September 13th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Let's move past Wilson's outburst, Cantor says

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House Republican Whip said Sunday that the country needs to move on from South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s recent “You Lie!” outburst during President Obama’s address to Congress last week.

“Let’s go about the business that we are trying to get done which is to affect real health care reform,” Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Cantor noted that Wilson’s apology had already been accepted by the president and Wilson has said he would not engage in that type of behavior again.

“We’ve got to look to how we get this health care reform done right – not just get it done. And there are areas that we can agree,” Cantor also said, citing banning the practice of denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, trying to ensure coverage to people who have employer-provided coverage but who lose their jobs, and working on medical malpractice reform.

But Cantor also suggested that President Obama had a ways to go if the White House is to be successful on one of Obama’s top domestic agenda items.

“Underlying the fear that we are seeing out across this country is this sense that somehow we’re going to be replacing government decision-making for that of the individual and their doctor,” the Virginia Republican said, “The president [in his address to Congress], I don’t believe went far enough to allay those fears.”

Cantor said the American people “want to see some guarantees” about preserving the relationship between doctors and patients, about the continued vitality of the private market for coverage so that it is less likely the government will ever be able discriminate in the provision of health care, and about paying for the estimated $1 trillion price tag over 10 years for Obama’s health care reform plan.

Filed under: Eric Cantor • Health care • State of the Union
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Perusing-through

    JOE WILSON DISRESPECTED THE HOUSE OF CONGRESS FOR WHICH HE IS A MEMBER, therefore he owes Congress an apology. Congress does not have to acknowledge his membership when he breaks the professional decorum for which swore to uphold.

    September 13, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. 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 when he broke professional decorum by calling the "Commander-in-Chief" a liar during a nationally televised speech to the nation?

    September 13, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. Amanda

    NO Mr. Cantor ! And you should apologize for YOUR childish behavior during Obama's speech. My 3rd grade students do not text message while I am speaking. They are educated and polite. You are not.

    September 13, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Rob

    Look past this Cantor... you and the rest of the Republithug party are toast.

    September 13, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. army chick

    Like my mother use to say "where you show out, that's where I show out". I agree Wilson shouldn't apologize to President Obama again, but he owes an apology to his fellow congressmen and women and the American public.

    September 13, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. GT in OC

    The Republicans continue to shrink their party by allowing the extreme right to run the party. I have Republican friends that now refer to themselves as Independents because they are embarrassed to be associated with Rush, Sean, Ann, Bill, and now Mr. Wilson. When are some intelligent Republican leaders going to take back the party? If the current trend continues, the party will only be comprised of good ole' boys from the South.

    September 13, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Chuck

    This coming from the man who was texting during the President's address to the joint session of Congress. How much more embarrassing can you get?

    September 13, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Hugo

    The Democratic machine has to keep race as a key component to their strategy, just as they do wealth envy, without it they would lose their "minority" base made up of inner city community organizers, uneducated masses or impressionable youthful zealots that have yet gained the insight as to what is truly at stake in all of this. Political pundits are well versed at how to use social diversity as an anchor basis in support of their causes. Liberals have some great ideas toward social advancement, unfortunately they never seem to think them all the way through and never seem to come up with their own cash to pay for them.

    September 13, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Wilson is wrong in his belief that his call to Rahm Emanual was enough, you don't slander the President and expect that a single call to his subordinate means you've made amends. His actions were shameful and the party knows it. Wilson should man-up make a formal apology in front of congress, until then we cannot turn the page on his actions.

    September 13, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Chuck

    Mr. "Lie" Wilson, you certainly need to apologize to your Congressional colleagues and, soonest. It's not only the right thing to do, it's your duty. You broke the rules and some form of punishment is due, unless you decide against the apology to you fellow members of the House of Representatives.

    September 13, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. yourmommycalled

    Poor repthuglicantruth. Note only did Wilson insult the president, but he insulted his fellow congressmen AND BROKE HOUSE RULES OF DECORUM. Instead of offering an apology "I apologize to the President and my fellow Congressmen for my inappropriate and regrettable outburst" the animal that Wilson is tried to justify his behavior while apologizing "This evening I let my emotions get the best of me," he said in a statement. "While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility." His so called apology to the president was an attempt to justify his actions not an apology. Let's set aside the lame excuse for a moment. He apologized to the President, but HE DID NOT APOLOGIZE TO THE HOUSE FOR BREAKING HOUSE RULES. Considering the circumstances he should be expelled by the House of Representatives for grossly violating House rules

    September 13, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Cantor only wishes. The obstructionists cannot unring the bells we've heard.

    Cantor himself lead the hate-mongers without trying to quiet them.

    VOTE THE GOP OUT. They do NOT want what is best for USA.

    Google PNAC and find out what they and their friends at C-Street really want.

    September 13, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Julie

    Hopefully the reasonable and moderate members of both parties can take the healthcare stage back from the wingnuts on both sides and get the job done. There are too many serious issues and areas in healthcare that need to be addressed before healthcare costs bust the federal budget and bankrupt citizens just trying to get treatment. And it is a duty of any American citizen that has CONSTRUCTIVE ideas and suggestions to send them on to their representatives, senators, and the white house to have their ideas and voice heard too. Whatever comes out as law will affect ALL of us.

    September 13, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The Right might take a cue from the Left and decide to "move on" from this little event. If they use the same techniques as the founders of, they might have some wildly unexpected success in rallying Americans who are more centrist than either extreme. What a surprise it would be to see moderates rule for a change!

    September 13, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. sky

    No, you disrespectful, prejudiced hateful and greedy folks think you dont owe our President respect. You are hateful, angry, ill mannered, unpatriotic babies.

    September 13, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Ann

    Wilson should apologize to the House. He not only disrespected the President but he made our political system look bad. Serena Williams was fined for outspoken and disrepectful behavior, how come we hold everyone else up to behave better but not our political leaders. What are we teaching our children if you do not agree with someone just shout louder and have outburst and you will be right?

    September 13, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. I am Newt's ex wife

    Oh give me a break Cantor...all these GOP types like Wilson say out loud what they and "apologize" and then go on Fox News and Kiss Hannity's ass and become belligerent.

    Wilson was begging for money before the outburst.

    Wilson was a loudmouth instigator before the outburst.

    I cannot believe the character of the political people who come out of South Carolina...absolutely worthless. Listening to Wilson drivel on and on about liberal is sickening. In his district there is not 10% liberal. It is all part of the conservative scheme "us vs. them" Only them is mostly imaginary.

    September 13, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Terry from West Texas

    Wilson should, of course, resign. He is unfit for office. Not because he shouted "You lie!" but because he is a Conservative.

    However, his adolescent outburst has made him a hero to Conservatives, like the Iraqi guy who threw a shoe at Bush, he is the Conservative David defying the Liberal Goliath. His careful calculation seemed to have paid off for him. A less-than-mediocre minor elected official has become a national figure.

    As for moving on more appropriate topics, what does the House Republican Whip suggest we discuss? Socialist indoctrination of our children? Death panels? Or perhaps he has some new fabrication in mind?

    September 13, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Post always rejected by CNN

    Oh yeah like THEY moved pass Cheney's F word on the senate floor when he yelled it at Patrick Leahy.....these reprehensible butts think they can do anything, and say anything they want and no one should say anything.

    Any normal person would know he was disrespecting the president of the United States and would apologize like protocol says, on the floor where he committed the act.

    September 13, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. Barb


    Two words "You Lie!" - to a President about to speak to the United Nations. Mr. Wilson must remember that his President needs to be shown respect, in his own country, in order for his country to be respected worldwide.

    September 13, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Rick CT

    What's worse, Wilson yells "you lie" at Obama (which he never should have done, but was not illegal) or Charile Rangel on several occasions fails to report income and pay the proper taxes, which is illegal.

    And the House would rather punish Wilson??? Gimmeabreak.

    No wonder most of us think Congress is completely full of infants.

    September 13, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. M. Ames, Syracuse

    Eric Cantor reminds me of a character in one of those eighties teen know...the one who is friends with the bully and always gets in a cheap shot or a snide comment when his tough-guy buddies are around.

    He's out there stirring the pot with those tea-baggers the other day, and then has the gall to go on television saying we should all "get past this."

    Unbelievable. We're still waiting on all of your fresh ideas, Cantor....oh that's don't have any.

    September 13, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Dan66

    If, indeed, a Democrat had dared heckle George W. while he DID lie about WMDs, connections between Saddam and Al Queda, etc., we never would have heard the end of it. Hypocrites...

    September 13, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Brad

    We need more Republicans just like Wilson. Even if many Americans are ignorant and ill-informed, even children are astute enough to make associations. The more ignorance and stupidity that are demonstrated by Republicans like Wilson, the better the association.

    And his counterparts pass it off as nothing because "Joe's normally a combative guy." Uncontrolled combativeness creates conflict.

    Obama may not be right in everything he says or does, but he is the President of the United States. And although I don't care for Senator McCain, I applaud his response.

    September 13, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Trang

    I have already moved past it already. However, it's a shame that our Congressmen cannot discuss things in a civil manner, have a constructive dialogue. I think that's what the apology is for – that Congress people should conduct themselves in a civil manner, and not go crazy w/ outburst, and Wilson is a member of Congress.

    I hope the young people in this country will see the destructiveness of this behavior in this country and they will be better.

    I think Obama is a good model for them. How he handles attacks on him w/ calmness.

    September 13, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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