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. David Doney

    I always enjoy it when the Republicans embarrass themselves. The long look on their faces was priceless, when Obama reminded them about their $1 trillion dollar deficits he inherited and the fact that covering everyone costs far less than the Bush tax cuts or Iraq War.

    We have some tough decisions to make about priorities and to me cutting defense to pay for universal coverage until we figure out the best way to ration is a win.

    P.S. What a tremendous job President Obama did! I'm proud he's my President!

    September 10, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Tony in Dallas

    It's so unfortunate that we allow our lack of dicipline to show even in the public places and against our leaders. Ironically, such an unexcuseable act is coming from our so-called elected leaders themselves, what a shame, there will be no justification for him not to resign from his job as a congressman, because he did not only show how uncultured he is, he has also shown the world how disrespectful he is to the office of the President of the United States of America in the presence of the entire world. This is medicine after death, your so-called apology is not needed and its therefore not wanted and if its not wanted then its not accepted. Please keep it and probably go meet with the likes of Palin, Rush, Dick, Rick Perry and a host of your likes and form your planet of rudeness and lies.

    September 10, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. JacklynD

    Obama can accept his apology but his presence in the house is unacceptable. I am so sick of these losers treating our political system like a carpetbagger's smorgasbord. Thank heavens that other "family values" creep Mike Duvall had the decency to resign after being caught on tape discussing spanking a married energy lobbyist.

    We deserve better from our representatives. Ron Miller, Wilson's Democratic opponent is a 13 year veteran of the USMC and has the "right stuff". He served our country in that hell hole of Fallujah. You bet he deserves our support and we can benefit from his insight. I donated a little money to his campaign immediately after Obama's speech.

    Just because Wilson is not from my state doesn't mean that his views don't affect me. They do. He gets to make critical decisions about national issues. He is not qualified and does not have the moral fiber to represent our great country.

    September 10, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Betty

    Obama is a good man and stands on integrity and principal.

    September 10, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. irishkid

    There is no excuse for Wilson's behavior. As Republican I support President's effort without public option.

    September 10, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. rta

    mr. president you are gracious to accept an apology. but to me it is not enough for joe wilson, and john boehner to continue to couch the apology as something was right. just like glenn beck ought to be censure, so should john boehner and joe wilson. i work in a school and if a student had done that to the principal or ceo, that student would be suspended and or expelled. same thing needs to occur with glenn beck for calling the president a racist, sarah palin for race baiting, john boehner for is disgrace republican leadership and joe wilson for his so called spontaneous outburst. enough already, make them suffer the consequences of their actions since they are being civil.

    September 10, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Real big of the President. Too bad a lot of liberals don't act the same!

    September 10, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    A kind and gracious response to a boorish and juvenile outburst. Look forward to the right wingers criticizing the President for accepting Liar Wilson's half-hearted, face saving apology.

    September 10, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. KJ

    The one thing I do not see a focus on is the fact Mr. Wilson's facts were wrong and inaccurate. Maybe it was a spur of themoment mistake, but his comment was a perfect example of the scare tatics that the President talked about.

    I would like to see him admit his facts were wrong!

    September 10, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. JENNY

    It's good to forgive someone and except the apology as our president did, we all make mistakes. But we must think about what we say before we say something bad to maybe hurt someone. Exercise SELF-CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out your motives.

    September 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. xcusme

    Of course the President would accept his week apology. He is a grown man accepting of a child's behavior. But this will go down in history. His name will forever be attached to stupidity.

    Stupid for 200 Alex... Who is the congressman that called the President a liar. Who is Joe Wilson.

    What a way to be remembered

    September 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. bess

    let's hope that "civil discussion" gets started soon... and this time Republican's are invited and their long prepared proposals are listened too rather than ignored or lied about by the media that they don't even exist.

    September 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. LISA

    They can't help theirselves Mr. President. Ignorance is in their blood.
    You did the right thing by ignoring his childish butt! He's only sorry because he looked stupid and got bad publicity. You wonder why these children today act like they do. Just check out the role models.
    GOOD SPEECH MR. PRESIDENT!

    September 10, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. MD

    President Obama did exactly what I expect a man with his class and stature would do. However, the disrespectful behavior is completely out of control. All I can say is, folks need to calm down. Anything more than words will not fly... This isn't the 1950's or 60's.

    September 10, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Soaponarope

    I don't know about everyone else, but when I am being yelled at it is difficult to listen to what people are saying. Some of these politicians need a lesson on communication skills and even if Wilson is considered a decent guy he can sure use these lessons.

    September 10, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. IndyVoter

    Good. They should go out for a beer!....President Obama is what you call a true Statesman.

    September 10, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. NH Independent

    Of course he accepts it...........because there was just cause for saying it

    September 10, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    Boehner – YOU LIE!!!

    Thank you President Obama – after all, it was not that big of a deal anyway!!!

    September 10, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Iqbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal

    WELCOME to Pakistan!!!!

    behaviors like these and in fact more than this the ones displayed in the townhalls by :vested interests" remind me that US is no longer the most advanced and "literate" country in the world!!!!

    Thanks again to Tea Party Party Expresses , Freedom "works", Sarah Palin – I feel very gooooooooooooooooooooooood that you LOST the right to look downwards to countrres like Iran and Pakistan etc...

    September 10, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. PA Voter

    Always the gentlman, but Wilson made a jack8&& of himself. And Boehner should be ashamed for defending the action as just "emotional". Shameful, shameful, shameful. They don't give two hoots about any of us.

    September 10, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Allen

    Mr. Wilson doesn't need to say he's sorry! Mr. Wilson is right, about obama lying about the fact that illegal people in this country will get FREE healthcare services, at the expense of legal US taxpayers. Taxpayers be prepared to shell out more of your hard earned money, so you can pay for a illegal people that shows up at our hospitals for FREE medical services. Until this country fills in the loophole, that these people are allowed to use. Nothing going to change........

    September 10, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Alfred E. Neumann

    Joe Wilson a "decent guy" – translation: two sandwiches short of a picnic.

    September 10, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. bin lande

    speaking of last night, I think the president has much to prove. but first, let's not reveal too much to embarrase anyone because it will come back in three folds instantly. I will make that happen. go..
    done.

    September 10, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Leonard

    The Republicans are disrepestful people. There is a time and place for that and last night was not the place. I am very disappointed with their actions. Sen Wilson should be fined and reprimanded by Congress

    This is the United States Congress not the British Parliment act like it peoeple. Republicans say America is different and do things diffferent than other countries. LOL. What happen last night?

    You can disagree but there is a time and place for eveything. We are a civilized nation. For the love of GOD please stop acting like Barbarians

    September 10, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. WhoCares?

    Of course "The Bronzed One" would say that.

    Nothing BUT vitriol runs through Boehner's veins.

    September 10, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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