September 10th, 2009
01:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama accepts apology

(CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.

"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."

Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."

One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.

"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Librarian

    Impeach the spontaneous idiot South Carolina !

    September 10, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. RB

    the chamber was not the place for the statement. However, explain the difference in Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, etc. etc. calling Bush a liar and what Wilson did? At least Wilson showed character and apologized which the Democrats have never done to Bush!

    September 10, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Kate in San Diego

    Of course Boehner WOULD defend this sort of childish, rude behavior. After all, anything a republican does is okay, correct?

    September 10, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. David moffitt

    Joe Wilson says his outburst was spontaneous. Thats the problem in Washington. Most politicians speak before they think. Was it spontaneous because he was ignorant of the facts or because The President is a man of color? South Carolina comes thru again with flying colors.

    September 10, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. kiki

    Yet again our president (yes, OUR president) shows how to behave like a grownup.

    September 10, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. bozo the obama

    NEVER apologise for telling the truth. He is a liar.

    September 10, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Typical Republican

    "We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.
    In other words: "Please understand that most elected Republicans are morons incapable of expressing themselves in a thoughtful and mature fashion. We depend on idiotic diatribes. Republicans are absolute drama queens and when we don't get our way, we cry in town hall meetings and yell at congressional gatherings. That is what we republicans offer america, hope you don't mind us being total losers! But, we WANT to be smart like democrats, we just don't have it in us."

    September 10, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. gm

    The president is Naive!! I thought he was just taking it easy on Hilary in the primary because she was a fellow democrat. I love Barak but he is SOFT. You can not negotiate with with some one if they do not respect you.

    September 10, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Peace

    Mr. John Boehner, all human beings have emotion feelings. But we try hard not to let them over-power us, and cause disaster or meet consequences.

    September 10, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. AP in Illinois

    The American people need to hear it directly from Joe Wilson. Does he really think that Obama is a liar? My guess is that he still thinks Obama is a liar and he is just apologizing for saying it. That isn't much of an apology.

    September 10, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. GOP

    I think Wilson spoke the truth and Obama and his gang of thugs doesn’t know how to deal with it.

    The truth is the bill the way it is right now will indeed give free health care to any one illegal in this country.

    It does not deny heath care to illegal’s and that is why Wilson called Obama out on it.

    I thought Obama said he would call others out when they lie about things in the bill why is it he gets to lie and then thinks no one can call him out on it?

    I think it is funny that Obama calls it a public option but then tells us it will be a federal law that you must have health insurance. If it’s an option then why make it a law you must have it?

    When a government forces it’s people to do things that they do not agree with then we stop being a free country and become fascist country.

    Obama intends to take us down the road to fascism and his liberal Democrat party his handing him the keys!

    September 10, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Idiot_Pelosi

    OK, I give Obummer kudos for accepting an apology and moving on with class.

    His plan still stinks, and he doens't have any control over Pelosi and others adding CRAP to the bills.

    September 10, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. hitobito

    The President's response to Representative Wilson's rude and insulting remark shows the intelligence and class of this young President. You would think that a 62 year old reserve Colonel, US Congressman and a father of four sons could control his true emotions better than that! His sons must be very proud of their father who made a fool of himself in front of millions of people and also embarrassed the people of South Carolina who I have always found to be exceptionally hospitable, genteel and with exemplary manners. There is no better place on earth to play golf than South Carolina!

    September 10, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. pk

    So, out of one side of his mouth Mr. Boehner believes his fellow Republican should be civil, but really defends it out of the other, because, after all, if we are passionate about something it gives us the right to be disrespectful. Sounds like a true politician.

    September 10, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Cynthia

    President Obama is a class act. However that idiot wilson was just showing how he really feels about and Afirican American President that he does not respect. Personally i thought he should had been taken out of speech, if all he came to do was act like a complete moron, then he should have been escorted out as soon as he shouted out. This clown does not respect President Obama and what an idiot for him to disclose that on national television. South Carolina you have some of the dumbest politicians in your state, and i hope these idiots stay there.

    September 10, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Milton Williams

    One of President Obama's campaign goals was to reform health care, now the right-wing has used such scare tactics and out and out lies they have almost been sucessful in their campaign to stop any real health care reform. It now appears that the American people are seeing through these lies and are now seeing the Repblicans are in the pockets of the hugh insurance companies, and are not willing to benefit the real needs of the citizens of the Country.

    September 10, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    The trouble with the republicans is that they have been lied to so often now by their own party that they truly can't recognize the truth anymore.

    This Wilson is a prime example: he shouts out to our president *you lie* when all fact checks have substantiated that Mr. Obama was stating the truth. Today, those on the right still prefer to believe that Wilson was correct in his assumption.

    Perhaps if the GOPers weren't so very lazy, they could research on their own rather than listen to all the blabber coming from their leadership. Or, maybe republicans truly do need to be lied to, if only to justify their own biases?

    Their loss.

    September 10, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    How like our President!! I'm trying to match his forgiving nature...& admit that I've got a ways to go concerning this poor excuse for a Congressman!!!!

    September 10, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. GOP

    As for the good poll, numbers Obama got after his 112 speech on health care I thought when his numbers were in the tank polls did not mean a thing!

    However, if it shows him doing well then poll numbers mean a lot right lol Obama is lame and any one that buys into his lies are idiots!

    September 10, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Bill in Ct.

    He's a better person than me, b/c had it been me, I would have stop the meeting and had him escorted out off the chambers. The Rethugs have NO respect for this Pres. that's the bottom line. Now all day on TV, all I'm seeing is most of these people defending this jerk, making excuses for his out burst. Can you imagine had a Democrat stood up and called Bush a liar when he was lying to the country about WMDs, they would have had his head on a platter and those Rethugs would be screaming bloody murder. Now just imagine if it was a congress person of color who called Bush a liar, need I say more.

    September 10, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Ricardo

    Wilson's outburst isn't surprising...afterall, when people like Rushie Limbo preaches for the President to fail and Scary Sarah Palin keep making false statements about the health plan, there will be people who buy into these "out of touch with reality" persons who are an embarassment to themselves. Sadly, there are people in this country who are displaying their true racist colors; they still can't accept the fact a Black man is now the President of the United States and they'll look for whatever means to oppose any and all of his plans. What happened to the idea of civil discussion, respect for authority etc.? And we wonder why we have all the crime and problems in these United States? it's not surprising at's sad..

    September 10, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. mark

    boehner is an idiot. period. anyone who makes even the slightest excuse for that behavior is just an immature highschool idiot who doesnt need to be anywhere near where laws are made! oh, and did he call wilson a lier for yelling lier, since, it was a lie to call the president a lie..... there is no coverage.... read it before you speak... just an example of how racist and uneducated, ignorant, unprofessional the republicans are... thanks for proving the president right, do something about it , don't just make up lies of you dont like it... he should step down, he hasnt apologized for being wrong about the president lying.. sad day in america

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. maximus

    Now we know who was behind all the Townhall meetings disturbing behaviors. Joe Wilson, the anti-progressist.

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. GOP

    Healthcare is not a right and not every one needs it.

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Yeah, Sgt. Crowley is still waiting for his public apology, Mr. President.

    September 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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