September 15th, 2009
01:15 PM ET
9 years ago

House Democrat rejects effort to punish Wilson

Rep. Paul Hodes rejects effort to punish Wilson.

Rep. Paul Hodes rejects effort to punish Wilson.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - At least one Democrat is rejecting efforts by House leadership to punish Rep. Joe Wilson for his controversial outburst on the House floor last week.

New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes, who is also running for Senate in 2010, said Tuesday that he will not support the "resolution of disapproval" against Wilson, which is scheduled to be voted on later today.

While Hodes called Wilson's actions "reckless and disrespectful," he said in a statement that "the focus on his outburst has served as a distraction to the larger goal of providing affordable, portable, high quality health care to every family."

"In my judgment, it's time to move on and I do not support this resolution," Hodes said. "We should not allow Mr. Wilson's reckless conduct to overshadow the need to work together to craft a strong health care reform measure that gives Americans lower costs, more choice, and real control in a fiscally responsible fashion."

Filed under: Joe Wilson • Paul Hodes
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. K

    The problem with just ignoring the actions of Wilson is that it puts a tacit stamp of approval on that sort of behavior. While it is good that Wilson apologized to Obama, he still owes an apology to the House since his actions were a reflection on them and an insult to them. He should not be behaving like a 5 year old in a schoolyard brawl. Wilson needs censure.

    September 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Ashley

    Finally...a Democrat with some sense!

    September 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    Good. As reprehensible as Wilson's "outburst" was, he already has apologized and it has been accepted by the person he insulted. All the democratic leadership is doing is jumping on the bandwagon and wasting time and energy better suited to constructive efforts. This smells too much like the type of retributive effort republicans would employ.

    September 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. idiots

    So we can expect these out-burst everytime the president speaks.
    (because he is black) so he will not get respect. Is that what i see.
    What do you want to start a war here, I don't think so.

    September 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. diridi

    Joe Wilson is another Mark care for????

    September 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. bern

    With all due respect, it seem to me that Rep. Paul Hodes needs to grow a pair.

    What happens the next time some idiot does a Wilson? It is not a distraction to make Wilson abide by the same rules as every other member of the House.

    September 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    Mr Hodes,

    I have made three donations since his outburst: 1) to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC); 2) to the Democratic National Committee (DNC); and, 3) to Rob Miller, Joe "The Heckler" Wilson's Democratic opponent.

    You should also know that Rob Miller has received over $1 million in contributions since Wilson's outburst.

    "In a matter of seconds Joe Wilson [R-SC] turned himself from a safe incumbent into one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country for 2010," Dean Debnam, Public Policy Polling's president, said. Wilson now has the backing of 43% of voters in his congressional district; MILLER IS SUPPORTED BY 44%.

    Look at the bigger picture, more Democrats in Congress is exactly what we need to ensure that we get more than real health care reform!

    Regardless, Joe “The Heckler” Wilson is a national disgrace, and his failure to apologize to the Congress has to be denounced publicly.

    September 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Obama Believer

    After all that we as a country have been through,it saddens me to see that weare still the same hippocritcal country that targets terror in the first place. I can`t believe a Senator is allowed to call our president a liar on the house floor and then to add salt to the wound say he feels that his informal apology "should be enough" and get away with it. It shows that there was no sincerity or respect for President Obama! I feel that everybody who will no longer benefit from the screw ups that created this mess the President now has to clean up are now upset that he stood up and is doing an exceptional job! Disrespecting our President in such a manner is unexceptable and Senator Wilson should have to take responsibilty for his actions!

    September 15, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Independent

    I have voted for a repub governor in the past but I can't see ever voting for a repub again.....If I don't like the Independent or Demo Candidate I simply will not vote at all

    September 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Matt Shine

    As a Democrat who didn't like Rep Wilson's comment anymore than my fellow Democrat's, I'm glad that one has formally stepped forward to try and shut this farce down. It's a major distration, looks petty, and will ultimately accomplish nothing. Wilson apologized, Obama accepted, it's best to move on.

    September 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Lotta Muni

    I agree. Wilson has apologized, the press covered it and Obama accepted the apology. Why beat the issue to death? If Wilson is rebuked, every senator should likewise be rebuked by Congress for any negative comments they have made publicly about any of their colleagues.

    September 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Birthers, deathers, now yellers? What’s next? Sleepers? Seriously, let’s just forgot the ignorance of Mr. Wilson and move on. With all the conservatives just throwing money at him, end discussion of censure and just hang a sign that says, “Don’t Feed the Animals”.

    September 15, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. andy

    Wilson said it in the wrong place. What he said was true, just wrong time and place. All this hoopla is nothing but trying to get the heat off their fradulent healthcare package.

    September 15, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. shoegazer

    I say put Wilson in the octagon with Pelosi.Then we'll see him crying out for health care reform because he'll need it.

    September 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Johnny DC

    How about the American public's resolution of disapproval (in every poll taken during the last year) that the Democrat-dominated Congress has thusfar been a monumental failure?

    Enough "resolutions". Do something productive, Democrats, or stop wasting our time and do nothing. Doing nothing is better than these dumb "pats on the shoulder" and "slaps on the backside" resolutions.

    September 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Doug, New Jersey

    Yeah, punish Wilson for telling the truth, that's what you would expect from the dishonest lie everytime liberal Democrats. Just as a plant needs water to survive one needs hypocrasy and lies to be a Democrat, explains why the libs who never apologized to Bush for their booing and cursing during his 05 SOTU speech are foaming at the mouth over Joe Wilson who told the truth and even apologized to Obama, just to show he is no Democrat, since not a single Democrat in America has ever once admitted they were wrong or apologized for anything. These days, once a person tells the truth, shows humility, or shows the ability to have true compassion for someone else without an alt. motive, they are called racists and are clearly not a Democrat.

    Just as they have re-defined liberal to mean the most evil person on this planet that is consumed with raw hate-filled narcisissm and the inablility to ever tell the truth, the Democrats have now defined racist to mean, Reacting Against Chicago-thugary Insane Socialistic Tyrany.

    September 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Mike

    Classy guy.

    September 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. BrightenedBoy

    I think it's ridiculous that the Democrats are trying to persecute this man for something of such little consequence. It was disrespectful and in poor taste, yes, but certainly not inconsistent with the Congressman's right to free speech or with the antics of the Democrats during some of former President Bush's addresses.

    As a Democrat, I am disgusted by this partisan melodrama and feel that everyone involved should just move on.

    Why do they waste so much time doing things like this?

    September 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Kitchen Police

    Wilson broke the rules of the chamber! He should be rebuked for his actions. And besides, we can't fix stupid.

    September 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. A.B.

    I am in total agreement with Rep Hodes, although I sympathize with the Congressional Black Caucus and other Democratic members of Congress that Wilson should be reprimanded for his outrageous conduct. Congress should not make Joe Wilson the focus of its attention and action, but should move on and focus on passing H.R. 3200 w/the public option and reforming our nation's health insurance system. Mr. Wilson is irrelevant to this issue and is only a distraction from what members of Congress should be doing right now. Too much is at stake and we cannot afford to lose focus. We must work on getting healthcare for millions of uninsured and underinsured people. DON'T LET JOE WILSON STAND IN THE WAY!! HEALTHCARE REFORM NOW!!

    September 15, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Democrats, you have GOT to stop this. Stop talking against your own party. Its time to show some solidarity, not bicker amongst each other like children.

    September 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. David in Ohio

    I have to chuckle at the die-hard righties who continue to perpetuate this ridiculous myth that, somehow, Wilson was "correct" and that Obama was indeed the "liar" on the subject of illegal immigrants being covered.

    What part of this do they NOT understand?:

    "The House bill contains a section (Sec. 246) titled "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS," which states: 'Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.'"

    Then again, in the delusional world of the modern Republican Party, I suppose if a bill didn't explicitly mention that "elephants *might* fall from the sky" if health care reform is passed...they'd be calling the President a "liar" if he stated otherwise.

    September 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Hopey Changey Guy

    Can anyone tell me the reason why Democrats will not allow the American People to shop for Health Care in other states? This level of competition alone would drop Health Care costs and improve the quality of health care significantly and immediately. It would not cost the taxpayers a real dime, not the pretend dime or nickel the President keeps spouting off about. Why can't they write a four page bill that allows for this competition, and use some of the unspent "stimulous" package money to cover the 30-49 million uncovered citizens now with an expansion of medicaid and medicare? Hell, just combine medicaid and medicare into one government plan which would also cover the uninsured and the 30 million illegal aliens. Yes, I said, cover the illegals, we are already paying for them, and they will still be covered by medicaid after the health care "reform" bill passes anyway. Is it because congress is so bought and paid for by special interests including the health care industry, and the unions, that they don't want to derail their money train?

    September 15, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Audrey

    If the Congress rules require a censure or a rebuke, then follow the rules. The Democrats should show that they are following the Rules of Congress and proceed accordingly. Just because the Republicans are hollering (sort of normal for them) just enforces my belief that the Dems are on the right track. I've just figured out that when Mr. Obama makes a great speech the Republicans always throw in a distraction so all of the press is focused on the distraction and not the President's speech. It reminds me of the speech when Mr. Obama accepted the Democratic nomination – it was good and the Republicans knew it was good – so how did they counteract that speech – Sarah Palin!

    September 15, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. Gus The Willie

    All well put but the stupid white men in Washington will continue to gnaw on this bone for awhile yet. The outcome wouldn't matter one way or another. The sad part will be we will still be limbo with the revamping of our health care system.

    September 15, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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