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. bella

    I liked the words Rob Miller spoke. Go' get em Rob Miller! We certainly can use another Democrat in the White House! The more we have the better chance of moving ALL of President Obama's agenda forward during his years in the White House!

    September 9, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. George

    Perhaps Rep. Joe Wilson made a mistake yelling out you lie but , aint it the truth, aint it the truth. He made me want to yell out something worse. What is most irritating and frightening is the fact that if this so-called health care passes it will be changed over and over again before it hits the population in three or four years and the President will not be around to take responsibility for it. The people of the United States will be paying for it for a long time. It is nothing but a cash cow for the government just like social security and medicare and medicaid.

    September 9, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  3. Vikkimama

    President Obama, please fight on. History will vindicate you. The suffering majority in this country will thank you at the end of the day.
    You are the poor man's champion. The various workers' unions
    realize this and are firmly behind you. Let the Holy Spirit continue to safe-guard you to do what is right and let the Almighty's guiding light
    continue to show you the way. You still have a lot to accomplish. We
    pray for you every day to conquer the huge challenges willfully posed by
    politicians who should know better.

    September 9, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. Frank

    Sadly after living in the Deep South for six years nothing here has really changed. The white Anglo-Saxon Southerners, the ones that wanted to keep slavery going, are still vehemently angry and it would appear hate the rest of us who have come to this land of opportunity and equal justice for all. Though not necessary I too am white and was outraged by Mr. Wilson's anger and outrage this evening. I am not surprised, and that is the sad part. The GOP has been highjacked largely by white southerners and evangelical protestants who have no room for the rest of us. President Obama, hence is an anathema to them. I am sad that we haven't come as far as I would have thought.
    I wonder if a white man would have given that speech he would have been heckled like that? I also wonder what would have happened if a Democrat would have called George W. Bush a liar when he spoke to a joint session as a prelude to war in Iraq?
    Tonight I am sad for this country.

    September 9, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. Irene

    What do you expect from a GOP from SC? They have achieved the impossible: They have lowered the bar for the GOP.

    If a Dem had done that during Bush's speech, he would have been arrested. Thankfully, Bush didn't have enough time to totally destroy our constitution and the right to free speech no matter how heinous it is.

    September 9, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Independent_me

    This astro-turf townhall behavior is just the nature of the Republican beast. Hateful. Disrespectful.

    And I bet he espouses "morals" and "family values".

    I hope he gets his behind whupped in the 2010 elections! I honestly cannot believe that I was once a Republican. They are so repulsive!!!!

    September 9, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  7. tonyt

    In The Number One Spot;

    Latest News
    Rep. Joe Wilson shouts 'you lie' at Obama

    OK CNN, Don't Turn It into One Of Those Dumb Town Hall Moments!

    "First rule of media: If it bleeds it leads"

    What Did The President say about TV, They Love A......................

    September 9, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. DeminUtah

    I don't even live in South Carolina, but I'll pay to get this guy out of office.

    September 9, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. rowdy rich

    Isn't this the norm with the republicans? Give me a break.

    September 9, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. Roz

    I am disgusted by Wilson's lack of respect and control. I have this to say to him – as a Southerner, a US Navy veteran, a caregiver of my 92 year old mother, a divorced mother of 3 and a self-employed Building Contractor – Sir, you are no better than a 3 year old. Grow up. Be brave enough to stop politics through fear and hate.

    September 9, 2009 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. Jim in Indiana

    The only way to describe the Republican Party today is "shameless".

    September 10, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  12. klincoln

    Joe Wilson doesn't need to apologize for interrupting – he needs to apologize for being 110% wrong that our president is lying. He has embarrassed the whole country.

    September 10, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. Allan

    Wilson is a disgrace to the country and the State of South Carolina.

    September 10, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  14. Dan, TX

    The republican Jihad against the president continues. The republican Qaeda group won't stop until they induce someone with a gun to loose control of their emotions.

    I'm now convinced the republicans are trying to incite assassination of Obama.

    September 10, 2009 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. JIlli

    He should be "blasted" by every American. It was a shameful display of lack of respect for the office of the President. Grow up mr. wilson, you're pathetic.

    September 10, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  16. James

    Guess who is getting a check from this Democrat.....

    September 10, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. Darlene Ritter

    Joe Wilson and his Macaca moment! Joe Wilson will go down in history boods for the jerk that he is and he can take the middle school click mentality with him.

    September 10, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  18. Moonbeam

    "Great American hero"?! More like fifth grader who has to be suspended until he learns his manners.
    Is this what Republican Party became?! Shame, shame,shame!

    September 10, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Let me get this's OK for the president to call people liars, but not Joe Wilson.

    Wilson was right...Obama was lying about Illegal Aliens.

    Same goes for Tax-Payer funded abortions.

    Obama completely distorted the 'Death Panel' comments....'.he's the one just playin' politics'.

    The sheer fact that CNN won't even let this get by their 'moderators' shows just how far and wide the lies from the Left truly span.

    September 10, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  20. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    Go Miller Go!!

    September 10, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  21. Obama fan...not!

    Wilson won re-election tonight

    September 10, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Larry

    Leave it to the Republicans to seek money for a man who just completely insulted our commander and chief, with an immature outburst in the halls of our government

    The only proper thing would be to seek his resigning his elected position immediately

    THE PARTY OF NO ... brains

    September 10, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  23. Vikkimama

    I heard Senator McCain ask Rep Joe Wilson to apologize to the President for his 'LIE' comment. Within minutes, he complied. That is remarkable.
    The man did what he did, because he thought his colleagues were
    going to join him to deride the President as they had done in the past weeks.
    How come none in his party had called or cautioned the loose/soapy mouth/canon from Alaska to retreat to save whatever is left of her
    messed up family cum political life? This party has a lot to apologize for in the coming months.

    September 10, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  24. bsmith171

    let John McCain apologize that old man likes it on his knees.

    September 10, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  25. Desert Denizen

    What else would you expect from a party led by Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck?

    September 10, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
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