(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.