September 11th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
12 years ago

ActBlue raises over $750,000 for Joe Wilson's opponent

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Online fundraising site ActBlue announced Friday that since Republican congressman Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's address, his Democratic opponent Rob Miller has raised over $787,951 (and rising) on the site.  The first donation came in at 9:15 p.m. ET on September 9.

ActBlue Deputy Communications Director Adrian Arroyo told CNN that the donations have come in from over 21,622 people since Wednesday night's speech, a major jump from the 5,000 who had contributed as of yesterday.  Arroyo admits that since the fundraising push is viral, "there is no one place to locate what is going on.  You have DailyKos, Twitter and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee circling these issues. There is no one prime mover."  The mean contribution size is $36.

Two links leading back to ActBlue's donation pages have been clicked on over 9,500 times, said the group. Two days after the speech, Joe Wilson is still the top trending topic on Twitter - and ActBlue has benefited greatly, with more than 1,000 tweets about their fundraising efforts for the congressman's opponent.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • Rob Miller • Social Networking • Twitter
September 11th, 2009
01:40 PM ET
12 years ago

House Democrats plan vote to admonish Wilson

WASHINGTON (CNN)–House Democratic leaders plan to bring a resolution to the House floor next week to admonish South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson if he does not apologize on the House floor for his outburst during President Obama's joint address to Congress, according to several House Democratic leadership aides.

"He's violated the rules of the House with inappropriate conduct and he's subject to reprimand," said Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina.

Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said that Wilson violated House rules - but also said that it was "time for us to talk about health care and not Mr. Wilson."

Immediately after the President's speech Wednesday night, Wilson issued a statement saying, "This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. 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." He also called the White House and apologized to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.


Filed under: Joe Wilson
September 11th, 2009
11:47 AM ET
12 years ago

Defiant Wilson raises more than $200,000 after outburst

[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."](CNN) - Less than a day after Rep. Joe Wilson formally apologized to President Obama over his "you lie" outburst, a campaign aide confirms to CNN the South Carolina Republican has raised "more than $200,000" in the wake of the now-infamous moment.

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.

"On these issues, I will not be muzzled, I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan," Wilson said in a YouTube video released Thursday evening. "The 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."

The congressman disbursed the video via Twitter and asked his followers to "please watch and pass on."

"[Democrats] want to silence anyone who speaks out against it," Wilson also says in the video. "They made it clear they want to defeat me and pass the plan. I need your help now... contribute to my effort to defeat the proponents of government-run health care."


Filed under: Joe Wilson
September 11th, 2009
08:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Wilson apologizes again to Obama, says he didn't 'snap'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Wilson apologizes again to Obama."]

(CNN) – A day after heckling President Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, said Thursday that he regretted the outburst, but stood by his belief that Obama had misrepresented elements of the health care bills.

"I truly had to speak out," Wilson said of his decision to shout out: "You lie!" during Obama's speech after the president proclaimed that illegal immigrants would not be covered under Democratic health care reform proposals.

"I didn't snap either, because if I'd snapped I would have kept on objecting," the congressman said. "But I didn't."

Asked if he regretted his comment, Wilson said, "Oh, yeah I wouldn't do that – I wouldn't have planned it or done it again."

Wilson said the proper way to respond to Obama's remarks would have been to hold a news conference after the address.

"People know that I am respectful of the president. I'm respectful of the office of the presidency. But I am just very passionate about the issues that I believe in and I know what was stated was inaccurate."


Filed under: Joe Wilson • Popular Posts • President Obama
September 10th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
12 years ago

(Updated): Wilson's opponent raises more than $500K

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Joe Wilson's outburst has resulted in a cash windfall for his 2010 Democratic challenger Rob Miller."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Joe Wilson's outburst has resulted in a cash windfall for his 2010 Democratic challenger Rob Miller.

According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Miller raised $100,000 overnight from 3,000 individual donors after Wilson shouted "You lie!" at President Obama during his address to Congress on Wednesday night.

Miller released a statement last night accusing Wilson of "engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting out Commander-in-Chief." Wilson's shout prompted Democrats on the Web to direct donors to Miller's Web site and to the Democratic fundraising site ActBlue.

Miller gave Wilson the toughest re-election challenge of his career last year in one of the country's most conservative congressional districts. Miller lost by eight points, and decided to challenge Wilson again next year.

Wilson apologized to the president after the speech, calling his comments "inappropriate and regrettable."

UPDATE: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported Thursday morning that Miller's post-speech total had risen to $200,000.

UPDATE 2:45 pm: The DCCC reported Thursday afternoon that Miller's new post-speech total had risen to $400,000, via 11,000 individual contributions.

UPDATE: 5:45 p.m.: The DCCC reported Thursday evening that Miller post-speech total had risen to more than $500,000, via 14,000 individual contributions.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • Popular Posts
September 10th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Town hall anger echoed in Congress

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="One Republican member of Congress holds up a sign during President Obama's speech to Congress Wednesday night"]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Shouting from the audience. Holding up signs blasting the health care reform bill before Congress. Frequent hissing and booing.

hough it sounds like behavior at one of the health care town hall meetings last month, it was how some Republicans reacted to President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

But Norm Ornstein, a longtime observer of Congress and an expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said the tone and behavior from members of Congress are not necessarily new.

"A lot of what went on [Wednesday] night has become fairly typical of what we've seen in the State of the Union messages over the last 10 or 12 years, where it's one side jumping up wildly and the other side sitting on their hands in stony silence."

The most memorable moment came from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, who shouted "You lie" after the president said that a Democratic-sponsored health care bill would not cover illegal immigrants.

Ornstein said that in addition to being beyond the bounds of what is typical, Wilson's comment is "just sort of stunning in the level of disrespect for not just the president but the presidency."

During several moments in Obama's speech, members of the GOP hissed and yelled at the president as he laid out his plan for reform. One Republican wore a sign around his neck saying, "What bill?"

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, was seen several times typing on his phone during the speech.

Full Story

Filed under: Congress • Health care • Joe Wilson
September 10th, 2009
01:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Heckler Wilson 'a decent guy' with lock on district, observers say

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Heckler Wilson 'a decent guy' with lock on district, observers say."]

(CNN) - Rep. Joe Wilson, who heckled President Obama's speech on health care reform Wednesday night, is a popular, deeply conservative, usually polite Republican with a solid lock on his district, observers say.

After the president told members of Congress that the plan would not pay for treating illegal immigrants, boos and hisses could be heard to Obama's left. Wilson's voice rose above the clatter, shouting, "You lie!"

Speaking near his Capitol Hill office on Thursday, Wilson called his outburst "spontaneous" and said he had apologized in a call to the White House.

"I taught Joe Wilson's kids. He is a good guy. I don't think this is in keeping with him," said Dave Woodard, a Clemson University political science professor who has known Wilson for years.

"He's a decent guy," Woodard added. "We all make mistakes, and I think he made a mistake."


Filed under: Joe Wilson
September 10th, 2009
01:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama accepts apology

(CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.

"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."

Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."

One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.

"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • President Obama
September 10th, 2009
01:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Two words make Joe Wilson an Internet sensation

(CNN) - Two words, delivered with index finger punctuating the air and directed at the president of the United States, made a little-known South Carolina congressman one of the most controversial men on the Internet - at least Wednesday heading into Thursday.

As soon as Rep. Joe Wilson was identified as the person whose angry and audible outburst disrupted President Obama's health care speech to Congress, condemnation was swift - and brutal.

Full story

Filed under: Joe Wilson
September 10th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Wilson insists outburst during Obama speech 'spontaneous'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The South Carolina GOP congressman who shouted at President Barack Obama during his Wednesday night speech to Congress insisted Thursday that his outburst was "spontaneous."

Rep. Joe Wilson shocked many when he shouted "You lie!" after the president denied that health-care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants.

Wilson told reporters Thursday that the Republican congressional leadership told him Wednesday night that they wanted him to contact the White House and indicate that his comments were "inappropriate."


Filed under: Joe Wilson
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