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. kim

    I thought the speech dispelled the untruths regarding health-care reform such as government sponsored abortions and life or death decisions regarding senior citizens. I thought the President also presented accurate parallels with the social security act and medicare initiatives . It amazes me that we Americans have such short memories. Would the average American today want to give up their social security benefits or medicare? Having said all that, it dosen't matter what the President said or did not say. Some people will not be receptive to anything President Obama says because their political party is not in the White House. I am glad that our President is a leader with thick skin! The media coverage of who likes or dislikes the President does not help the situation either. The constant media coverage of the backward, uneducated, and bigoted remarks just adds fuel to the fodder. Isn't it great to be an American!

    September 9, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  2. Sam Bullit

    That was the most disgraceful and disrespectful action I have ever seen an American Congressman make to a President of the United States of America. Being an independant I willfully listen to both sides of any political argument but that single action by South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson was disgraceful and disrespectful not only to the President but to all Americans. I now truly believe the Republican party is far out of touch with what is best for America and any plans for its future greatness, and that the Republican party is an obstacle to America's success.

    September 9, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  3. ShiWms n Phx AZ

    Hmmm. mr lost your good n few senses for just a second...but you know whos in CHARGE. GO DEMOCRATS. Relugs have showed their asses long enough...of the bs...

    September 9, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. Lynn

    It is never ever OK for an elected official to disrespect the POTUS in this way during a speech televised around the world. It makes us look like a nation without honor, dignity, or respect. An apology phoned in to the Chief of Staff does not make up for embarrassing the nation the way Rep. Wilson did tonight.

    I am not very political. I am, however, deeply saddened by the lack of respect for this President. There is no patriotism in that no matter how you spin it.

    September 9, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  5. kman821

    Well, at least those morons who ruined so many town hall meetings across the country with their ignorant and often hate-filled rants were well-represented by the equaly ignorant Rep. Joe Wilson. Nice work Joe ... I'm sure your family is very proud of you!!

    September 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Tom

    I could not be more offended by anything than seeing Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi sitting in front of that flag.

    September 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  7. Vickie Voukidis

    Rep. Joe Wilson's disrespectful outburst represents the lowest display of conduct toward a President of the United States ever displayed. He should be ashamed of himself and the people of the State of South Carolina should be outraged and call for his resignation.

    Clearly, Mr. Wilson lacks the "character" of a true American that President Obama spoke of.

    Shame on Wilson and every Republican who shares his bullying, intimidation and scare tactics!

    September 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  8. Susan

    Evidently Wilson can't disagree without being disagreeable. When every network called him on HIS lie, then he decided to call and apologize. He really should get on TV and apologize for all the lies being told by his party.
    Only then will this get done.

    September 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. Pam

    He shouted "you lie" on national tv, he need to apologize on national tv.

    September 9, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. American

    This shows the hate some americans have for the first Black President. This would not have been as bad if it were just some Joe Blow off the street. It was an elected official. If nothing else he could have respected the the position of the Presidency even if he did not like the man.

    CNN needs to call the republicans on the Hate they express for what it is and not gloss it over. Racism is at the core of all this noise going on.

    September 9, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. liz

    In a socialist government he would not be heard from again... thank GOD for america and for the rights and freedoms our president has been sworn to defend and protext.

    September 9, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. Just mad because they lost

    Republicans once again, doing things without thinking.

    September 9, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  13. DeminUtah

    This guys a disgrace, if South Carolinian's don't vote him out of office, their completely retarded.

    September 9, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  14. Shavon

    This just shows how divided the government is and how much disrespect the members have for Obama. People are so uncomfortable with change and Obama is unprecedented change.

    September 9, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. Nick

    who choose this Wilson nuts to house of rep??.....i think its time to throw every republicans out from Washington in order to move forward, these party of NO cant do anything or let some one else do anything and want it to run like they been running since last 8 yrs.....

    September 9, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  16. vote him out

    Looser looser you dont represent this country with your ignorant outburste and dont tell us you got carried away as you were already carried away with the bible thumpers/you not only dont represent this country you also fail the world.
    You just showed us what you are a looser.

    September 9, 2009 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. Monique August

    Disgusting abuse of position. Joe Wilson needs to watchout. Someone is already digging in your personal closet for that one.

    September 9, 2009 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  18. Richard Green


    The ultimate demonstration of disrespect, contempt and possibly hatred.

    Even as Bush and his mob led us into an unjust war, not a single democrat stood and called the president a liar before a global audience.

    September 9, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. Lenny, Dallas

    Rep Wilson exemplified everything that is wrong with the Republican Party and is unfit to be a member of the House of Representatives. One would expect behavior like this from a teenager and not someone who is paid a $174,000 by taxpayers each year to write the nations laws.

    Behavior like this makes many democrats take the view that this has nothing to do with policy formulation and everything to do with racism. Even though I would not call Rep Wilson a racist, it is safe to say his first exposure to the national limelight was ugly and limits the credibility of his party.

    September 9, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  20. Otto

    I guess it's only a matter of time before the Repubs start throwing shoes at him. How much lower can the go?

    September 9, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. Ronald Barr

    That guy is a raciest.President Obama could have walked on water he would say there is no water send him back where he came from.

    September 9, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. Shame on Republicans!

    What a disrespecftul and disgraceful excuse for a scumbag.

    September 9, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. historian

    Joe Wilson should be suspended from office and be required to attend anger management training before returning to office. Apparently he lacks education and self-control. This man is crude, shameful and an embarrassment to the American people!

    September 10, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. Republicans are the American Taliban

    I'm sorry for yellin FIRE!!!

    September 10, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  25. Douglas Evans

    He should be reprimanded and disciplined by the President and Congress for his disrespectful and obnoxious behavior.

    September 10, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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