September 10th, 2009
01:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama accepts apology

(CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.

"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."

Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."

One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.

"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.


Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. George the Democrat Obama fanatic.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The President should have stopped his speach and explained how outburst like the one Rep. Johnson did and the outbursts that take place in townhall meetings are counter productive to any discussion or debate.

    I wonder why the same people who were outraged at President Bush getting a shoe thrown at him in Iraq are not as upset about the disrespectful outburst at the Presidents speach in Congress in the United States.

    September 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Clay

    Wilson, a colonel in the Army Reserve, should immediately be retired at the rank of second lieutenant for flagrant disrespect of his commander in chief. He should also be censured by Congress and removed from all committees and positions of responsibility. Finally, he should resign. Maybe take some time and go hiking the Appalachian Trail with Sanford.

    September 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Reagan was wrong

    As long as idiots like Boehner continue to legitimize this sort of crap, the volatile GOP base will just keep getting crazier and crazier.

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Lori in St Pete

    To all of the rethugs whining that we dems called little georgie much worse names: WE aren't elected officials. WE didn't have the senate floor as a forum to televise our displeasure.

    And about Harry Reid calling little georgie a "loser": HE didn't do it from the senate floor while little georgie was addressing the nation.

    That being said, I hope the rethuglicans keep up the kindergarden antics – It'll ensure MORE dems in the house & senate in 2010 and President Obama a second term in 2012, not to mention dem victories far into the future! Keep up the good work crybabies!

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. 'RUB' THE CLOWN

    Note Boehner's appeal to emotion. That's because logic is not on his side.

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Wake Up

    Maybe Obama can also apologizing for a partisan speech, full of lies, mistruths and deception.
    Where is the 900 billion coming from???!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. T Mckinley

    "...don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling."

    Is John Boehner defending the outrageous behavior of Rep. Wilson?

    What is John Boehner thinking?

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. jackjack

    Yes, President Obama will accept your apology you slimebag.

    ...and we the People will continue to donate to your opponent ROB MILLER. (He's at almost $300,000 since last night).

    Hope your little outburst was worth it...you'll pay next year.

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Ken

    Well, given that Mr. Boehner is all so sympathetic with the 'emotional' side of arguments, I'm sure he'd have no problem with Obama inviting Wilson over to the WH to accept the apology and then cleaning Wilson's clock. [R]s, the party of FAILURE!

    September 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Tim

    Please proof before posting your articles. "Virginia Republican..." should read "South Carolina Congressman...". Note I changed party affiliation. That is not as important as that he is a CONGRESSMAN of the United States.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. katiec

    Of course President Obama accepted the apology. He is a man of honor.
    Unfortunately, the emotions Boehner is talking about consist of hate, anger, racism and perhaps the fear that they are being held accountable for their irresponsible actions.
    One would think it had to be embarressing that their unAmerican actions were exposed to the whole country. One, would think, but
    have given up trying to figure out how politicans can stoop to the
    level they have.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Lori

    I loved the way the President looked down at Wilson when he made that out burst. Obama looked at him like an annoyed father would a petulant child.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. C. Finley

    Rep. Joe Willison's is not a Virigina Republican!

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Tina

    What a joke. Obama should have to "apologize" to the congressman. His health care WILL cover illegals, they just changed the term. This is still supposed to be America. Obama gets his facts wrong and we can't call him on it? Excuse me it's supposed to be a free country.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. LacrosseMom

    President Obama, you are gracious.

    To the GOP:

    America rejected the vile politics of hate, lies, fear and division. Don't you people learn?

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. TC

    Let me be the first to say that Mr. Obama's reaction is very civilized, and a gesture we should take example of. I disagreed with Mr. Wilson's outburst, but emotions can get the better of us. We all mistakes, obviously. What matters is that we learn from them, and move on. I hope this settles this matter.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Toni - Phoenix, AZ

    It seems reasonable to expect a higher level of discourse from members of Congress. This type of behavior is distrubing on several levels. Why is the Representative that emotional? What kind of example is he setting by being so disrespectful to the president? Is that how he always conducts business? I think the citizens of the State fo South Carolina have a lot to think about today.

    September 10, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Mr. Wilson is not a Virginian Republican. Just needed to add that note since it would somehow seem even more disgraceful had that comment come from an elected official in my own state. I'm ashamed enough as it is that someone in the U.S. States government would so vehemently disrespect our President, no matter what party affiliation.....

    September 10, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Mike, FL

    The GOP congressman acted in a rude and childish manner just like some of those right wing extremist groups who show up to the town hall meetings!

    September 10, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. lxm

    Not like Pelosi hasn't called the Americans quite a few names... So Obama good call otherwise you would be calling yourself a hipocrite

    September 10, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Joe Wilson(incorrectly spelled in the article) represents the state of South Carolina. Although we have numerous idiots within the far too conservative state of Virginia, Wilson is fortunately not one of them.

    September 10, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Mike

    Wilson simply stated what millions of Americans believe. While it was a bit disrespectful, Wilson was exercising his freedom of speech and taking an opportunity to challenge the false claims of this administration (bolstered by the extremely liberal and blind main stream media).

    On a separate but much more important note, "IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID"! Isn't that what Obama platformed on? Under the false mantra of change? We have the highest unemployment rate in 26 years (and continuing to rise) and the government is wasting all of their time on an issue that isn't even at the top of the list of priorities for Americans.

    September 10, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Anybody else notice how Pelosi's face did not move during the speech. Fresh botox injection. The only way you could tell she wasn't a wax doll was her eyes blinking everytime Obama told a lie. 90 blinks per minute.

    September 10, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. republican VICTIM

    republicans just don't get it. They destroyed this country and now want to obstruct everything the President is doing to fix it.

    September 10, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. makesUwonder

    Perhaps President Obama learned a lesson from Rep. Joe Wilson and The President will now apologize to Cambridge Sgt. Jim Crowley.

    September 10, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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