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. conrad

    Joe Wilson and the rest of the GOP jerks need to find Jesus. i can see it now in the Book of Life: Joe Wilson, et al- "you sinner"!

    September 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Craig in Washington

    People donating money to this self-righteous hack shows just how far our value system has fallen. Did any congressman stand up and yell "You Lie" to GWB, even when he was lying? No, they didn't. They at least had the decency to sit quietly. The far-right is turning us into another third world country.

    September 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Realist

    Wilson spoke the truth and now the liberals want to shut him up

    September 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. John, Brooklyn, NY

    The fact that he is asking for money in order to not be held accountable for his poor behavior completely negates his apology. He doesn't deserve to be in the House...he has disgraced his office.

    September 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. 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 by calling the "Commander-in-Chief" a liar during an nationally & internationally televised speech?

    September 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Conrad

    Joe Wilson- "You Sinner"!

    September 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Proud American

    Wow, this goes to show that there are some real sick white folks still running around the country.

    September 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. jimmy

    Well Aaron P if you really believe that the republicans believe in klan ideals than I gather you probably voted for Obama. If you really believe the GOP is a racist organization why did they put a black man as there chairman. And Jindal is of Indian descent. No youre right the entire party is racist. Just because a party doesnt want to promote one race over another and believes in treating people fairly and not holding ones hand their entire life that is racist to people like you. It might not be the most compassionate thing in the world but it is fairness in all of its glory.

    September 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. MichaelSC

    Van Jones resigned because he call Republicans idiots.
    Which not all are but a certain percentage for sure.
    Why doesn't Wilson resign?
    SC, I am ashamed of the politicians in this state.
    Sanford and Wilson are a disgrace and many others are worthless.
    If you listen to many people in SC, you'd understand why people like them get elected.
    Can't wait to move with my family out of here.

    September 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    This figures. The notoriety attracts and is calculated to bring out the base-the tea partiers (Sat in DC), the birthers, the Conspiracy buffs, the Birth certified nuts! Arnold of Cali was not born here. What's Up with that? Hitler pics on Obama and the true Hitlers of the Homeland, Liebenstrom, livingroom scam to sway the masses in obfuscation/deceptions. WOW! How are some folks so blinded? I guess it is true if they follow the men who hide blatantly behind the Bible prophecy, but live lies for all to see. Many will be blinded by false prophets in wolves clothing masquerading as guardians of Democracy, peace, freedom and the American Way. The poverty, sorrow of humans takes a back seat as the Treasury is looted and the Thou shalt not killers run out to kill in sanctioned Murder. Hey, CNN, tell the truth and be what you claim to be. You could be the 1st MSM to turn this tide or does Rupert Murdoch control everything now? Won't you be " enough to uphold your Integrity/Ethics as America is led to her Roman Empire decline. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, a modern day prophet: "...Even Jesus would never forgive what you do..." " the money that good..."? Peace

    September 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Jackson

    just shows people agree with disrespectful comments made so I think they are just as disrespectful as the moron who did it in the first place.

    September 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    will the money make people start liking republicans? Is that supposed to intimidate dems and independents? Are we suppossed to be overwelmed? I'm not impressed.

    September 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Kay Meyer

    I don't care if Obama is purple with pink dots! He has lied about everything and is destroying this country with debt. We need to throw all of them out and start over again.

    September 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. dan

    I think the fact that miller is benifiting from his disrepect, not just to Obama but to our system, the congress and the voters is sickening..please lets donate to his opponent

    September 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Al, Southern California

    Shameful list of GOP: Palin, Plumber, Bachmann, Rush, Wilson. It goes downward as a party of extremists.

    September 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Josh

    CNN is turning into another shill for the racist GOP. They screw up with the false terrorist alarm yesterday, and today since they were called on it start to lean to the Right Wing Nuts. That's fine, all I gotta do is turn them off on the remote. Guess Lou Dobbs nutty rants has infected all of them.

    September 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Grundoon

    Anyone who thinks the open hostility toward Obama has nothing to do with race is deluding themselves. Would this good ole boy have yelled that at Nixon or Clinton? Don't think so, but he was sure comfortable disrespecting the black guy. What's going on now is rage and I have never seen anything like this in politics. I think the hippies may have had less rage toward Johnson than these yay-hoos have about O and it just isn't justified. Its' based on misinformation and lies – except the death panels. They are alive and well and sitting in the insurance companies' Claims Review Departments

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Molly

    I was just beginning to think along these same lines. I think you are right. It's not Obama's health care that bothers Mr. Wilson. I am starting to think it is something more than that.

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Roger

    Rude, stupid and obnoxious pays off. Good luck to you Mr. Wilson you are definitly a man foer the times.

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Arden Muller

    Why do we and why are we still putting up with this disrespectful, vile, unamerican . He and Eric Cantor should be run out of congress. The entire GOP are obstructionists. They aren't going to do anything except destroy our President and its because their racists. They hate him, they hate his color and they won't be happy until someone kills him. By the way don't leave out Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and above all don't leave out Glen Beck. Mr. Beck gave up his drinking addiction for another addiction, creating hatred and bigotry in this country..

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Steve

    Keep it up dear ones. 2010 will be one of the largest landslides for conservatism (Republican & Democrat) you have ever seen. Obama is neither white nor black. Everyone seems to forget that his mother is white. Minor detail, I know. Wilson was out of line but called it for what it was. Obama never disputted items in the house bill. He is on records stating his goals and they are contrary to what he said in his speech. He did and is lying. We need to get the inmates out of control.

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Corina

    Maybe without their fully understanding, these financial supporters of Mr. Wilson are indeed supporting disrespect towards the office of the presidency. I guess this could be a reflection of our society, especially when you see so many people who lack respect for the elderly, teachers, and authority in general.

    September 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    It looks like the Republicans are having no trouble raising doubts in enough Americans about the kind of job Obama and the Democrats can do.
    Katiec, it is the kind of people who want to elect someone who does that. People are no longer civil in everyday life so to some, this seems like normal. And our country loves a John Wayne attitude.

    September 12, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Di

    Freedom of Speech 1.0M. Prez Obama and Nancy P look on their face priceless!

    September 12, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Arizonan

    I donated to Miller's campaign and I am in Arizona out with these disrespectful ingrates. The GOP is trying everything in their power to stop any type of reform these jerks need to go. Weren't they the same ones that keep saying during the Bush Adminstration "if your not with us your agains us" touche my friends.

    September 12, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7