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. David Newport, OR

    What do you expect from South Carolina? Some States do not belong in this great country of ours...but we keep them out of pity.

    September 10, 2009 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  2. An American

    This is a sad state of affairs. Wilson is an embarrassment to the state of South Carolina and has failed in his capacity to maintain a fair and equitable view on the issues without immature emotional outbursts.

    September 10, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  3. Lorenzo Clemons

    Politics in SC leave me cold. I can only shake my head, a Governor and now a congressman who heckles the President. Backwoods and low rent behavior should not be supported by the people of SC.

    September 10, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  4. Allen, Texas

    Just like the Republicans. They don't have any solutions for any of the problems facing this country. All they've got to offer Americans are demagoguery, obfuscation, boldface lies, insults, childish outbursts, and stupidity. Congressman Wilson's insults of our President is a game – changer. They haven't seen anything yet. I hope the Republicans don't forget that a Republican President may occupy the White House someday, ( I just hope its not anytime soon), he or she, I'm sure will be treated worse. If that's what they want, we Democrats will have to fight fire with fire. If this is the way they expect to regain power, they have another thing coming. They have pretty much declared war ever since this President took office and we should wage it with them because what they're are counting on is what they believe to be Democrats elitism. That we will be too timid to match them anger for anger and hatred for hatred. It's On Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  5. steven harnack

    I guess they don't have very much experience listening respecfully to black people down there where Congressman Wilson comes from.

    September 10, 2009 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  6. Wise Latina

    Of course, Wilson was telling the truth is saying that Obama was lying about illegals getting free health care. He only violated decorum – okay give him a slap on the hand, but let's hold the lying Obama's feet top the fire.

    We are tired of this constant propaganda attack fro the Obama fringe.

    September 10, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  7. Jax Florida

    Joe Wilson did the most disrespectful thing to our President and he did it infront of the American people and the world.
    He should be made to pay a price for that. I don't think he should be able to do something like that and say sorry and everything is forgiven. No way!

    September 10, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  8. Carol - Stl MO

    Rep. Wilson is a disgrace to ALL South Carolina residents.. no matter what their political affiliation is...Hope the good people of South Carolina boot is disrespectful ass out of office!!!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  9. kevin dean

    Jim Wilson is an embarassment to all Americans. His outburst during President Obama's healthcare speech was unforgivable and wrong. His constituents should remove him from office immediately.
    Shame on him for his lack of restraint.
    Shame on Republicans for playing politics rather than trying to solve the immense problems this country faces.

    September 10, 2009 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  10. Joe In Washington

    whatever. he said what every american is thinking. obama lies. he doesn't know what the heck he's doing and he's making it up as he goes. he is simply, a liar. who cares what type of speech this is. why doesn't it get such big attention when Palin is booed at or heckeled yet obama gets called a liar and oh no- it's a bad thing. democrats suck and need to be called LIARS.

    September 10, 2009 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Wilson was channeling Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and forgot to turn the volume down.

    September 10, 2009 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. Keith

    We owe Rep Joe Wilson a great debt of gratitude for his courageous outburst during the Obama Medicine Show. Since when does "decorum" mean you have to sit idly by while the president rolls off a string of whoppers? Most in congress sat by with that odd smile on their faces, as if their enema was just about over, making their constituents think they believe the lies. Seriously, how can we trust the guy–who has already added a trillion dollars to deficit in eight months–when he says he won't let health care add a dime to the deficit, forever? And that's just one of many lies Obama told tonight of his magic elixer. Some of you would have to drink the elixer to figure out it's a fraud. Some of us already know.

    September 10, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  13. LW In Texas

    Guys like Wilson is why Washington is the way it is, what a Jerk

    September 10, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  14. Tired of the Politics of Fear!

    The South Carolina Idiot is done.....stick a fork in him!

    September 10, 2009 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  15. joc,alabama

    I don't live in SC but just to see this guy out of office I'm donate to the challenger

    September 10, 2009 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Go after him tooth and nail, Mr. Miller. Get him out of our US Capitol. He has no brains, no self-control, no self-respect. Get him out of there.

    Thank you for your service to this country, and Good Luck in 2010.

    September 10, 2009 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  17. Obama for life

    President Obama's speech was to good and balanced with only the truth. That's why this jerk and republican pig had to embarras the whole American nation with his outbreak. Somehow this is also a part of the Tea Parties the GOP is organizing all over the USA?

    September 10, 2009 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  18. Mike from California

    I donated $50 to Rob Miller's campaign.

    The disgraceful conduct by many Republicans in Congress this evening was highlighted by their spokesperson, Joe Wilson.

    You will see many less Republicans in Congress two years from now.

    September 10, 2009 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  19. Moe, NY

    I agree with you Mr. Miller, with one exception...affordable health care should be available to ALL AMERICANS, not just SC. Also, Wilson owes an apology not only to President Obama, but to all of America. I guess the next person we will here from is the one that sees death panels (actually I believed Haley when he said I see dead people, more than I would ever believe the airhead that sees death panels. I hope, that I live to see ALL AMERICANS with health care is the right thing to do....drop the lobbyists, corporate america, and any politicans with ties to either.

    September 10, 2009 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  20. Daniel

    Never has there been such a true Republican. Finaly someone that doesnt put on an act and lets the whole world know how dissrespectful and racist the Republican party is. Proof they have never done that to a white President. But the first black one. Lie about context of school speech. lie about death pannels lie about place of birth. list goes on and on. Because they cant stand a black man in the White house unless he is a servant. Way to go at least one showed his true color instead of acting.

    September 10, 2009 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  21. f geason

    once again a republican have shown his true colors. shouthing you lie at the president of the united states to me was very disrespectful. so how can you have a civil coversation about health care with republican when they act like that. i have come to realize president obama by republican standard should not be president. is not a legal citizen so what do you espect from them. he is not their president.
    the more i watch republican on tv and at the town hall. i thank god for the democrats. i am a minority and i just do not see the republican party as a inclusive party( i hope the educated republicans take their party back from the extreme racist side befor its to late)

    September 10, 2009 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  22. louisecathy1

    the GOP just continues to hurt itself and our nation. Let them rant.

    September 10, 2009 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  23. center left

    Good luck, Rob Miller.

    September 10, 2009 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  24. Gregh

    Considering how unpopular Obama is in South California, Wilson will probably gain votes for heckling Obama during his speech and pointing out Obama lies to the public.

    September 10, 2009 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  25. Gregh

    Considering how unpopular Obama is in South Carolina, Wilson will probably gain votes for heckling Obama during his speech and pointing out Obama lies to the public.

    September 10, 2009 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
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