September 18th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Wilson says he's the 'number one target' of attack

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Rep. Joe Wilson said Friday his congressional outburst was his "town hall moment."

"I have to give credit to my son Alan," who is running for South Carolina attorney general. "He said, 'Dad I know you, I know what happened. You were there on the House floor and you had a town hall moment.' And that was it," said the Republican congressman.

Speaking in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina for the first time since shouting "you lie" at President Obama, Wilson said that moment has made him the prime target of attack.

"It was speaking at the wrong place, wrong time," Wilson said. "And now, I am the number one target of Washington Democrats, the number one target of MoveOn, the number one target of ACORN."

Wilson called himself a "gentleman" for immediately contacting the White House to apologize, and commended the president for disagreeing with the sentiment that his outburst spurred from racism.

"I appreciate very much President Barack Obama has indicated this is not correct," Wilson said of the claims that he is racist. "...A number of people have all indicated that this truly we need to be discussing the issues and not (descend) into the level of name calling," he added.

South Carolinians on hand for Wilson's homecoming told CNN congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar Friday they "weren't impressed with (Wilson's) outburst" - but that they agree with his sentiment.

"Let's close the book on last week," said Wilson. "Let's look ahead to work together for real health insurance reform."

The House voted Tuesday to formally admonish Wilson for yelling out in Congress.

Filed under: Joe Wilson
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. mike

    Mr. Wilson is a certified, bonified, 100% Racist.....just like his ancestors....he is rude, disrespectful, arrogant Redneck that belongs to several Racist organizations and he claimed that the well-known Racist Strom Thummords daughter should not have out her worthless father......he will go down in the History Books for disrespecting the 1st Black President....people of color should not spend their money in this Confederate State!!......Good always wins over evil!!

    September 18, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Keith in Austin

    Welcome to the Sarah Palin World Sen. Wilson!

    The Dem. Machine is ruthless and unrelenting. The GOOD NEWS is that the winds have shifted and the American People are being enlighted to what is going on in Washington. Although I don't agree with the time and place you made your comment to Obama, I totally agree in it's content (and I'm not a racist!)

    September 18, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  3. mark in atlanta

    Please, SC, get this hick out of office. He is embarrassing you and by extension the entire South.

    September 18, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. m jeff

    Stop listening to boss Rush and show some respect, you are not a townhaller, you are a Congressman.

    September 18, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. Mary

    Joe, there were lots of us watching TV that night, and we were thinking and are still thinking that this President does not value being honest. I'm having voters remorse, as are a lot of other Democrats. Wrong means of expressing yourself, but I've been listening to Nancy Pelosi calling me names and Obama basically ridiculing anyone who doesn't agree with him, and I'm glad someone actually let Obama know that we all know he is dishonest. It is extremely apparent even to some of us who voted for him. Next President in 2012 needs to be more experienced in business and HONEST.....or at least not Chicago politics as his base!

    September 18, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. mmd

    how could you have a town hall moment, you are a member of congress. fruit don't fall far from the tree, two idiots in one family.

    Don't believe me, ask joe's wife.

    I wonder if the joe joe's have health insurance. Not many in SC do.

    September 18, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. bella

    Well, Joe, I guess you had to learn your lesson the hard way!! You know, WHEN YOU DANCE, YOU HAVE TO PAY THE FIDDLER!!!

    September 18, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  8. Smart People

    Why do I get the impression that this ego driven lunatic is going to soak up all the attention he can get?

    Oh, and Gentleman?!?!?

    I hate to burst your delusional bubble Mr. Wilson, but our president is the gentleman. Only the fringe loons of the right would consider you a gentleman.

    September 18, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. kuriya

    He should be shame of himself. He was emotional for his behavior or what.

    September 18, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. VGal

    Ha ha ha ha. Republicans think that they can just say the word Acorn and everyone will somehow be on their side. No one agrees with Acorn at this point and by Wilson pointing them out – he looks like a bigger fool than he already is.

    September 18, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  11. Steve

    I am sorry but I don't agree. What Wilson did was not a town hall moment. The whole town hall outrage was orchestrated by the GOP and has no place in CIVIL society. The inappropriate behavior of people in town hall meetings and that of Mr Wilson just sickens me.

    We should be able to disagree without being disagreeable. Unfortunately, the GOP and their supporters only know how to be disagreeable.

    September 18, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. Carnell From Detroit, MI USA

    Aw! Boo...Hoo...Hooey! Mr. Wilson. I Used To Think Dennis The Menace Was Obnoxious. You Are Such The Victum Of Circumstance, And Yet It Was You Who Made The Choice To Disrespect President Obama During A Speech.

    September 18, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  13. Steve in Kentucky

    Why can't CNN deal honestly with the R party as it did with the Faux News ad? The guy claims he "immediately" apologized. He did not.

    As far as his racism, either Obama really does lie when he says Wilson and others aren't motivated by it. Or maybe Obama is playing out a hand of cards.

    But there's no denying Joe Wilson is a racist, low class, and, frankly, a trailer trash servant of the rich.

    September 18, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. Bertina

    Maybe Joe Wilson didn't mean to call out during President Obama's speech, but, I don't believe he is sorry. Maybe because it was the wrong place at the wrong time, but, it sure has stirred up a bee's nest and I know there is racism in this country, but, people just don't want to admit it. President Carter is right.

    September 18, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. New Yorker

    Joe Wilson is a hero for telling the truth even if he didn't do it in an acceptable way, but guess what, his action is mild compared to the despicable behavior of the liberal democrats. Admonish them.

    September 18, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. Kay

    A gentleman does not display such behavior. Issuing an apology does not diminish the fact that he was rude to President Obama and disrespected the highest office in this country as well as his fellow legislators and the American people. As for town hall comment, that is also repugnant. There is a degree of civility that needs to be maintained – even at town hall meetings. This man needs to be removed in the next election. Let the American public speak!

    September 18, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  17. Reformed Republican

    Keep beating the "victim" and "they're out to get me" cards there Johnnie Reb.
    The SC trailer trash you represent just love them "good christian" martyrs and the bucks will just keep flowin' in as long as you keep asking for them. They are succkers for guys like you just like they are for televangelists.
    You know those "Sons of the Confederacy" racists in SC – They just love to send money to a white boy who's getting picked on by them thar' yankee carpetbaggers and intellectual elitists...

    September 18, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. We Won Get Over It

    Wilson says he is the number one target of attack...heck no...Obama and the democrats are the number one target of attack because the republicans LOST THE ELECTION.

    They are getting slurred at from Fox News
    Add the Health and Drug Companies
    Then we have the nutso religious kookoos
    And then we have RUSH and not body knows just exactly what HE is.

    September 18, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  19. Sonia

    Joe Wilson, a former military man yells, "You Lie" at the COMMANDER IN CHIEF! What an outlandish outburst by the Republican Congressman ... A Horrible
    Historical Happenstance!

    September 19, 2009 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    Wilson certainly is a gentleman.
    He is also a brave American patriot.


    September 19, 2009 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  21. Donkey Party

    How Palinesque, using the victim card. What a joke this little pansy of a nobody is. Anyone that would heckle the President, any President, during a joint session speach in Congress deserves to be removed from his position.

    September 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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