Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama gets taunted "You lie" by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) at health care speech


WASHINGTON--When President Obama told a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night illegal immigrants would not be covered by his health care plans--debunking what he called a "bogus claim"-- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) yelled out, "You lie! You lie!"

Afterwards, Wilson released a statement apologizing for his actions. "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."


Wow. All of these scare tactics and what not and silly Death Panel Republican propaganda has reached a new low. All of the Republicans behaved with the decorum of a group of four year olds, waving their pamphlets above their heads. It is no wonder, seeing as this is the party that spawned Bush Jr and Sr.
Wilson should resign, cause he surely will not get reelected. And like the coward he is, he's taken down his website.

What kind of circus is this country becoming? When town hall meetings, intended to be a forum for civil discourse, become no more civil than a cage fight, and a congressman shouts down the president during a speech...Where are we as a nation? It is no wonder most other countries have very little respect for us. We are one of the two richest nations in the world and we are the ONLY developed nation that doesn't provide Universal Healthcare,
and our elected representatives act like drunk frat boys.

It's time the Republican Party took a few weeks off to reconsider its present posture. The relentless GOP opposition to everything including the truth is hurting the party badly. It will be in a permanent minority if it doen't come up with some ideas instead of the stale call to lower taxes for the rich, boost military spending, and oppose abortion.

Joe Wilson's heckling of Obama was disgraceful, but it shows how far they have slipped and how despeerate the Republicans are.

But Obama does lie. I had to take my daughter to the emergency room for a high fever and if I hadn't offered up my insurance card, they wouldn't have asked me for it. Other than my daughter's name and phone number, no other information was required. I offered up my insurance information AFTER she had been treated so I wouldn't get a huge bill in the mail, but I asked the receptionist if I hadn't offered up my information, who would have paid for her care, and she told me, "Oh, I'm not sure, the government takes care of it." So yeah, if you're an illegal, take advantage of our healthcare system because apparently nobody cares.

It was a breech of etiquette, especially coming from a Rep.. That's the type of behavior one expects from Dems.. At least Wilson apologized. Try getting that from a Democrat.

I go along with Joe Wilson, and he was to smart for Obama . some body got to stop him

Obama is talking 100% politician speak. Yes in the bill it says illegals will not be covered. But no were in the bill is there any thing about VERIFICATION. So illegals will be covered until the dem's pass some kind of verification bill, Don't hold your breath. So they get away with lying and our fantastic media will not call them on it.

That goes to show you just what kind of representation we have. He needs to call the President and apologize personally.

I don't think it was the statement the Prsident but it was the fact that he was a Black man making the remarks and decisions. Race is still a decision amongst a lot of the southern white folks. Just can't stand reality

This is what the Republicans have reduced themselves to. What happened to respec? I do not remember GW being heckled during an address.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), is a typical, stupid
elected American politician.

Wilson is a Republican. What is so surprising?

I tried to get to Rep. Joe Wilson's web site and got this:

Joe Wilson
This site is down for maintenance.
Please check back again soon

What a worthless sack of (redacted). Did he ever call out President Bush for his lies?

I think it's disgraceful. The president of the UNITED STATES being heckled by a SITTING MEMBER OF CONGRESS while addressing a joint session of congress. The only reason this So. Carolina rep. is apologizing is because of the public outcry. The DIShonorable gentleman from South Carolina tested the waters. He wanted to see if he could get away with it. He didn't, so now the coward / bully wants to apologize. I'll accept his apology but ONLY with his resignation.

..."but I asked the receptionist if I hadn't offered up my information, who would have paid for her care, and she told me, "Oh, I'm not sure, the government takes care of it." So yeah, if you're an illegal, take advantage of our healthcare system because apparently nobody cares."

Sorry buddy, the receptionist has no concept of what happens. The hospital eats the cost and then passes it on to people with insurance through inflated charges. You are already paying for illegal immigrants through that $5 Tylenol tablet. Wake up!

The arguments which supposedly "prove" that illegals get insurance coverage is technical speak. Current law REQUIRES a hospital to provide care to ANYONE who enters the emergency room. They DO CARE who, if anyone pays the bill, but the law (which was not changed under republican administrations) forbids them from discriminating on who gets EMERGENCY care. No illegals are getting doctor visits, diagnostic tests or prescriptions covered by the government. Some will fall through the cracks. Just look at how many AMERICANS are stealing Social Security checks meant for their dead relative...

I thought that Republicans were supposed to be the ,"conservative" leaders of congress. I am not sure what makes this guy look more like a clown, his comment or his apology.

I think Wilson's outburst is symbolic of the frustration that many people are experiencing over this health care issue and Obama's administration in general. Obama has been less than forthright on most issues. Trying to pin him down is like trying to hit a moving target.

I cannot recall a presidential speech like the one he gave last night. Blaming and threatening large segments of the country(Most people don't want to pay for some loafer's healthcare.) and singling out cable TV as a puyveyor of mistruths, when it seems that cable is the only place to get objective reporting on his administration. The network executives and elitists are in love with this guy, they run in the same circles and have no idea what it is like to live in a neighborhood.

HR 3200, the House version of Obamacare, mandates that all individuals in the United States, including illegal aliens, be covered by health insurance. Wilson is right. Obama lies.

Rationed health care means that government bureaucrats will decide who does or does not get live-saving treatment. Palin is right. Death Panels are not a lie.

Aaron: Bush was heckled by Democrats during his 2005 State of the Union Address. You're accusing Republicans of reducing themselves to Democrats!

What happened to respect? Since when has respect been involved in the charade of politics? Certainly not since I have been alive or have even studied for that matter. Unfortunately they respect the people of America much less than they do each other.

Our leaders are setting the tone for the country -- mainly that it is okay to be rude and disrespectful. Now I don't have to worry about why young people are so disrespectful -- they see it everyday in our society and it is sanctioned and forgiven by a simple ungenuine "i'm sorry." Our country is going to hell in a handbasket because we have no values or morals and everything is now okay to do and say. The Republican Congressmen looked like grouchy old senile men, acting childish.

We as Americans are losing our place around the globe due to a lack of character and poise. The behaviors that have taken place over the past months are despicable and embarrassing for all Americans. Have we forgotten, the World is looking at us? Why is everything acceptable? Is there no more consideration for time and place decorum and grace? Shame on us all!

What a shame that grown men can resort to acting like spoiled children who can't have a toy. When we vote for a representative we expect them to show leadership skills, respect for others and their constituents, their behavior should be above reproach and should be a model for our children. What I saw and heard last night was shocking and unwarranted, contemptabile, and moronic. We expect more from adult men/women chosen to represent us in Washington. Such conduct is even beneath a ten-year old child. If these men/women cannot conduct themselves in an adult manner, with respect for others opinions, they should be punished and left at home. Rep. Joe Wilson embarrassased, and left a terrible impression of how a southern 'gentlemen' conducts himself in public. Shame on you, Sir. Act like a child and you will be treated like an undisciplined child. In the future, stay home and out of the public eye. I doubt if you will be voted in next election.

Aaron GW first address after his second election he starts to talk about the failure of Medicare. The Dems start to his and boo. When the tables have turned your party seems to easly forget

Mr. Wilson sounds like what he is: a member of a losing organization having a tantrum because he's not the center of attention. Someone should point out to him that he may well have duly earned his current status.

Just be glad that Wilson did not streak during the speech.

The Republicans weren't waiving pamphlets; they were waving the health care reform package they wrote. You know, the one Obama and his boss, Pelosi, refused to read. Maybe Obama wanted to read it but Pelosi wouldn't give him permission. That way Obama could tell Americans, with a straight face, nobody else has offered a plan. The Republicans haven't been invited to the white house since April and their requests have been repeatedly refused.

Obama promised to be bipartisan, another promise he has broken, and transparency in government. In a way he has kept that last promise because I can see right through him. Supporters are in for a big painful letdown. Even the people who play the race card will realize Obama is half white so the race card is irrelevant.

And now we know why the town halls were 3 ring circuses. Wilson should resign! He does not want to work as a team. He just wants the federal retirement funds and the health insurance.

If Joe Wilson were a Black democrat and had said "you lie" during a speech to a joint session of congress to a white republican president he'd have been removed from the building and thrown in jail. Then he'd be stripped of his office and all his assets frozen. If they were in any branch of the military and someone disrespected a superior officer much less the commander in chief like that to his face, he'd have h*ll to pay. But this white boy gets away with a phony apology. Some people need to face up to the fact that they aint all that no more, their days have past.

No Republican Congressman stood up and called LYING George Bush a LIAR when he LIED about Saddam Hussein acquiring yellowcake from AFRICA to make his WMD's!
4000+ brave American soldiers have been killed due to a LIE uttered by a Republican President!

This type of behavior was present in Congress previously. It was when a man from Illinois ( he wasn't born there !) was elected President. He was rumored to be a member of a group of people who wanted to change the way our country treated those in poor circumstances. This change would financially affect the way of doing business in our country, and possibly raise taxes! Legislators walked out on him, encouraged their constituents to attack their political rivals, and if none of that worked they threatened revolution.
Town hall meetings nationwide were disrupted by thugs sent to stop all dialogue.
The loudest and most violent reaction came from, then as now, South Carolina.
Some members of state governments even threatened to secede.
I wouldn't worry though, I'm sure things worked out fine back then. Intelligent conversation and calmer heads prevailed. Right?
All of this is frighteningly familiar

GoNavy, you admit the bill says illegals won't be covered. That means Present Obama told the truth and it was Wilson who was lying.

Oh RL, you know Wilson got hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions for that remark. If he's really sorry, he should return the money. But try getting that from a Republican. This was nothing but a PR stunt from a desperate and dishonest conservative.

I have to wonder what would have happened if W was called a liar during anyone of his speeches when he was lying through his teeth.

when its a democrat calling President Bush a liar and a criminal, it's freedom of speech. When it's a republican calling President Obama a liar, it's disrespectful and called heckling?

Obama is a liar. Do you honestly think that if someone comes into the ER who is an illegal, they will be turned away? Nope

Alverant, I don't get my news from the alphabet networks. Bush was booed, repeatedly called a liar, and compared to Hitler and the Nazis. He was jeered at in addresses to Congress. Wilson's behavior is remarkable in that it is unusual coming from Reps. in that particular venue. I don't agree with it. It is politics unmasked. I was no fan of Bush and I am no fan of Obama. By the way, do you remember Cynthia McKinney? She proclaimed to the media and the world that Bush and Cheney orchestrated 9/11. Is that more damaging than simply being cat called from the gallery? You Dems. have very short and selective memories. It was the first time that the Messiah was ridiculed in public and it actually made the Alphabet Network's news.

Why did this guy have to back pedal and apologize? Stand behind what you say! Does this mean he doesn't think Obama is a liar? Gimme a break. Shouldn't have apologized.

Rep. Wilson was absolutely and undeniably right.

All these crap Obama put on the table for those gullible people to munch on, is bait and switch.

I am qualified to know this Obama gobbledygook.

I used to live 8 blocks away from him in Chicago. He was one of the students who graduated from the Daley Democratic Machine with Rahmbo Emmanuel, David Axelrod, Antoine Rezko, Rod Balgoyevich not only with masteral degree, but a doctorate.

Obama for all intent and purposes, is truly and unquestionably good at the ...... shell game.

What hospital did Lewis Curl go to? Obviously he made the whole scene up.

The last time I went to the emergency room the first things they wanted at the registration desk was a photo ID, my primary insurance card, and a secondary insurance card if I had one.

The shell game was in full dislpay on the tort reform part of the speech, and it was particularly well executed by our Deceiver and Chief. Intead of writing legislation, he's going to "get a guy on it right away". Seems like this "guy" will doubtless run into road blocks while they pass legislation without it. Why doesn't someone in the ask him why they don't put pen to paper on this issue. Could it be another in a long list of political lies?

Pelosi should have gaveled Wilson on the spot and the secret service should have removed him from the House. Therefore, the Whole Wide World was forced to watch a Republican circus side show. By Nancy Pelosi allowing the disorderly conduct from the outset things got out of hand, which allowed Wilson to take advantage of the opportunity to say "You Lie Boy" or "You Liar". Pelosi failed her job as speaker of the house. Bottom Line.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 10, 2009 12:12 AM.

Obama invokes Ted Kennedy from the grave in health care appeal was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Sept. 10, 2009. Abu Dhabi Prince, Health care again, Pittsburgh Penguins is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.