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. donttreadonme

    Maybe he should apologies for saying that the Repubs lie! He said it clear as day just before Wilson shot it back at him!

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. willard bullock

    i dont understand why people or obama blamed on bush that bush are keep liar but i am belived that bush are better than obama against terroist i am sick of musilims peosipo reid and obama will not great i am belived that repubican is better than democart im belived that wilson are right now than obama obama like talk lie other untied states about health care

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Superpower

    Sgt. Crowley is still waiting for his public apology, Mr. President.

    September 10, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Mikey P. from L.A.

    OK, let's be honest here for a second. If Obama was a Republican (and white) and Wilson was a Democrat who shouted that. The Republican party would be all up in arms and demonizing him & calling him Un American!

    This shows a lot about this administration's charterer and shows how the Republics, well just can't handle the change in America.

    September 10, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Ray

    Finally, a decent, magnanimous guy in the Oval Office who knows how to play politics like an adult, not a kid on the playground who's angry because he can't get on the see-saw.

    Time and again, Obama proves he has more class than his detractors.

    September 10, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Nicole, NJ

    I find in quite interesting that although people didn't quite care for President Bush (W), I don't ever recall anyone heckling him in the hallowed halls of Congress (Dem or Repub) during a speech. Whether or not the man holding the title deserved respect, the title itself certainly does, therefore, whomever is holding the title POTUS, deserves respect.
    I found Rep. Wilson's comments tasteless, immature and above all completely disrespectful. I also believe the apology should be given in the same forum as the offense...in public and televised.

    September 10, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. kfc

    The President is a true Christian to forgive his enemies. However, I'm not there yet. Wilson should be made to apologize on the floor during prime time tv. No one should disrespect the Office of the President! That goes for Rep or Dem. He owes the people an apology since WE the people determine who holds this office.

    September 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Emma

    Boehner go back under your rock. Stop trying to justify what Republican Rep. Wilson said. He is an insult to your party and he owes not only the President an apology, he owes every American an apology for his actions in the Chamber last night. There is protocol and accepted decorum and he did not represent himself nor his constituents very well last night.

    He is a role model and I hope our school children does not think that it is okay to call their teacher nor their principal a liar when they disagree with a policy.

    You should write a public apology to all Americans and openly state that this is not the way a Member of Congress should operate which there are policy differences.

    I know you will never do this because you resent a Black man beating you at your game which you have controlled for centuries. Out with the old guard and in with new free thinkers and compromisers!

    September 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Deb (long island)

    Minority Leader John Boehner sat bored and disgusted during the entire Presidential speech. Everytime the camera panned his area Eric Cantor was texting and John Boehner was bored. They both showed zero emotion.

    September 10, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Expat American

    The President has intelligence and class.

    Redneck beer swiller Wilson...not so much.

    September 10, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Elizabeth in Texas

    "but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner."

    Ah, as long as emotions are not based on facts? Obama was not lying. The bill cannot cover illegals just like Medicaid cannot cover them.

    Educate yourself, America!

    September 10, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. blair

    we do not need to apologize any more for telling the truth. He obama needs to apologize to the people of the United States for "his lies".

    September 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. bill murray

    your poll results are terrible. You polled 45% dems and 18% repbs. How one sided. Another reason not to watch or read CNN, So you may ask why I post b/c this came from Drudge.

    By the way did they apologize when the dems booed bush. Hey no tit for tat but please bring that up. The kenyan needs to apologize to me for breathing the same air I do.

    September 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Confused

    Wilson should be through out! He should step down immediately!

    September 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Confused

    Wilson should be thrown out! He should step down immediately!

    September 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    He's the president, so he's right to take the high ground.

    But Wilson double swears that the outburst was spontaneous and not at all staged, and I believe that like I believe David Vitter (R-LA), John Ensign (R-NV), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), and Mike Duvall (R-CA) when they proclaim to their voters that they are paragons of family values.

    Just like Republican politicians who wear phony "Family Values" badges to weasel up votes from so-called "values" voters, this outburst was most likely staged by the reckless Republican leadership to whip up their ignorant base and trick them into unwittingly fighting for the corporate profits of insurance companies, which have finally caused so much waste and abuse that they're breaking our health care system.

    Too bad the gambit backfired, for the insurance companies…

    September 10, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Ren from Baltimore

    Rep Boehner,

    Please do not presume to speak for the Republican party, and please, please, please do not try to lecture anyone on civil discourse or emotions.

    Your stated position has been to bring down the President of the United States, using much-needed health care reform, and that is the bed in which you now lie.

    Your trying to work peoples' emotional involvment in the future of their health care into your weak political scheme has caught up with you. You are not a person to be trusted. Period.

    September 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. Slider

    Now, where's the President's apology for calling Palin and the vast number of critics who have actually read H.R. 3200, a liar?

    We'll be waiting...

    September 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Eric

    Nothing to apologize for, Obama is clearly a liar. Does anyone really believe we're going to pay for this health plan with money we're already wasting on medicare? This is a farce, tell the truth. Does anyone really believe "nobody" will have to change their insurance? What about people who not currently carry what the goverment ( Obama " considers "basic" health care? Will they not be required to upgrade and/or perhaps change. Its a lie. Does anyone really believe the goverment can make fundemental changes to health insurance without actually fundementally changing your health insurance?

    and regarding illegals, we're already paying for them- is Obama saying we're going to stop?

    September 10, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. franc

    Great job President Obama." People want to fight with a tiger have to be patient"

    September 10, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    ""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. "

    Yeah, I'd be sore too if the current administration and Congressional makeup represented a huge downfall for my party and it seemed as though they were going to get something done that would help millions and millions of Americans, thus worsening my party's political viability. In fact, I'd be so pi–ed that I'd be willing to make up lies and disseminate them very loudly to as many people as possible so that the general populace wouldn't be making decisions based on the facts and evidence, but rather fear generated by misinformation.

    September 10, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. PaulC

    Mr. Wilson is a poster child for the rigid right who will stop at nothing to bring Obama down regardless of the cost.
    The emotion being displayed is orchestrated by the Republicans and funded by the health care insurance companies. They know that if Obama can get a health care bill passed that will certainly be a plus in his reelection.

    September 10, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Mama Hawk

    Passion runs high among those of us who do not believe the government can decide for us better than we can decide for ourselves. It is unbelievable that today's leaders have moved so far from where this country was founded. There is an uprising of people who have never spoken out before; it now has come to a time when it is necessary to band together, although as independent thinkers this has never been the "norm" for us. There will be more "emotional outbursts" as this socialist/marxist regime continues to try and force us into submission. Hurray for Mr. Wilson! Keep up the good work, and keep the passion building. We need more with your spirit!

    September 10, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. RLE

    That's because our President exhudes pure class unlike Wilson who exhuded uncivility and disrepect and regardless of your point of view there is no excuse Boehner and the rugs know that!!

    September 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Danny

    Now that's how a person show dignity and grace. Republicans badly need a lesson in manners and class. Bravo Mr. President!

    September 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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