Republican “You lie!” outburst becomes Democratic fundraising cry

September 10, 2009

Rarely, if ever, have so few words moved so many people to contribute so much money so quickly.

PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY/RESERVESWithin 15 hours of Republican Representative Joe Wilson yelling “You lie!” at President Barack Obama, Wilson’s Democratic foe in next year’s election received more than 10,000 donations totaling upward of $350,000, according to the House Democratic campaign committee.

“And the numbers are still rising,” a spokesman said.

Wilson’s Democratic challenger, Rob Miller, an ex-Marine turned small businessman, lost a bid last November to unseat the now five-term congressman from South Carolina, 54 percent to 46 percent.

But Miller has suddenly become increasingly hopeful that he can topple America’s best known presidential heckler in the November 2010 contest.

“Representative Wilson’s behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington,” Miller said on Wednesday after Wilson’s outburst during Obama’s nationally broadcast address to Congress on healthcare reform.

“Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our Commander-in-Chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian,” Miller said.

Wilson apologized while congressional Democrats as well as fellow Republicans denounced his actions.

At the White House, Obama brushed off the matter. “I’m a big believer in that we all make mistakes,” he said. “He apologized quickly and without equivocation and I’m appreciative of that.”

While Wilson said he was sorry, he still insisted — despite Obama’s statements to the contrary — that illegal immigrants would be able to get health insurance coverage. “I say that respectfully and we need to discuss the issues,” Wilson told reporters.

Pending legislation denies coverage to illegal immigrants. But critics argue that requirements of proof of citizenship are inadequate.

The Democratic campaign committee hoped to cash-in on the Wilson furor. It sent a letter to donors on Thursday, citing Wilson’s famous one-liner — and aiming to raise another $100,000 in 24 hours to defeat Wilson and other Republicans in next year’s election.

“Your contribution will be immediately put to work to defeat Republican members of Congress and support meaningful health insurance reform,” wrote Jon Vogel, executive director of  the House Democratic campaign committee.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo (dollar bills at a money changer in Manila)


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Let’s not forget, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Oh, just wait. The dollars are coming Joe Wilson’s way also. So go ahead and waste your money Demogogues. HaHaHa!! Joe Wilson is so many people’s hero now!!

Posted by Amanda Weaver | Report as abusive

Mr. Wilson showed no culture, class or considerate decorum with his choice of words, and how it was spoken. Bad taste! I’d say it is South Carolina culture – the
State of Lindsey Graham – all those holy-holy men who are most unholy in their conduct and attitude (especially towards Blacks and Browns). Good that Wilson might lose the next elections – hopefully he will not move to New York. They should put a sign that reads: “We will not send you our homeless, kindly don’t send us your Grahams and Wilsons!”

Posted by Tracy | Report as abusive

I’ll state right off the bat that I’m a Liberal-leaning Independent who doesn’t like Obama so much,so that people reading my comment can know where I’m coming from.That said,one of the rasons I’m not a Democrat is that the Dems have spent the past ten years defining themselves as being the alternative to the Republicans,rather than having a real drive of their own.The wording of that donation solicitation sounds exactly like they’re STILL doing that,even though they’re now in power.And the Repubs basically can’t deal with that fact,so they’re taking their ball and going home,trying to block everything this administration does and ignoring the fact that the American people need things to get done regardless of who’s in power.It sickens me.Wilson behaved like a child,not a member of government.Although I’ll also say that I don’t like the Dems saying we should respect Obama just because he’s the President;that’s exactly what the Repubs were saying about Bush,and I’m furious the Dem voters can be so hypocritical.I’m an Independent because I don’t like partisan politics and this scenario illustrates my point.

Perhaps Wilson should have sent Obama a telegram. Howevr, that does not mean he was wrong in pointing out Obama was fibbing. I believe a California court ruled that illegals were entitled to the same health care coverage as citizens. The Supreme Court refused to hear it on appeal. I think a constitutional law proffessor should know this. If this be fact, then Wilson is correct and the only thing in dispute is his choice of delivery.

Posted by Joel Brandes | Report as abusive

While there appears to be a ban on illegals obtaining healthcare in Obama’s scheme, it is a ruse. Obama is a liar!

While there are no explicit “death panels” in any of the proposed healthcare legislation, the entire scheme demands implicit death panels. Again, Obama is a liar!

etc., etc. right down the line.

Wilson is right. I sent him a lot of my hard earned money precisely because Obama is a liar.

Posted by William Brown | Report as abusive

What do you expect from a country that was born out of violence(War against Indians, War of independence)the founding fathers themselves lied to the African Americans that Slavery will be abolished. It took another brutal war to end it. Then two world wars in which we should have never took part. Both were originated in Europe. Then Korean war, cold war, Vietnam war, Gulf war, then the lie led war against Iraq. Look back at the history of America. There is tension here always and war and blood. Come on guys these southern politicians are showing their true blood of hatred. That is in their blood. Obama was stupid to try to go across the aisle and try to get bipartisan support for Health Care. Well let me tell ya.. his own party is neck deep in the lobby money. He should have taken his own party out of that before doing this Health Care circus to divert attention from the stimulus packages which is corrupting our economy. Think about it in another way.. if not we will be hit by reality we never imagined.

What is embarrassingly absent is any mention of increasing campaign monies for Joe Wilson. Sadly a few weak kneed republicans are showing there sheepishness by not coming forth with sanitizing rays of sunlight on the issue. Did Obama lie?

In HR 3200 an amendment was defeated in committee that would have required the use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, used by almost all other means-tested programs of this kind. In its summary of the bill, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) states, “Under HR 3200, all legal permanent residents (LPRs), non-immigrants, and unauthorized? aliens who meet the substantial presence test… would be required to obtain health insurance.”1 Substantial presence is defined as having been in the United States for at least 31 days during the current year and at least 183 days during the current year and previous two years. No mention is made of legal status in the legislation for determining substantial presence.

Yes Obama did lie and democrats and republicans are foolish not to uncover his deceit.

Shameful, disrespectful, lack of character, what’s wrong with Congress, horrible role model, should be censored, Southern Racism (I’m white), needs to be defeated in next election, and I’m neither Republican or Democratic however President Obama is my President…Regards

Posted by Robert Essian | Report as abusive

To the republicans who are defending Wilson-

I personally don´t have anything against someone criticizing the president. In fact I think Americans are p*****s for not doing it more openly. However, some of your comments make me laugh. It seems like you´re all forgetting how congress bent over while the Bush administration flexed its muscle and overstepped its bounds: allowing wiretapping, the Patriot Act, not to mention allowing the president to start a cancerous war that has done nothing but hemorrage tax payer´s money. And yes it was the congress that should´ve stopped it. Instead the country was full of cowardly soccer moms and dads that either didn´t know what was going on or were too afraid to even speak their minds to friends. Please, grow some balls.

I respect your criticism of the health bill. But let´s be realistic. Criticizing anything the Bush adminstration was doing 5 years ago was political suicide and that´s how the president wanted it. So don´t even try to criticize Obama for overstepping his power, NOBODY is going to take you seriously.

Obama may be a “socialist” (I doubt you really know what this means but I´ll give you the benefit of the doubt). But he is much more of a politician and leader than Bush ever was. At least he knows how to reach out across the aisle without threatening the opposition.

Posted by alejandro | Report as abusive

Thanks you guys. I’m off to make a donation myself! Why you say? Because it is SO OBVIOUS who the REAL CRIMINALS are that who wouldn’t see it? Shame on you.

Posted by Jeanne | Report as abusive

It is all true…Obama is a liar and he is still doing it. Wilson you are my hero!!! Can you imagine a President doing what he is doing. Can he handle the truth? He needs to step aside and make room for real people…GODLY people who do GODLY things. Obama you are a liar…fact

Are the people of South Carolina serious? You have a governor running around with his mistress outside of the country,(family values???) they continually rank in the bottom of all 50 states in education, employment, and health of their citizens.
Wake up people, you deserve better then what you currently have representing you!

Posted by John K - NY | Report as abusive

I hope that Obama’a health reform efforts fail. I can’t stand Democrats. Clinton was horrendous for this country. He’s the closest thing to a black President that the U.S. had. Now we have the real deal and he’s a socialist to boot and will take every bit of money to promote his socialist programs. The US is ruined. Long live capitalism.

Posted by Elise McClintick | Report as abusive

It is, in my judgement, that what we are seeing in Washington is NOT politics as usual where both sides are committed to making things better in America for Americans. It is really warfare among both Political parties trying to annihilate one another. Are any of these people really there fighting to make things better for Americans? On the surface Joe Wilson’s outburst was justifiable because I believe BO is on a mission to destroy America as we know it.

i found what the congress man said on national tv and not only to the entire world is disrespectful to our first black president. i found what the congress man did was rude and very out of place. if obama was a white president, i feel he would never had been heckled on national tv.

this congress man disrespected not only president obama but himself and his political party. if he didnt like what mr obama was saying he couldve gotten up and walked out, in silent protest. but to heckle our president while the world is watching is rude. this is the leader of the free world and to that to him, while ms obama and widow ms kennedy was rude as well.

to me this congress man should be removed from office for such a rude public display of arrogance.

Posted by rohan | Report as abusive

I don’t appreciate the fact that the guy yelled in the middle of a speech, but in his defense, Obama had just finished portraying the opposition to his healthcare plan as people who are completely against all reform, and called them all liars. I’d say Obama’s eloquent insults are no less inflamatory than one guy yelling back at him with essentially the same opinion of Obama. Obama called an entire group of people liars, and that must have been ok, but when one man calls Obama a liar, well, apologies are in order and someone needs to be crucified. Why doesn’t anyone ask Obama to apologize for continually calling his opposition liars? Just remember that there is only one way, and that’s Obama’s way. Anyone else is “opposed to all reform”. Evidently our president believes he owns reform and that everyone else should fall in line and shut up. That’s not a leader – that’s a dictator.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Hey it was great theatre. Even ol bam had to check the teleprompter to see if it was in the speech!

At least one guy told the truth and Pelosi almost lost her dentures. It was fab.

But I tell you this: substituting some wet vibe about doing good is hardly the remedy for messing with a system that is working just fine for 90% of us.

Posted by MargaretT | Report as abusive

To all of you who are so worried about this becoming a socialist country, then don’t accept social security checks, don’t use your medicare or the VA to go to the doctor, don’t send your kids to public school, use public transportation, the post office or use the federal highways.
How many of you are benefiting from all the profits the big oil, insurance, auto, and banks? I would bet not too many. Work 6 days a week, 8 plus hours a day for a lousy $7 an hour.
Keep shopping in Wal-Mart, eating at Cracker Barrel, and becoming a zombie to the christian conservatives!

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

I just sent my money to Joe Wilson. I love that someone, finally, forced the coverage of opposition on the national propoganda machines CNN, CBS,ABC, and all the other alphabet soups. And the flaming hypocrisy of the left is on for full show to all…it was “patriotic” for many senators and congress to “boo” Bush in a State of the Union address, not clap and not stand when he entered,etc..but after this President calls all of us liars and then goes on to lie, lie, lie about every piece of his plan ( or at least, I assume it is all lies since so far nothing he said is true about the only Bill in front of the American People, HR 3200) I was screaming “LIAR” at my TV myself..and was delighted to finally hear someone say “THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES” on national TV!!!
My hero.

Posted by ANN | Report as abusive

John K, this is not a debate over socialism or healthcare. It’s also not the appropriate place to demean the people of SC with your misguided judgement of their collective character. I hope that the people of your state will not be judged here by your words. The article above is about a politician from SC who retaliated when Obama called his peers liars and enemies of reform. The issue is that the gentleman from SC is not opposed to reform – he is opposed to Obama’s definition of reform. He also believes, based on the language of HR3200, that illegal immigrants will receive healthcare under this plan. That is why he says that Obama lied.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

rohan,So let me clarify this the guy shouted out because Obama is a black guy?and the boos when Bush spoke were OK because Bush was a white gut,interesting!

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

In response to James, really? Have you been following the trail of posts? Scan over them, looks as if I agreed with your point of view I wouldn’t be labeled misguided.
I would imagine that there are quite a few people would agree with me.

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

I feel truly sorry for those of you ranting about Obama. You are blinded by your hatred for anyone different from you. You aren’t concerned about Obama’s policies, not at all. But you are concerned that a non-white is leading this country. But because of your hypocrisy, you pretend to hide behind his so-called socialist policies to express your hatred not against those policies but the man himself and what he represents. Name me one single policy proposal Obama has that was NEVER proposed BEFORE in this COUNTRY. If you do, then you’re justified to hate Obama. But if you can’t name anything the man is proposing that was never proposed in the past by a US President then you are exactly what we all know you are: RACIST and IGNORANT!

I think we need to get over the whole outburst issue and not let it distract us from the real issue at hand: healthcare reform.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

The democrats defending Obama are such a joke. They wouldn’t know a lie if their president looked them in the eye and told them…”I did not have sex with that woman”. Anyone responding to me needs to first define the word “is”.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about…then it shows me you are just another snot nose kid with a big mouth.

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

MargaretT is right: if the majority of America gets mediocre health care then screw the minority who die, go bankrupt and languish in pain. It’s not like America was founded by a persecuted minority population of immigrants right?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

I just shake my head when I see people applauding Wilson for his “bravery” to “stand up” to Obama. Here in Canada, in Parliament you can say almost anything you want to the speaker, but you DO NOT call him a liar, or even infer it. Why? Because it only leads to this completely non-productive shouting match you have on your hands right here. You don’t agree, or think the guy is full of BS? Fine. Make a real argument, instead of blurting out “Liar liar pants on fire” like a snotty brat.

Posted by Jeff P | Report as abusive

John K: When you finally move out of Mom and Dad’s basement, earn your own money, and pay your own way, you will begin to view the world differently.

The difference between people like me and the government is that I recognize the limits of my income, I don’t buy what I can’t afford, and I don’t spend money I don’t have. Most importantly, I don’t insist that *you* pay for the things *I* want.

As to the matter of social security, if I could have all the money that was stolen from my paycheck over the years in exchange for opting out of Social Security, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

In fact, the way things are now, if I could get back all the taxes that were taken from me to fund all of those things you listed, in exchange for never being able to use them again, my answer would be the same. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

John K said this:
“To all of you who are so worried about this becoming a socialist country, then don’t accept social security checks, don’t use your medicare or the VA to go to the doctor, don’t send your kids to public school, use public transportation, the post office or use the federal highways….”

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Obama lies?
I believe that for eight years we were submerged in the lying and deceit of a REPUBLICAN president. Only now are we learning of the ways he manipulated others and lied to the American people. I don’t think the republican party should be advocating a policy saying that the democrats lie. Especially after half the candidates who were to run for 2012 office against Obama have various LYING scandals afloat. (ex: sanford, corruption charges against palin and ofcourse the infamous dick cheney and the lies he told the american people)

Posted by Z.A. | Report as abusive

Do the teabagging patriots who support Joe Wilson know they are sending their hard earned money to support a socialist? In 2003, Joe Wilson voted to provide federal funds for illegal immigrants’ healthcare. The vote came on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which contained Sec. 1011 authorizing $250,000 annually between 2003 and 2008 for government reimbursements to hospitals who provide treatment for uninsured illegal immigrants. Whoops!

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

More Republican lies. Lets compare some bills. In 2003 the Republicans, including Joe Wilson, voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. Section 1011 states,
“$250 million are appropriated for each fiscal year, 2005 through 2008, in additional
federal funding for emergency services to undocumented aliens, to be paid directly to

The Democrats bill HR3200 section 246 states,
“NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

It’s amzing how the Republicans can fool half the country into believing their lies. Just more proof of how stupid Americans are. Maybe the Democrats should have set aside $250,000,000 a year for illegal immigrants healthcare, just like the Republicans did in 2003.

Mr. Wilson was grandstanding at the expense of his congressional colleagues. He is going to loose his election, no matter how much money he generates. Barely concealed bigotry, disrepect, emotional outburst, lack of self control are the things that make up Joe Wilson’s life. He should remember that each of us has thirty two guardians to quard one loose tongue. Mr. Obama is the President of The United States. If Mr. Wilson can’t show respect to the Office of the President, then perhaps he should return back to South Carolina. Oh and by the way, sections of the certain bills that the ole boy voted for do provide care for illegal aliens. We as Americans may not want to pay more taxes, but we have never turned our back on those requiring emergency medical services or help. We are after all, Americans! I am proud, and this is the proudest boast of freemen anywhere on the globe. Mr. Wilson, you were rude and should apologize to your colleagues, after all, you were out of line and very rude.

Posted by barrett hays | Report as abusive

Rep Robert Wilson shouted “You Lie”. when Obama said that the bill specifically says that Illegel Immigrants will not be covered with Health Care Reform. This is what the Bill says, but the people writing the bill and the President Lied and they should know better.

The U.S. Constitution states that any person living in the United States must be given the same rights and benefits as any other person living in the United States. When the Constitution was written there were NO Immigration Rules or Restrictions. All people are to be treated equal. The President and the Congress should know what is written in the Constitution. The President is a Constitutional Lawyer and He should know.

Posted by Carl Antrim | Report as abusive

People have the right to their own opinion.

Enforce term limits on the legislature. Make the terms reasonably short. Keep people from becoming career politicians and you might see more change for the better.

The differences between the parties is taken over by self interested politicians that have a vested interest in keeping term limits out of the legislature. Demand and enact term limits.

Also get rid of corporate citizenship. If corporations are no longer considered citizens, the interests of true citizens will be better served. Changing those two things will change the whole political game in favor of the citizen. Then the people will truly have a voice.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive