September 12th, 2009
04:56 PM ET
13 years ago

Source: Joe Wilson racking up the dollars after 'you lie' comment

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Wilson directly asked in a Web video for campaign cash to fend off attacks from political opponents and said he's standing by his opposition to Democratic efforts at health care reform."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson - the South Carolina Republican who heckled President Obama during his speech to a joint session of Congress - has raised more than $1 million, a campaign aide confirmed to CNN Saturday.

News of that cash haul comes after Wilson directly asked in a Web video for campaign cash to fend off attacks from political opponents and said he's standing by his opposition to Democratic efforts at health care reform.

Wilson has come under fire for shouting "you lie" to Obama during the Wednesday night address to Congress on health care reform. The lawmaker soon apologized for his behavior, viewed by Republicans and Democrats as an ill-mannered breach of political decorum.

The remark energized Wilson's opponents and supporters, who have been opening their wallets and sending donations to Wilson and Rob Miller, his Democratic opponent in next year's congressional race.

Miller - who has reported raking in more than $1 million as a result of the outburst - ran against Wilson last year, losing by 8 percentage points. It was Wilson's smallest margin of victory in his five elections to Congress.

In an e-mail to supporters Friday night, Miller said he had raised the money in small contributions in less than 48 hours - a total that dwarfs the $67,000 he has taken in during the entire first half of the year.

Wilson shouted "you lie" after Obama laid out what he said were "bogus claims" about health care reform "spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost."

"The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.

"There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally," Obama said.

That's when Wilson uttered his now-infamous remark, sparking boos and Obama's retort: "It's not true."

In a YouTube video released on Thursday, Wilson said "on these issues, I will not be muzzled, I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan."

He said "supporters of the government takeover of health care and the liberals who want to give health care to illegals are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan."

–CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • Rob Miller
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Nicholas

    Pretty sad commentary when people would support ammeber of congress that would heckle the president and call him a "liar" inspite of the fact that Wilson did not have his facts right. We are dealing with a conservative punch of GOPs that are not interested in the truth just lies and deception. Nothing has changed from the Bush era.

    September 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Anon.

    What kind of a world do we live in when even if you don't agree with what someone is saying, it's okay to be rude? A One million dollar reward to bad behavior? Come on! And I'm a republican!

    September 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. 7pesos

    wilson should spend more time improving his state's finances.

    south carolina is a welfare state and has been on the dole since the

    civil war and reformation.

    half of california's federal tax money goes to support these poor,

    redneck, war making, bush loving red states.

    i say..."let 'em secede, maybe mexico will take them."

    September 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. M.H.

    Giving this fool media attention or indirect praise for big contributions is absurd. C'mon CNN, don't turn into Fox. 🙂

    Rep. Wilson should lose his Congressional status, and be deported if he can't show some respect for President Obama. He is an embarrassment to the U.S. political system.

    September 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. jts

    At best he's a bigot. At worst he's a racist. Is anyone surprised that a middle aged white guy from the south thinks its okay to yell and call the first AA POTUS a liar during a world wide televised address to Congress? Why do people continue to suggest that there is no element of racism at the base of the criticisms and opposition to Pres. Obama? Wilson's hate so overwhelmed him that he could not contain himself. So sad.

    I don't mean to paint all southern white men with a broad brush, but if you look at his profile on the Congressional website, that is the profile you would expect of someone with so little respect for a black man of any position that he would yell and call the POTUS a liar during his speech.

    September 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Iskrenie

    it proves the followers of the GOP are nothing but sheep. If this guy is receiving a paycheck that is funded by MY tax dollars, he better be voicing MY opinion. When you think the GOP has hit rock bottom with their unethical behaviour, there is always someone who can take it one step further.
    He should be fired for insubordination.

    September 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Rob

    Joe Wilson is an Arse Clown, he's not a politician. He must be censured and is sure to be defeated in the upcoming election.

    September 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. PJ

    Yes I guess calling Obama out on his lies would make Wilson a racist. After all, when a black President lies the non-racist thing to do would be to just accept the lie as truth. I wonder there, non-racist Obama supporters, what happened to his pledge to accept public funding? Not have lobbyists on his staff? How about that sweet little lie about how this healthcare reform wont add a cent to the national debt when it will by Obama's own admission add $220 billion in spending? If yelling "You lie" to this President makes one a racist, well then get me my pointed hood hat and sheet. Im calling him a liar right here for all to see. He does nothing BUT lie.

    September 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. dennis

    How soon these liberals forget the eight years of name calling and disrespect of our former President. The difference being that the libs were doing out of hate and the actions of Rep Wison is based on fact. Wake up you liberals.

    September 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. HAHAHA

    September 12th, 2009 12:13 pm ET

    How anyone can support the bias, racist, disrespectful actions of Wilson is beyond me.
    This is the kind of people you want your politicians to be??

    How is YOU LIE a racist remark? PLEASE answer.

    September 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Byron

    hey calm down... its South Carolina. Don't you remember the answer that girl gave in Miss Teen USA? Yeah, she was from South Carolina.

    September 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. chad

    I don't understand why the headlines keep being about the money Wilson raises, and then buried in the bottom is the fact that his opponent raised 50% more!

    September 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Emma

    Wilson is a joke. Send a contribution to Miller. I did.

    September 12, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Tony

    Ok you guys are throwing racism around like a baseball. If you are that comfortable, then it could also be said that any desent from a Black man against a White is also racism and I am sure you would NOT label that as racism.

    The left is so quick to use race as the ultimate trump card. When in fact you can have disagreements and even do things like call Nobama a liar without being a racist. This is common sense unless you are a Dem with no other argument. You left leaners need to look at the facts that the health paln is a failure in its; proposed form from the House. Nobama is talking about a Bi partisan bill, Soros will not let him go there.

    It owuld be interesting to see ALL parties fight lies and illegal operations equally, but even this site does no cover the ACORN issue. That is sad for everyone, not just ACORN.

    September 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Kay Meyer

    Way to go Mr. Wilson!!! You were the voice of millions of us watching the speech ful of lies from Clueless in comand. I never realized how crooked they all are. In 2010 there will be alot of them out of office and
    when they ignore the people they are supposed to work for, then they should be out of a job. Just READ the BILL and LISREN to the American people.

    September 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Brian H

    What else would you expect for the the "no" party!

    September 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Joe in Boulder

    Joe Wilson's outburst was outrageous and disrespectful, yes. Racist no. Calling the president a liar may be discourteous but it hardly counts as racism. Wilson would have called Joe Biden or Kathleen Sebelius a liar were they behind the podium. For a party and president who so vocally advocated for a blurring of color lines and a deviation from race based politics, it seems more often than not that the left is resorting to the same old defenses of racism and bigotry. The simple fact is the Dems have control of the Senate, House, and Oval Office. The only force preventing them from passing health care is the inability of their caucus to unite and get it done. It's amazing that for the last 2 years of the Bush presidency it was not only ok, but encouraged to call the president a liar. Even today the Dems still rely on the "old faithful" excuse of " (insert issue) failed policy of the Bush presidency." It appears that he democratic party is so afraid to fail on health care that they are already preparing to blame everyone but themselves for a failure that will be entirely self inflicted. If they want a health care bill they have the numbers to push it through.

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    Being nutso is a job qualification in today's Republican Party. When will responsible moderate conservatives break away and form a center-right party that's not populated by "Joe" Wilsons?

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. pattyboo

    I can't believe what I am hearing.
    People rewarding someone for being ingorant and disrepectful.
    I wouldn't give him nothing but a book on manners
    WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON WITH GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Ted Carson

    Disrespectiful -Yes. Bias -Sure- he is obviously against state run heath care and placing the U.S.A. in a new trillion dollar loss program.

    I disagee with Obama placing more soldiers in Afganistan . I think he should keep his promise and bring the troups home. Does that make me a racist ? Anyone that dares to disagee with Obama on issues is automatically a racist. Interesting concept.

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Molly

    Can you please report, even in tiny type, that his opponent has raised over $870,000, which is much closer to the $1 million you have in your headline than Joe Wilson's $700,000. Why is it that CNN doesn't feel that is newsworthy? Try running a headline with the other side of the coin story and report the same thing you have already reported. It will look like a new story.

    Honestly, though, Joe Wilson really needs to consider a career change and fast. He SHOULD be out of a job he isn't capable of holding very soon.

    Jobs are hard to come by these days- Let's give this job to someone who deserves it and knows how to behave.
    Joe Wilson's mother must be SOOOOO embarassed!

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Are writing these lousy blogs John King? You're an idiot.

    Joe Wilson is a right-wing racist. So, is much of this country, unfortunately.

    September 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Rob from Texas

    Funny how the Democratic candidate has received over a quarter million dollars more than Wilson. This is the second time a Republican politician has put his foot in his mouth and his opponent profited from it, maybe this will teach them to stay in line. No wonder the Republican Party keeps losing elections and is nearly extinct.

    September 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Perusing-through

    Republican Joe Wilson is (or was) a Colonel in the South Carolina National Guard. If any Guardsman under Colonel Wilson's command had called him a liar during his speech to all his troops, that poor soldier would be out of the Guard. So what kind of example did Colonel Wilson set for his troops when he broke professional decorum and calling the "Commander-in-Chief" a liar during an internationally televised speech to the nation.

    September 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Moosehead

    RepubliKLANS,... RepubliKLANS. You lost the election,.. so suck it up,... Americans suffered for 8 years with Bush, now you stew a little,... maybe a lot, since you won't be getting back in power for a long... loong...looong time.

    September 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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