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. boone

    I don't understand why CNN keeps focusing on Wilson raking up $700K while Rob Miller is getting almost $1mil from his supporters. The media is giving the small group of super crazy lunatics too big of a platform.

    September 12, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. rorsharch

    its interesting to read some of these comments...
    Not that I agree with the way that Wilson acted, I think it was in poor taste and not the appropriate way of doing things, but
    – George Wallace was a democrat (Aaron P) and the republicans in congress at that time were responsible for passing the civil rights act
    – If you are offended by the pictures of Obama as Hitler, I wonder if you felt the same when the left was portraying Bush in a similar light
    – Wilson's outburst, no matter how inappropriate, did not contain any racial connatations, he just said "you lie!", not "you lie (expletive)" or anything like that. Why is it because someone disagrees with the president, they automatically become racist? That is a hard question to answer I am sure

    September 12, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Curtis from Atlanta

    All that proves is that even ignorant rednecks have money to support another lying republican.

    September 12, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. teejay

    Mr. Wilson has demonstrated just how stupid he really is. Remember "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render unto God those things that are God's". Even Jesus respected authority and the office of authority. You can disagree with a person and still remain respectful. No wonder our children show no respect for authority, this is a prime example. There is nothing wrong with diagreeing with the President but he has taken things too far and he will reap just what he has sown. The so called apology came because of pressure from his collaegues it is not from his heart Those words can never be erased, they will follow him forever. Lord help him.

    September 12, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Beck

    This is a disgrace for our country that we make another hero of a bad mannered individual. I think South Carolina will suffer for this and that is unfortunate because they used to be known as the State with the best manners. Shame on anyone who gave money to this person and is teaching the children of this country more bad behaviour.

    September 12, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. andy (los angeles)

    Why is the headline that Joe Wilson raised almost $1M?
    The HEADLINE is that Joe Wilson's OPPONENT raised MORE THAN $1M. Right?
    Can someone (preferably at CNN) explain to me why the lead has been buried in this story? Why isn't the headline about the unknown opponent who has raised more than Wilson since he acted like a child stomping his feet, covering his ears, in front of the world, yelling lies at the President?
    And why is CNN airing (and advertising) Wilson's shameless pleas for money on their network, with his web address in the corner of the screen?

    September 12, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Frank

    How come everyone who doesn't like Obama is considered a racist?
    Personally, I couldn't care less what race, sex, age or political party the President is. I just want a president that cares more for the American people than his/her party.
    Yes, Obama is a liar. Yes, Bush was a liar. To me, their the same.

    Slogan change, instead of "Yes We Can" it is now "Yes I can (do whatever I want regardless of the impact to America and Americans that is".

    September 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. JSR-NY

    The money, US$700,000 is not issue, but it representives voice of
    TAX Payers which has been against Health Care Reform and the monster government would control American Private life.

    September 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Ken

    I've been hesitant about labeling these idiots as racist, but I can't see any other reason for their lunacy. Obama is hardly the most liberal president we've had. Yet listening to the screeching coming from the right, you'd think the man was the second coming of Stalin.

    They don't want civil discourse. They don't want to move the nation forward. They want to roll back every bit of progress we've made over the last 100 years in an attempt to return to some imaginary vision of America that never existed.

    If left up to them, childen would be allowed to work in dangerous jobs with no guarantee of workplace safety, there would be no FDA to protect consumers from food poisoning, old people would fill the streets reduced to having to beg for food, and companies could pollute at will. You like clean air and drinking water? Forget about it.

    Why is it when Republicans are in power any criticism of them or their policies is label as unAmerican or un-patriotic? Why is it that the people who hate the government the most want to control every branch of it?

    I've learned over the years that Republicans are generally a bunch selfish, hateful group, always in search of an enemy; even if they have invent one.

    Look at these town hall protests. No wonder Republicans create faux townhalls in which only their most syncophantic supporter are allowed to attend and ask questions.

    I can promise you that if Republicans had the same majorities in the House and Senate, they will ram every bit of their agenda into law. They would shut Democratss out just like they did under Bush. They would squash any dissent as treason.

    Watching these reactionaries is quickly turning my benign my dislike of Republicans into seething hatred.

    September 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Heywood Jablomee

    Aaron P, you moron!.....Why do you inject race here. Quote any element of this story that refers to race.

    Judging by what you've said here, you're the bigot!

    Hankers – Yeah, you keep thinking that. I'm sure that Democrats will run away with every race in the US in 2010. Get cocky and complacent...voters love it!

    September 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Sue

    I a proud of Mr. Wilson . He is right on and he cares more for the people than the obama man who is living high off the hog on OUR money and wasting it all.

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

    To all you libs this is just the beginning of this, your wasteful spending and end around taxes (gas, cigs, sodas) etc. are not going to work any longer with mainstream Americans. We are counting the days untill 2010 and 2012.

    September 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Brian

    How sad that ignorance is applauded and uncivil behavior is rewarded. Shame on the parents whose children will only learn the lesson that loud-mouth bullies get ahead.

    September 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Grizzly

    I wish Lincoln had just let the South secede from the Union in 1861.

    September 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. NoTelePrompTer

    to katiec – you obviously have a short memory or are too young to know how Congress booed Bush and of course more recently an ex-Czar called Republicans an obscene name. But then that must be okay, with the double standard that is practiced Washington.

    to Aaron P. I can't believe in the light of the corruption going on in Washington, and the rapid move towards Socialism by the Marxist President and his Czars, ANYONE could possibly think this is about RACE. There is no excuse for anyone to think so stupidly and I find it racist to make such a ridiculous statement as you did. It is about POLICY. Even though I was in disagreement with our last president, too, it certainly was not because he had BLACKS in his Cabinet. I had more respect for Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice than I did the President. How about Colin Powell? If he had run for President he would have had my vote. I believe him to be ETHICAL and strong. I could name a dozen blacks who many Republicans would vote for in a second. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MARXIST POLICY THAT IS PREVALENT IN WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW. And by the way, don't forget the President is only HALF BLACK.

    September 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Sue

    Mr. obama is a black man – why is this fact not to be mentioned????

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

    This has NOTHING to do with RACE. Past elections we do vote for the best LIAR! The news media needs to report the facts and truth! Then we the poeple can DECIDE! WAKE UP AMERICA!! Watch FOX NETWORK!

    September 12, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Bob (Illinois)

    Who REALLY cares?

    Is this clown the next Joe the Plumber?

    September 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. American Joe

    It is truly interesting that the outburst came in the week of the anniversary of 9/11. During the crisis, the mantra was "United We Stand". In the wake of a historic election and a growing crisis for this country, the outburst dismantles the effort to bring this country together for common causes. Whatever the rationale, the behavior continues to DIVIDE and NOT unite.

    The man is a disgrace to all that is GOOD about this country. He and others of his mindset will continue to break this country apart. It will NOT be EXTERNAL threats that DIVIDE this country. It is INTERNAL threats from people like Joe Wilson.

    President Obama: Continue to try to UNITE this country to face the present and future threats.

    September 12, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Audrey in VA

    Oh please, here we go again with the race-baiting scare tactics. Why does the left always have to resort to these low tactics to defame conservatives? Sing a new song.

    September 12, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. MichaelSC

    President Obama,
    please cancel health-insurance for members of congress immediately until the last American has health-insurance.

    September 12, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. American Airman

    How can anyone claim that Wilson is a racist, or the Republican's don't like a black man being the President of the United States? That is more ludicrous than the President's health care proposals.

    You can't hide the fact that the Liar in Chief is running this country in the wrong direction by claiming racism every time someone questions his lies. If you want to look at racists, look at the czars that have been appointed to this administration. That is where you will find the racism! If you don't believe it then watch the videos, do your research. Just quit believing every bit of vile garbage that the left wing haters want you to believe in order to push their socialist agenda.

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

    Wilson is a loser! A man of intergrity for his office and for our great President would not seek attention and contributions from losers. As it is, like attracts and those who contribute to him are losers like himself!

    September 12, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    You can't beat the good ole boy network. I'm sure in the end Wilson will have significantly more money than Miller. The party of no is determined to keep our country intolerant of people who want to move the country forward.

    It's sad, but true.

    September 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. huskee33

    $1M for that racist pig? That just goes to show the ignorant class of people living in SC – such a cliche, they are just as we all thought they are.

    September 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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