(CNN) – A day after heckling President Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, said Thursday that he regretted the outburst, but stood by his belief that Obama had misrepresented elements of the health care bills.
"I truly had to speak out," Wilson said of his decision to shout out: "You lie!" during Obama's speech after the president proclaimed that illegal immigrants would not be covered under Democratic health care reform proposals.
"I didn't snap either, because if I'd snapped I would have kept on objecting," the congressman said. "But I didn't."
Asked if he regretted his comment, Wilson said, "Oh, yeah I wouldn't do that – I wouldn't have planned it or done it again."
Wilson said the proper way to respond to Obama's remarks would have been to hold a news conference after the address.
"People know that I am respectful of the president. I'm respectful of the office of the presidency. But I am just very passionate about the issues that I believe in and I know what was stated was inaccurate."
During the interview, Wilson described the language in two House bills crafted primarily by Democrats as "feel good wording about illegal aliens. It has no true enforcement capability, no meaning."
As to whether he should be reprimanded by his fellow House colleagues, Wilson noted that he immediately apologized. The congressman added that he didn't mean to interfere with the president's speech.
And even though he took exception with parts of Obama's speech, Wilson praised the president's closing of it.
"The conclusion of the speech was actually inspiring," he said. "As the speech went on, from my perspective, it got better."
Wilson made his comments Thursday evening during an interview with Columbia, South Carolina radio station 560 WVOC-AM.