. Joe Wilson before, but I never will forget him and not in a good way! Glad he apologized, but that doesn't erase the so inappropriate heckling. That's what he will be remembered for. He will also remind all of the white fans some other innappropriate people were using!

    September 9, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. Matt T

    is this what the republicans want to be known as? people whom make statements that arent true? and disrupt the speech? i hope they get voted out. I only wish the Chief of Staff hung up on him.

    September 9, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. nick in SF

    Rahm is a better man than me. Now he has to say he is sorry to Rush for saying that he was sorry to the president. They really need help.

    September 9, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  15. kravitz

    I think the real problem is Wilson just confirmed all the nutty things people are saying about the republicans are indeed true.

    September 9, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  16. seanm

    He should resign. He's a disgrace!

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. justsane

    he needs to apologize to all americans.

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  18. Melinda

    This is the ugliness that the Republican party has come to represent. And to think how many times they called someone un-American for just disagreeing with President Bush's policies.

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  19. Wes

    MOB mentality in the capital building is unacceptable. If he wants to be that way he should take it out into the streets with the rest of the uninformed. South Carolina should be very embarrassed by who is running their state and should not vote for him in any future elections.

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  20. Deep South Independent

    What is wrong with the Republicans from SC (and other parts of the South)?!! It may play well with your base, but that's it, you're disgraceful and embarassing to everyone else in the country. Not the way to be taken seriously- you can share ideas, even disagree but always be respectful, or no one will pay you any attention.

    The GOP is becoming a sad joke, but it's not funny, I'm not laughing-

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  21. Jayden,FL

    Speaker Pelosi looked like she wanted to get up and whoop some you know what lol

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. John English

    The GOP has a solid and sane argument against some of President Obama's policies; not necessarily arguments that I am swayed by, but they are arguments and positions that I have considered and taken into account. They should stick to a civil and respectful advancement of their core arguments against big government, and a run-up of deficits, etc. Acting like hooligans and pouting like children is "talking" so loudly that it is drowning out any chance that their reasoned arguments will be heard by the very centrists like myself that they need to win over.

    September 9, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Joe Wilson was very distasteful and should have controlled his emotions. At minimum he should be fined for inappropriate behavior in a formal setting. If we allow this type of behavior to continue, others will attempt to disrespect our President. The money received from the fine should go towards decreasing the deficit. Please make an example out him.

    September 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  24. Tanner

    It's nice that he did send out an apology, however why say it if you are going to retract your statement? Be a man and stand up to what you say don't apology "IF" you believed what you said was justified.

    September 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  25. Gerry

    When Rep. Joe Wilson disgraced himself in the presence of the entire World community, he did the one thing that the President can’t do. Rep. Wilson focused and reduced the only option that the Republicans have now: get off the angry white guy bus and join the rest of us in heath care reform. Rep. Wilson has no excuse for dishonoring the Capital of our nation and should spend some time with an anger management specialist so that he will be fit for civil society.

    September 9, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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