GOP Rep. Joe Wilson Calls the President a Liar During Address to Congress

225px-Joe_Wilson,_official_photo_portrait,_color In one of the most extraordinary breaches of congressional etiquette in the history of presidential addresses to Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) screamed at President Barack Obama last night “You lie” during his speech on health care. In this video, you can see the surprise on Pelosi’s face who appears honestly and legitimately shocked.

The President had just declared that it is not true that the health plan would cover illegal immigrants and the President immediately looked over to Wilson who can be heard clearly screaming “You lie.”

In fact, Section 246 of the law states:


Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for
affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully
present in the United States.

Wilson represents the second district in South Carolina. His actual name is Addison Graves Wilson, Sr. but goes by Joe. He was an aide to Sen. Strom Thurmond. He is best known to many citizens for his crusade against online poker. However, he has also supported such worthy projects as the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, legislation that made safe water and sanitation an objective of U.S. assistance to developing countries.

Within minutes, conservative groups rallied to defend Wilson and this video defense was released calling Obama a Liar.

Wilson apologized after the speech and insisted that the statement was “spontaneous“. He released a statement of contrition and called the White House:

“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.”

Ironically, this is only the latest live mike problem this week for Republicans, here.

It is not that Dems cannot show bad form, but the worst breach of civility came when they booed President Bush in 2005, which is mild in comparison:

This is still far better than what English Prime Ministers have to put up with on a regular basis:

For the full story, click here.

98 thoughts on “GOP Rep. Joe Wilson Calls the President a Liar During Address to Congress”

  1. skew,

    I know exactly how insurance companies operate. I used to beat them down in court all the time. I even worked for one. Once. Whereas you apparently work for them full time.

    Appropriate nick, skew, since that’s all you do.

  2. Anonymously Yours…I agree whole heartedly with the need to keep the three sectors separated. As a past banker, I never did like the idea of the bank offering insurance and securities. Banks have totally gotten away from the definition of “bank”.

    Leave it to our “representatives” to screw up a good thing just like they screwed up Social Security and Medicare and are now to afraid to address the problems because they don’t want to lose the perks they give themselves.

  3. toray99…good information. This is precisley why these particular industries need to be heavily regulated but left with just enough room to be competitive in the world market.

  4. skew,

    FDR put into that legislation for some reason. Maybe it was his family that lost a fortune in the 1898 or 1896 collapse/recession? The Reagan years started the tide for deregulation and reincorporation/reintegration of the Banks, Insurance and Stock Market.

    It was his intent that the three should never merge as one. So much for FDR’s policy’s. I took a course at UT called Economics and the Economical History of the US from the beginning. I thought it was bull shit when I read it but now I see it as sound wisdom. If I remember correctly it was taught by Dr. Forrest Hill. I think his name stands out because he was kinda geeky and a damn good professor.

    He did warn the class through out the year that is you cannot rely upon “paradigm notes” (short cuts notes for cutting class)which were an outline of his class. He changed it up every year and they proved to be useless. Other words, attend class, take your own notes and read the book, be ready for one final exam as that was the only grade we would have. What kinda of logic was that?

  5. Repealing Glass Steagall Act was why banks and mortgage companies tanked.
    GSA set up a regulatory firewall between commercial and investment bank activities, both of which were curbed and controlled. Banks were given a year to decide on whether they would specialize in commercial or in investment banking. Only 10% of commercial banks’ total income could stem from securities; however, an exception allowed commercial banks to underwrite government-issued bonds. Financial giants at the time such as JP Morgan and Company, which were seen as part of the problem, were directly targeted and forced to cut their services and, hence, a main source of their income. By creating this barrier, the GSA was aiming to prevent the banks’ use of deposits in the case of a failed underwriting job.
    Congress made another decision to regulate the banking sector. In an effort to prevent financial conglomerates from amassing too much power, the new act focused on banks involved in the insurance sector. Congress agreed that bearing the high risks undertaken in underwriting insurance is not good banking practice. Thus, as an extension of the Glass-Steagall Act, the Bank Holding Company Act further separated financial activities by creating a wall between insurance and banking. Even though banks could, and can still can, sell insurance and insurance products, underwriting insurance was forbidden.
    Consequently, to the delight of many in the banking industry (not everyone, however, was happy), in November of 1999 Congress repealed the GSA with the establishment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which eliminated the GSA restrictions against affiliations between commercial and investment banks. Furthermore, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows banking institutions to provide a broader range of services, including underwriting and other dealing activities.
    We saw what happened in 2008, so the rest is history.

  6. rcampbell…forgive me if you thought I was defending insurance companies. I am defending the fact that most people say insurance companies are the big bad monsters that created all of the problems when that is entirely not true. As for the mortgage companies, wallstreet brokers, lack of federal oversight and let’s not forget banks in general causing an economic collapse…I totally agree. Those are the kinds of companies that need to be heavily regulated and watched like a hawk…which all of our politicians refused to do. I do wonder what you prefer instead of a private insurer. Please tell me it is something other than another public option which by its own definition would fail and go bankrupt…see Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Social Security…need I go on.

  7. I agree with Byron that 908 billion could have been spent better. But let’s take a further look at what could have been purchased and leave out the fact that conservative, moderate and liberal c-suckers voted to go war.

    68 million people with health insurance coverage. That’s only for one year so you need to spend the same amount every year to do any good. Waste-water treatment plants are a good thing and would continually employee people…of course these are usually publice sector employees so the costs to the public would continually rise. Refineries and nuclear power-plants are good, but if we really want to reduce our dependency on foreign oil or oil period, the research,design and manufacturing of renewable fuel technology would be even better.

    My point is that our politicians are not in office for our best interest but only to line their own pockets…all of them. I wish we had true representatives of the people like they had when this country wsa founded.

  8. On the other hand, Skew, I want the insurance companies put out of business entirely. Defending the insurance industry is very much like saying the Wall St bankers, mortgage brokers and the absence of a strong federal government which together caused the near collapse of the US and potentially the world economy, were just doing their regular jobs.

  9. 980 billion is a lot of money. lets say health care costs for a private premium are 1,200 per month that would be 14,400 per year or 1.4×10^4
    980 billion is 9.8×10^11

    so 9.8×10^11/1.4×10^4 = 6.8×10^7 people that could have been covered, that is 68 million people.

    Bridges are only around 20 million for bread and butter ones so that would be 49,000 bridges or what about waste water treatment plants lets say about 75 million so we could have 13,067 of those or what about new refineries lets say 3 billion so that would be 327 new refineries or at 14 billion for a Nuclear Reactor we could build 70 of them! These would be jobs that would actually benefit our economy and give us new infrastructure and help reduce dependence on foreign oil and lower electricity costs. So that was the cost of going to war with a bunch of 12th century barbarians to protect 12th century barbarians.

    The more I think about this the madder I get. We bailed Saudi Arabia’s royal family out of the fire and destroyed our own economy. I hope all you compassionate conservatives are happy now, you stupid c-suckers.

  10. Buddha obviously has no clue about insurance companies or the way they are operate. Let’s use your home as a patient…your pipes clog up and you call a plumber, the doctor, to fix the problem (treat the illness). You tell the plumber that you have insurance and want him to bill the insurance company instead of paying the $100 bill yourself. So the plumber bills the insurance company and they say wait a minute, the definition of insurance is to protect the person against a catastophic loss to their home, not to pay for every little problem that needs to be fixed. If you want me to add that coverage, it will cost you additional. The same goes for health insurance, we want the insurance company to pay for everything while we pay little to nothing. Sure there are companies that operate illegally and there are regulations to catch them and put them out of business. No insurance company can deny treatment to an insured based upon an individual’s health condition. Doctors and hospitals deny treatment based on payment…that is where true reform needs to start.

  11. Sorry, that should have been directed at skew.

    Mutlitasking again. We are having multiple technical issues this morning so I think I’m going to stop chatting and address those because they are becoming and increasing distraction.


  12. Let It Go,

    Now if you include the number of independent contractors that were used, actually the number of Federal Employees increased during the Reagan years.

    If you take the number of people who are no longer eligible for Unemployment Insurance and the number of people that were or self employed, then the actual numbers would increase as well.

    A fool and his number soon divide the house.

  13. I haven’t had coffee today, I explained my software issues, but if you want to just act like a dick I’ll be glad to oblige and treat you like one.

    The math STILL doesn’t work out in your favor, trillions or billions. Or does that not get through that thick skull, McFly? It’s still enough money to grant 1st class coverage to every citizen. Non-citizens? Yeah, they shouldn’t be included as they don’t pay taxes, but once again, you are not addressing the core issue of insurance companies and the money they literally steal from being used in ACTUAL health care, the activity, and the money that they “take” as profits. Once again you’re showing you are too stupid to seperate an activity necessary for a good life for all vs. a corporate endeavor NOT necessary. So you’re either 1) an total moron or 2) a fascist co-conspirator with some vested interest in not seeing the systemic inefficiency that insurance companies add (while adding ZERO value) removed so that money now being spent on executive spa retreats and meetings in the Bahamas could be spent on, what’s that? Duh . . . ACTUALLY TRYING TO HEAL PEOPLE.

    For a paramedic, someone with medical training? You must be pretty damn stupid not to see what’s wrong with that picture. How about next time you’re on a call, go in an ambulance with no supplies and see how that works for you. I know for a fact if a paramedic as dumb as you showed up I’d opt for walking to the hospital.

    Since you’ve proven you don’t want to take your sister to task but would rather act like a propsganda spewing GOP finger pointing troll and return to “Democrats Democrats Democrats”, that’s how you’ll be treated here – like any other propaganda troll. Your assumption is that I’m a Democrat or that I support EITHER party. It’s a very very bad assumption.


    Because you are way out of the shallow end of the pool, sport.

  14. JT:

    “Please keep this in mind in any further accusations that a politician is a citizen of this god-fearing, donkey-respecting community:


    Ok, ok, correction to the correction noted:

    Joe Wilson (Lower Than a Jackass, S.C.)

  15. The man used his right of freedom of speech…good for him. He spoke up for the American people – someone should b/c Obama doesn’t listen. He’s all about big-government…we are slowly losing our rights as a free country and people are too caught up in “Obama, our celebrity President” to even realize it. How often do you speak from your emotions…just like we all are RIGHT now on this blog – Joe Wilson spoke up for what he KNEW was the truth. Let it go, people…he spoke out like any American would do. The President deserves as much respect as the rest of us…he can handle a little opposition, he’s a “big boy” – or at least we hope so since he IS the head of our country

  16. Wilson FAN 1, September 10, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Representative Joe Wilson is my new hero.


    It was the best part of Obama’s long boring speech!

    I may send him a campaign contribution for speaking up and pointing out Obama’s lies….even though I don’t live in his state!


    House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith said:

    “The American people are more intelligent than the President gives them credit for.
    Are you sure that you have the correct Presidential Administration? Remember that are you smarter than a 5th Grader came out while W was president?

  17. I’m so mad…I could throw my shoe at that Wilson guy…ooooh! Actually this is a non-issue, even though it probably does break with Congressional etiquette and decorum. But I guess that only applies to NORMAL people, Wilson’s above that…or below that as the case may be. What a dope.

  18. Representative Joe Wilson is my new hero.


    It was the best part of Obama’s long boring speech!

    I may send him a campaign contribution for speaking up and pointing out Obama’s lies….even though I don’t live in his state!


    House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith said:

    “The American people are more intelligent than the President gives them credit for. They understand that simply saying illegal immigrants can’t participate without providing verification is like putting a speed-limit sign on a road, then setting a policy that prohibits police from patrolling the road; it won’t stop speeders, and this bill won’t stop illegal immigrants from benefitting.”

  19. Not to keep beating a dead horse buddha, but YOUR site shows a number that reads approximately 908 billion with a “B” not a “T”. Obviously you are much better at insulting people than reading…maybe that could be because ignorance leads to inflammatory remarks. Makinsnce and George are right about insurance not being a right but a privelege. I have personally witnessed people turn down excellent insurance coverage for $40 a month because they could go on Medicaid or thought they were too young and healthy to need the coverage. If healthcare reform is so necessary to the american people, why do they feel the need to include illegal immigrants in their figures of uninsured…bogus number by the way. Also, why did the democrats not allow some way of checking a person’s residency before allowing them access to “Affordability Credits”. This is just another liberal way of saying illegal immigrants should have access to healthcare paid by the american people…same way they do education.

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