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. P Fields

    Shame, Joe Wilson, Shame

    September 18, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Bill in Ct.

    PLEASE, your fathers a racist just as you are. So if your dad isn't a racist, why is he in the group, " SONS OF THE CONFEDERATE HERITAGE " a racist organization. My dad isn't a racist but he told the daughter of Strom Thurman, his daughter who happens to be BLACK, not to come out a shame him. My dad is a racist but he voted 7 times not to remove the Confederate Flag over the State Capitol Building. My dad isn't a racist but his apart of the GOP. If you deny you have cancer, the cancer isn't going away, if you say you don't see color, it's still in front of you. So what I'm saying is, denying racism will not make it go away.

    September 18, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. Chicago11

    Don't flatter yourself. You're not that important. Your boorish behavior is the story, but, no, it's not about you.


    September 18, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Allison in Atlanta

    Unfortunately Republican Wilson isn't that important, he's just a typical Republican with a huge mouth and nothing substancial coming out of it. He'd like to number one, but he's a zero.

    September 18, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. JOE

    Republican Wilson is a nitwit from South Carolina where they grow em stubborn, stupid and pathetic.

    September 18, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. Bridgette

    You did a stupid thing and you should feel some heat so that you or no one else does something stupid like that.

    September 18, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. John Murphy, Retired Army Officer

    Joe is a coward. A disgrace to the United States Military.

    September 18, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. booba06

    Mr Wilson,
    You are no longer a gentlemen in my book. Interupting a President during a speech to congress has never been done or even tried in over 200 years. You are the first and I guess in your book, you should be proud of yourself. Me, on the other hand think you were an ignorant jerk for doing so. As I like to say, Republicans have so much class...NOT!!!

    Good going Joe Wilson!!!!

    September 18, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. JonDie

    Joe Wilson is a pathetic slob.

    September 18, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. gino

    You are still an A-1 Jerk , Wilson, and you always will be. Go wrap yourself in the confederate flag and keep denying that Strom Thurmond had a black daughter–whom even he acknowledged. Seems ole' Strom did not disdain a black body always.

    September 18, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. ICARE

    And yes, Saturday Night Live, thank you for dramatizing the 'You Lie' on your show. I had a great laugh every time they show the skit. But I swear, it made Joe Wilson looked good in the skit.

    September 18, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. Nomoreteabaggers

    I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson is a member of the klan. Why are they allowed to keep their membership secret? Aren't they terrorists who blow up churches?

    September 18, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Tanya Kujath

    No, to the right he is number one hero, but to those who can see past their own bias and ignorance he is number one fool of the moment. There will be more.

    September 18, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. Glo

    Town Hall Moment: that's when ignorant louts, cads and traitors drown out legislators trying to explain health care reform to citizens.

    September 18, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. IKE in Atlanta

    This is not about you, stupid. This is about the office of a lawmaker calling the office of the President of the US a liar in front of the whole world. It is abominable and needs to be punished so others do not do this to any other President in future. He needs to apologise to the office of the President, to the Congress and to the people of the US who elected the office of the President.
    When he is done apologising, he should do us all a favour and resign or better still, hang himself.

    September 18, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. ggb

    This is an emotional topic and people are being pushed too far with Obama's push to act quickly while misleading the public. How can Wilson keep his mouth shut when he knows the inside truth and hears Obama NOT tell the whole truth to the nation. I wouldn't be able to sit through an hour of Obama rehtoric.

    September 18, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Gene

    Why do we keep rewarding this guy for his actions? He said something inappropriate at the wrong time.. apologized.. the apology was accepted.. time to move on.

    The bigger deal the Democrats make out of this.. the more exposure Wilson gets. They're cutting their own throats.

    Leave this be.. leave him alone.. and he'll go back into obscurity where he came from.

    September 18, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. GGG

    Wilson was rude but right! Stop lying to us! Listen to us! If Obama, Pelosi and Reid don't start listening to us or stop lying to us the protests will only get louder, the election day will be our chance to vote these turkeys out!!!

    September 18, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  19. Abbott

    The congressman from South Carolina whose only claim to fame, prior to shouting "you lie" to our President during a joint session of Congress, was to fight for the Confederate flag - him a racist? Nonsense!

    Meanwhile, he continues to milk the incident for all its worth ($1.8 million), while pretending to want to put it behind us and move on.

    September 18, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. GaryB

    Come on Joe, be honest. It wasn't a moment of impulse, it was a fundraising stunt. Mission accomplished.

    September 18, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. Dragonfly

    Wilson's "town hall moment" was up there with the bizarro woman who told John McCain last year that she feared the election of Barack Obama because she believed he was "an Arab."

    September 18, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Alan from rural Illinois

    If he had apologized to the American people via the House then he would not be a target for those that wish to unseat people who speak untruths or who disgrace America. The "honorable gentleman from South Carolina" did both and remains unrepented.

    And, it is clear that he has milked this for his political and financial gain.

    But, we need focus on Obama's plan now–not those floated by the House–and work for real healthcare reform.

    We cannot afford to wait.

    September 18, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. south american observer

    i live in what is considered a third world country i have never seen such direspect for my president at a public forum like that displayed by mr wilson and we have very partisan polititcs what is america coming to i think u should forget about the wars and deal with ur taliban ie the rethuglicans,the world is laughing and i fogot to mention u are civil have a great president cnn plz post

    September 18, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. This is all democrats know...

    You have apologized several times and that is enough. Mr. Wilson, you apologized to the president and he accepted your apology, therefore you are done. What you said was directed towards to him. You apologizes, he accepted, all is fine, life goes on. Screw the democratic party.

    By the way, I agree with you, he did lie then just as he did in his speach at the college on health care reform.

    September 18, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  25. centerleft

    Wilson you clown! Your 15 mintues of fame is up. Now go sit down, And keep that big mouth shut!

    September 18, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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