Republican calls out President Obama during live health care plan speech
Speech to joint session interrupted by, “You lie!”
In an amazing surreal moment, Rep. Joe Wilson, a little known Republican from South Carolina shouted “You lie!” as President Obama defended his health-care plan, after the president said that he had never proposed providing coverage to illegal aliens.
The shocking interruption prompted Obama to briefly pause in the delivery of his speech and turn to his heckler. While emotions are often heated during these joint sessions with the president and members of Congress (please note all the Republicans sitting on their hands), the proper decorum typically is maintained. Such was not the case Wednesday, however, as the president gave his address to a joint session of congress, not to mention a national audience.
Those on both sides of the aisle immediately objected to the action. In an interview with CNN afterward, Sen. John McCain denounced the outburst and urged him to apologize. A little more than an hour after the speech, Wilson did just that.
“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,” he said. “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.” Wilson also personally called the White House to offer an apology, which was accepted by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Wilson, a little known Republican, was largely an unknown on the national scene before the outburst. Nothing could be further from the truth now as he’s one of the hottest topics on the internet and social networks; and to say he’s not a positive topic is the understatement of the month. Some of his most severe critics are vowing to contribute money to his Democratic opponent in what already looks like a tough 2010 race.
One thing is for sure, Wilson’s outburst didn’t do Republicans any favors. First of all, it not only will galvanize Democrats, but also completely overshadowed the official Republican response to Obama’s speech. Republican spokesman Rep. Charles Boustany, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Louisiana, urged Obama to scrap the current bill and start anew with true bipartisan negotiations. “We agree much needs to be done to lower the cost of health care for all Americans. On that goal, Republicans are ready and we’ve been ready, to work with the president for common-sense reforms that our nation can afford,” he said.
Imagine waking up this morning and you name is Joe Wilson, Representative from the great state of South Carolina as you look into the mirror to shave. One would imagine you’d be calling yourself a few names…