September 18th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
12 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. Blue

    Joe and his son are in la, la land.

    September 18, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Dan

    I'd say you being one of six who voted against removing the Confederate Flag from SC State capital is pretty racist.

    You are no "gentleman" for apologizing. You did that because of pressure, not because you were really sorry.

    September 18, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. R. Wood

    Wilson's attempts to paint himself as a victim are as laughable as his claims to "work together for real health insurance reform." Low Class-Big Time

    September 18, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. NC UNA

    Cry me a river. You wanted public life buddy, YOU GOT IT!

    September 18, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. ProfBill

    Reb...oops...Rep. Wilson should be forced to read the little thing R. E. Lee had to sign at Appomattix....on the floor of the house....maybe twice, even.

    September 18, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. Louise in CA

    Oh, stop Whining! You brought this on yourself with your self-centered, undisciplined outburst against the President of the United States. Shut up and take your medicine like a real man.

    September 18, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Susan

    don't take me wrong but somehow I have intuition that this guy is a racist.
    -A former Republican

    September 18, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Susan

    How many "Aah" did he say. Please count. Its funny.

    September 18, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. charles

    dude seriously
    it was planned, joe wilson has no backback. Of course this is about racism, only the black president gets shouted at in the chamber and called a liar on national tv

    September 18, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Va 4 Obama

    Deservedly so! If you act like a spoiled a child when you're supposed to be a mature adult these things tend to happen. What's in SC water...bunch of idiots!!!!

    September 18, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Angie in Texas

    The problem is MR Wilson, you were in a joint congress session.

    NOT a town hall meeting with thugs, or your confederate brothers.

    September 18, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. RRRUSA

    Wilson: I yell at the President during a nationally televised speech, but then I apologize...so I'm a 'Gentleman'?? Now he's whining that he is the number one target of liberal organizations.......

    Geez, Joe, hasn't Obama been the number one target of Conservative organizations? What did you THINK would happen when you decided to start yelling? Remember Howard Dean and yelling?

    September 18, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Wishful thinking Joe. We can always count on the lefties to hurl names and insults. When they can't win on the issues, they hurl insults and tell us to go away.

    Problem is, we just might. And take half the country with us.

    September 18, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. stevetall

    Yeah, Joe. You're number one because you're the Biggest Douche in the Universe 2009!

    September 18, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Simmy

    Rep. Wilson, I refuse to accept your words.....You, like Palin, are a racist......Most of your tea toddling seniors and juniors, are racist......The signs were proof.....You make a mockery of the state of SC and its people....Not all of them feel the same as you, Lindsey Graham, Jim Demint, Sanford and fringe, but you bad apples have ruined the whole lot......If you're being targeted it's your fault....You placed yourself in the bullseye......

    September 18, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. CTGIRL

    Someone is now running scared. America is a great country because most of us are decent, honorable and understand decorum. What Mr. Wilson did was unacceptable; he forgot that he could disagree without being disagreeable, and he is now being bombarded with mail from people who may not agree with President Obama but still respect the office. Shame on you Mr. Wilson!

    September 18, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Parker

    What crap! His "outburst" was a calculated move to put his name in the spotlight. Like the rest of the New Republicans, Palin etal, "say anything at all about me, just spell my name right". Thses publicity hounds that are laughing all the way to the bank while the media falls for their nonsense. The "party of no" cannot and will not discuss anything this president says or does without making a circus of it. Their only goal is to raise more campaign dollars. Let's remember, if a candidate does not win an election, they still get to keep the capmpaign money. When you know you out of touch and can't win an honest contest, grab the money and run. Like I said, what crap!

    September 18, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. Ted Tartaglia

    Wilson is a Repub punk who needs to grow up. This right-wing nutjob is old news!

    September 18, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. Georgia Democrat

    I understand what you are saying Wilson however your actions aren't justified. Bottomline it was disrespectful!!!!

    September 18, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Nija

    You are an idiot. I wish you could say that to Russian President.

    September 18, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. Deuce

    You bet you are Mister Wilson. But your Country will lose: It's Country of what it was supposed to be about. Freedom. You are now slowly becoming a Dynasty. A Black Dynasty. If you dont do something soon. All those kids for 200yrs died for nothing...

    September 18, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Ted Tartaglia

    Wilson, a gentleman would not have engaged in the ill-mannered conduct you displayed. Children and out of control people throw tantrums.

    September 18, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Audrey

    I hope this jerk does not in anyway fancy himself in any way a real gentleman.....unless it's a racist southern gentleman.....now that one I buy!

    September 18, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. Larry

    Hey Joe ...

    Your not a target ... just an idiot

    Don't give yourself so much credit

    The real issue is NOT about you

    Your just one more example of the Republican smear campaign

    THE PARTY OF NO ... ethics

    September 18, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Congressman Joe Wilson should be ashamed of hisself, four his rude behavior i do beleive he is racist!

    September 18, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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