October 8th, 2009
08:55 AM ET
5 years ago

Wilson becomes Republican rock star

Rep. Joe Wilson has become in demand on the GOP fundraising circuit since shouting at President Obama.
Rep. Joe Wilson has become in demand on the GOP fundraising circuit since shouting at President Obama.

(CNN) – In the days after Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at President Obama during his address to Congress last month, the South Carolina congressman reached out to several of his longtime confidantes.

A graduate of Washington and Lee University, a school with a strict honor code, and a veteran of the Army Reserves, Wilson was worried he had disappointed those close to him by showing a lack of civility.

"Joe has always operated as a gentleman, and I think for anyone to question if he was continuing to do that is something that concerned him," his friend Ed McMullen said.

But the people close to Wilson assured him that beyond apologizing for the outburst, he did not need to be ashamed for questioning the president's sincerity in the health care debate. Wilson made the outburst after Obama denied his health care plan would cover illegal immigrants, then apologized to the White House later that night.

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Filed under: Joe Wilson
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    It is indeed a sad commentary on American civilization when some people try to make a hero out of the man. This is a fine message to send to our children and grandchildren.

    Joe has declined interviews with the "mainstream media" to reach out to conservation groups and supporters. By doing this Joe has made himself a victim of "Groupthink". Only surrounding himself with idiots who believe exactly as he does and deludes himself into thinking EVERYBODY thinks he's a hero. Well he is not, and millions of people are taking great exception to the childish behavior of the Republican Party this days. If he were my child, he would be taken to the woodshed.

    October 8, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Doug, New Jersey

    When the worst people in America who have not a single ounce of decency, integrity, morals or values hates you, then you must be doing something right. I don't think Joe will lose sleep over Blago, Ward Chruchill, Van Jones, Barak Obama types wanting to inflict harm on him, the fact that such Democrats despise him shows that he is without a doubt on the side of god.

    October 8, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Sarah "death panel" palin=Osama bin ladden, they both use their influence to fuel extremism

    we will take him down soon. DC is run by us

    October 8, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. cramit

    I'm sending more money Joe . Maybe the other rebubs will wake up too.

    October 8, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Sadly, the Republican party has become, at its core, an entity that inspires and mobilizes people who are narrow-minded, angry, and racist. No wonder Joe Wilson has become a "rock star" for these people.

    October 8, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Brandon

    This guy is a joke!

    October 8, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Bananarama Victim II: Electric Boogaloo

    Being a rock star in the GOP is similar to winning Best Yard: Runner Up from your local city council. So enjoy the honor Wilson, it's as close to honor as you're apparently going to get.

    The man is bein applauded for essentially disrespecting the President, which as I can see excites the bottom-of-the-barrell conservatives.

    What's sad is the gesture did nothing but make this guy look like a punk in respect to proper decorum, yet he's held in high standard among the GOP. Now I ask you, if that's what it takes to impress Republicans, do you really want to be in a league with low-lifes?

    October 8, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Clint

    A truly pathetic excuse for a Congressman.

    October 8, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Ken from missouri

    People like this are the reason the republican part y can't expand
    this man represents a state that is so backward that it is sad.

    October 8, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Melissa

    This man is no more a rock star than I am the queen of england. This is utterly stupid.

    October 8, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Truth Teller

    Why not, he came from under a rock, and under a rock is where he belongs.

    October 8, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. PNWjim

    joe is a fine example of the repubs family values,but this what we know expect from them.bush and chenney lied over and over and we are still paying in lives and money for their lies but not once did a demo.pop off on the floor of the senate.he is not a rock star but the kid in the back of the room that has nothing to add but the sound of his own voice. shut him up in 2010.

    October 8, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    Isaiah 11:6: "...and a little child shall lead them."

    October 8, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Big John

    One can see the sorry state of their party when they look up to people like Wilson, Limbaugh, Hannity, Oreilley, Coulter and the quitter...Palin.

    October 8, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Obama 2.0

    A Crock Star :)

    October 8, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. victim of republican greed

    If Joe had only read what was written in the house bills, he could have avoided his rudeness.

    October 8, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. S Callahan NYS

    The only difference between Joe and the Average Joe is he spoke up, he said what most people were thinking. I see no harm in his outburt...people are feeling pretty emotional about all the 'changes' taking place right now. Irony...in a sense he was really standing up to idolatry (arrogance,self confidence).

    October 8, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Joan

    The political Fact Checkers proved that actually it was Wilson who lied because nowhere in the legislation did illegal aliens get the benefit of health care subsidies or policies. He is the one who should apologize for lying and also to his peers in the Congress for gross lack of self control and etiquette. He should be ashamed of himself and the fact that Republicans hail him as a hero is a symptom of their values. Comparing him to Sen. Grayson is like comparing apples to oranges. Sen. Grayson actually explained what he meant and it made sense and was quite true. No comparison.

    October 8, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. SK

    Whatever happened to good old-fashioned respect? Even as close as 2 years ago, no one would have dreamed of justifying an outburst like that in any situation, let alone to our country's President! This just highlights the new path our social graces are heading down...

    October 8, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Florida Joe

    Not a "Rock Star" just a load mouth idiot with no manners............

    October 8, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Death Assurance Companies

    This moron is like the frog in the pot,he doesnt even know hes cooked.hahaha

    October 8, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    The problem isn't disappointing those close to him by his showing a lack of civility. Wilson should be concerned with the extreme right approving the outburst. But of course, money pouring into his re-election coffers is probably soothing his conscience.

    October 8, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. JDM

    He is a rock star? I thought that was a bad thing last year. He is/was a member of the Army Reserves? What service member call his or commander a liar in from of the nation and becomes a hero! Sad state of affairs.

    October 8, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. LoLo

    He should be ashamed. He does not even know what the bill entails. Then again it does not take much for the GOP to cry no about anything. He disrepected the chambers. He was not crying you lie about the war in Iraq. Why, because he was getting his cut out of the deal also like he is doing with the insurance companies.

    October 8, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Stu-Florida

    They need to get this through their NO heads. He wasn't questioning anything. He was being a disrespectful, big mouth oaf. Nothing more!

    It figures the Repukes would think of him as "rock star"...

    October 8, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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