September 9th, 2009
10:48 PM ET
12 years ago

First on the Ticker: GOP heckler blasted by 2010 challenger

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democrat hoping to unseat South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson in next year's midterm elections quickly seized on the Republican's shout of "You lie!" during President Obama's health care speech on Wednesday.

"Representative Wilson's behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington," Democrat Rob Miller said in a statement provided to CNN. "Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our Commander-in-Chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian.

Miller added: "He owes both the President and the people of this district an apology for his embarrassing behavior during tonight's speech."

Wilson apologized to the president after the speech, calling his comments "inappropriate and regrettable."

Miller, a 13-year veteran of the Marine Corps, gave Wilson the toughest re-election challenge of his career last year in one of the country's most conservative congressional districts. Miller lost by eight points, and decided to challenge Wilson again next year.

National Democrats are also looking for a win: Wilson is on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's 2010 hit list.

Wednesday's commotion is likely to give both candidates a financial boost. Miller's supporters quickly took to Twitter and urged Democrats to support the campaign, while Republicans on the Web urged their readers to donate to Wilson.

Erick Erickson, the conservative voice behind, called Wilson a "great American hero." South Carolina Democratic party chairwoman Carol Fowler, meanwhile, said Wilson gave the state yet another black eye.

"Once again a South Carolina Republican has embarrassed our state," Fowler said in a statement, making a nod to scandal-plagued governor Mark Sanford. "Never has any member of Congress shown such disrespect for the president during a speech."

UPDATE: Miller's campaign says they have raised $40,000 since Obama's speech ended tonight.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama • Rob Miller • South Carolina
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. JasonK

    Joe Wilson, an anti-American terrorist, should be run out of office. Shameful. He and the rest of the Republicans are trying to block me from affordable health care. Both my wife and myself are self-employed business owners who pay outrageous premiums for the same coverage that others that work for corporations get. We should have some place to shop to get better health care. Please South Carolinians, don't forget his outburst, and vote him out next time he runs for re-election. Disgraceful.

    September 9, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  2. Canada

    All america should be ashame of themself as this's absolutely undemocratic to disrespect and degrade your president in the face of all nations watching.I love democracy but this's stupidity in democracy
    Shame Shame Shame nation without shame

    September 9, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. thetruthisoutthere

    i'm sure this wingnut will get kudos from limbaugh and cheney...if he calls the president a liar let's hear him back it up with some proof, where's the proof the president lied? don't just do this and say sorry and all is forgotten, if he can't provide proof the president is lying he should do the only honorable thing – guess is he wouldn't know the meaning of honor...what a sorry state the GOP has descended into...

    September 9, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Susan

    Congressman Joe Wilson is STILL a disrespectful immature, LIAR.

    He is the LIAR HR Bill 3200 STATES VERY CLEARLY it doesn't apply to illegal citizens.



    September 9, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Jeremiah

    Why is he in trouble? He just stated the truth that Obama is a liar, like pretty much all politicians.

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  6. Janice Meints

    inapropriate coment , but I do agree , Obama is a liar,

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Samantha

    I am so sick and tired of the bad behavior that "these people" continue to display. I am sure if the President looked a little more like him and were still a democrat he would not have shouted that to the President of the United States. I am and so many Americans are sick of these people.

    September 9, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Jon

    Stupid is as stupid does, and Congressman Wilson managed to look dumber and more petty than anyone else tonight.

    Play to the base, Joe, isn't that your game plan? You have no idea how stupid you and your ideological cohorts look to the rational 75% of the American electorate.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Karen in Charlotte

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and hate is a very ugly emotion.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. keith from atlanta

    wilson is going down in 2010 election mock my words I guarantee it he's finished TOASTED

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  11. Sarah

    It's not about what's wrong about Washington, Mr. Miller, it's about what's wrong with Republicans.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  12. Nola Ross

    If anyone had treated Bush that way he/she would have been accused of treason!

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Jay

    Mr. Wilson, standing butt naked and covered from head to toe in slime before a joint meeting of Congress, should apologise to the President and the American people for his crude and childish behavior. And then, he should resign his seat. He's a complete embarassment to his district. Worse than Wally Herger of California.

    September 9, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. No Incumbents 2010

    Rep. Joe Wilson is a rude jerk and an embarrassment to all of South Carolina. He may be a career politician corrupted by Washington health care lobbyists but he has no business serving in the U.S. House. No one should disrespect the President like he did. Wilson is free to vote however he wants on bills but should never shout and interrupt the president as if he were part of an angry mob. Wilson is the one who lies because illegal immigrants will not be covered by health reforms; they are specifically excluded. Wilson has shamed himself and his state and should take responsibility for his disrespectful, outrageous outburst and resign.

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. bdm

    quite an odd example of southern gentility. disrespect of our president, whether you like him or not, is shameful.

    September 9, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. Marcin

    I'm a republican and a very strong opponent of President Obama. With that said I'm very ashamed to be a republican today. What took place in the Chambers of Congress is a disgrace! This was a blatant disregard for the President of the United States!!! This is most disrespectful coming from a member of Congress! Presidents..ALL Presidents deserve our respect no matter who they are!! I respect President Obama fully although don't agree with him on some issues especially his Domestic Policy. I respect President Bush fully although don't agree with him on some issues as well especially with Foreign Policy. WILSON SHOULD RESIGN IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. wakeupamerica

    Well said Rob Miller!!! I hope you unseat the disrespectful jerk.

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. victim of republican greed

    It is time for all Amercans to stand up for Miller and help him defeat Wilson.

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Terry Burnley

    What has our country come to??? Truly a sad sad sad day for America when this bufoon who claims to represent the people shows no respect for the President elected by the people. Really sad!

    September 9, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. bdm

    a hit dog always yelps...

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Perusing-through

    The Bible references fools like Joe Wilson.

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. David from WI

    So CNN you moderate my 'critical' but honest post only to be replaced with 300 attacks, I am sure, against a senator who DID apologize.

    I very fine example of misrepresentation.

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Jon Krieger

    "FREEDOM OF SPEECH!"What is it about that concept that liberal demoncrats don't understand?

    September 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. niraj

    This behavior is ridiculous. Almost what epitomizes the republicans nowadays.. a school yard bully and out of ideas....

    September 9, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. Carol

    From what I've read and heard the republicans have offered many, many amendments to the health care bill and the democrats have totally dismissed them out of hand. At times not even knowing what they were. When dems say they want a bipartisan bill, it is for the express purpose of making the republicans just as liable for the mess that the bill will create as the dems will be. They just want them to share the blame. What needs to be done is to go back to square one and both parties write the bill together, reviewing every point from each side of the aisle. Thankfully the public option seems to be dead in the water. I just hope there is no trigger lurking somewhere in the fine print that will come back to shock and surprise the American People.

    September 9, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
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