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. Lemmy

    Why are so many Republicans such idiots? Is it a requirement to join the party?

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

    What a jerk!

    September 9, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. Daniel

    So who is right, Obama or Wilson? If Wilson is right, he is a hero for bringing up such a critical issue. Is the media going to follow up on that or just pursue the drama of calling the President out? Whether Wilson is hero or goat is in the details.

    September 9, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. nobama

    Same double speak and still no way to pay for it.
    If waste and fraud in Medacare is 3/4 the cost why can't he clean it up first to prove the savings. Explain how he plans to exclude illegals since we apy for them now in emergency room visits. IF only 5 percent sign up for the public option then premioms will not cover the cost. No real commitment to TORT reform or eliminating state barriers to free market competition

    September 9, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. Tera

    I was so disgusted. Never in my life have I seen such a display. It was inappropriate. I don't care which party the president is from. You DO NOT call the President of the United States of America a liar. Disagree yes, challenge things you disagree with yes, but disrespect the office of the President.....NO WAY! Rep. Wilson should be censured by the entire House of Representatives!!!!! It was disgusting and has no place in a civil discourse.

    September 9, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. jj

    What a pathetic, useless slob South Carolina gave us! Once again – a class act from a South Carolina Congressman – What will Steven Colbert say?

    September 9, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. AL

    What a disrespectful diVk head. He finally had to apologize for his childish behavior.

    September 9, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. Red by choice

    While he shouldn't have heckled, he was right. The president was not being straight forward or truthful on this point and several others. A rose by any other name..........

    September 9, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. curt

    The guy is an idiot

    September 9, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  10. Patricia

    I'm from Maryland, and I would like to contribute to Rob Miller's success in 2010. Can this be done? Joe Wilson is exactly what is wrong with America.

    September 9, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. mmd

    another one of lou dobbs birthers.

    September 9, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. Jorge en Texas

    Yet another example of disgraceful Republican behavior.
    Like the Iowa candidate who voiced support for issuing hunting tags on President Obama, this Wilson guy will probably get a big boost in campaign contributions.

    September 9, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. Patti in Dallas

    Unthinkable disrespect by Rep. Wilson. I just made a donation to his opponent, Rob Miller, and will likely continue to make contributions to Mr. Miller. South Carolina Republicans are making quiTe a reputation for themselves....none belong in public office.

    September 9, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. JoJo

    As soon as I find his website, I'm sending a contribution myself.

    September 9, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. progwoman

    Well, that's a first. What a comment on the desperation of white Republican men that Wilson dared to speak, yell actually, so disrespectfully to the president. It was chilling.

    And how sad is it that the president has to promise that immigrants will not be provided with health insurance in order to get his bill passed? Are people so ignorant that they don't understand that they foot the bill for the care given in emergency rooms to the poor?

    I just hope the good people of South Carolina know what to do at the polls next time.

    September 9, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  16. Jorge

    South Carolina has once again been embarrassed by a South Carolina Republican. Having the unfortunate plight of living in Wilson's district, I for one cannot wait to vote for Miller again in the hopes he restores integrity and dignity to the office. Semper Fi Miller!

    September 9, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. John Jenkens

    The world is watching. The United States used to set the example. This outburst represents a complete breakdown in civility in the presence of the Commander in Chief. Unfortunately, elected officials like Joe Wilson represent a weakened America. Jerry Springer anybody????

    September 9, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. Angela

    Well I donated to Wilson's opponant tonight, and will probably do so again. Wilson has either not read the bills where illegal aliens are excluded or he lied. I wonder what the people of South Carolina are going to do come the next election.

    September 9, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. carrie , alabama

    You go Rob!

    Time someome with some manners and common sense represent South Carolina. The party with "all the values" stikes again and embaresses the south. I hope his disrepect for the President and the joint meeting of the House and Senate cost him his post.
    Another black eye for South Carolina indeed!

    September 9, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  20. S M R

    Signed, Sealed and Delivered. It's called sticking ones foot in ones mouth. Wilson is history.

    September 9, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. Concerned

    Shame on you! Another angry NeoCon showing his evil side.

    September 9, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Ryan indy

    Where were you hypocrites when Democrats called BUSH every name in the book and showed him ZERO respect. President Obama will be treated with the Same respect that you showed President Bush, that is the only way that you will understand that you can not show people zero respect and get all of ours. Sorry, we do have class and dignity , we are not walking mats. So Obama better get use to it because you will be called out when he is LYING and understand he can not keep lying to the American people. And no RACE plays no part so stop with your small and petty arguement that Republicans are RACIST, that arguement is so closed minded and shallow its almost Comical. So what comes around goes around, isnt Karma a beautiful thing........

    September 9, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. Michelle from Texas

    Decorum, and civility are obviously not high on Rep Wilson list of behaviors he embarrassed himself in front of the entire nation, In the hallowed halls of the people he felt compelled to call the President of the United States a liar. This is not political discourse this is a level of deisrespect and venom that we cannot ignore, The president talks of character something this representative severly lacks. A phone call won't erase the sound or the image of an American congressman acting with so little regard for the office of the president or the institution of Congress. Shame on you Rep Wilson, and I hope your constituents take a long hard look at you and decide since you didn't respect your office you shouldn't be allowed to return to your seat next year

    September 9, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  24. don

    Poor Erick Erickson also operates on the lowest mentality level
    of all South Carolinans. Butt head Mark should resign and count
    his blessing after pulling what he pulled.

    September 9, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  25. disgusted

    Always classy GOP.

    September 9, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
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