Facing South

South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying during speech is a health industry darling

Joe_Wilson_official_photo.jpgDuring President Obama's address on health insurance reform to a joint session of Congress last night, he observed that some people have been spreading bad information about his proposal -- and that contrary to what's been said it would not cover illegal immigrants.

At that point the president was interrupted by Rep. Addison Graves "Joe" Wilson (right), a Republican from South Carolina.

"You lie!" Wilson shouted from the crowd.

Obama paused for a moment before continuing his address as Wilson's colleagues looked on in shock following the breach of protocol.

During a post-speech interview with CNN's Larry King, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wilson should apologize, calling his behavior "totally disrespectful." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the New York Times that Wilson's behavior was "not appropriate."

Wilson's office later issued an apology for the outburst:

"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."

It was not the first time Wilson -- attorney, U.S. Army vet and former aide to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond -- has raised eyebrows by shouting at political opponents.

Seven years ago this month, the then-freshman Wilson appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" with five-term Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) to discuss whether to go to war in Iraq, action that Filner opposed but Wilson supported. In the course of the discussion, Filner noted that the U.S. supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime during the Iran-Iraq War -- a fact revealed by the investigation into the Iran-Contra Affair, which discovered the Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to Iran, then under an arms embargo, to win support for freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon and to fund the Nicaraguan contras, a counterrevolutionary rebel force that was fighting the country's government.

But Filner's statement incensed Wilson, as the Washington Post reported at the time:

"That is wrong. That's made up," Wilson fired back. "I can't believe you would say something like that."

When Filner calmly held his ground, advising Wilson to read newspaper reports and other documentation, the Republican erupted: "This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that."

As moderator Connie Brod sat by helplessly, Filner challenged: "Hatred of America? . . . Are you accusing me?"

"Yes!" Wilson shouted. For good measure, over the next minute Wilson accused Filner of harboring "hatred of America" four more times, of being "hateful" three times and of being "viscerally anti-American" once. Filner responded, "This is not worth replying to," and Brod finally regained control of the discussion by taking viewer phone calls.

Whether because of his outspokenness or in spite of it, Wilson is a major recipient of contributions from the health care industry.

In fact, over his entire congressional career, health professionals represent Wilson's top industry contributors, donating a total of $244,196 to his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics OpenSecrets.org database. He received another $86,150 from pharmaceutical companies, $73,050 from insurance companies and $68,000 from hospitals and nursing homes.

Among Wilson's top contributors are the American Hospital Association, a lobby group that represents the interests of hospitals and health networks, and the American Medical Association, which represents physicians.

(UPDATE: Jed Lewison at Daily Kos has dug up footage of the C-SPAN incident.)

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re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

pretty

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Good work Sue!

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Wilson is not a US Army vet. He had a student deferment during the Vietnam era but was in the Army Reserve and National Guard post-Vietnam. After Wilson trash-talked John Kerry's Vietnam record during the 2004 campaign he was called out as a "chicken hawk" by former Sen. Max Cleland, who actually was a Vietnam veteran who lost three limbs there.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

No problem. I just donated $20 to Rob Miller's campaign. He actually served in the USMC in Iraq. Turning the Party of Hate's toxic spills into blessings is becoming quite the rage.

I live in Florida, but will be watching and supporting Miller. He is an impressive candidate, and would be an assest to S.C., Lord knows they could use some help.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Where is his military training regarding restraint? He "lost it" last night and the whole world witnessed it! Now his opponent is cashing in on his "faux pas." Shame, shame, Mr. Wilson . . . . .

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

He hardly "lost it". What he did was made a strong statement that would get the media to talk about for the next two weeks making it harder for anybody to "oversee" the issue in the health care reform.
Atta boy, Mr. Wilson

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

I agree with Mr. Wilson. The apology needed is to the American public.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

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.Which part of this statement do you not understand?

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

What he did was made a strong statement that would get the media to talk about for the next two weeks making it harder for anybody to "oversee" the issue in the health care reform.
Atta boy, Mr. Wilson

Except what he yelled about (a.) was patently, demonstrably false and (b.) now has not just the media but the GOP coming down on him. That's your "boy"?

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Who is calling the kettle black? Joe wilson has lied and what a surprise that he was elected in the past, giving the inflamatory remarks that the SC people love

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

While mr Wilsons remark was very untimely it was accurate!! or perhaps we could say mr. Obama's statement was inaccurate.However character assasination will change neither

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Actually, Jim, Rep. Wilson's remark was apparently based on bad information. The bill we're talking about here, H.R. 3200, specifically disallows "Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." There's a good explanation of this at the Open Congress blog. Factcheck.org also debunked this claim.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Joe Wilson’s outburst is a symptom of the grossest kind of incivility. I think it has nothing to do with health care, nothing to do with policy, or pending legislation. The cat-calling, race-baiting, and charges of being un-American, Fascist, Socialist, or Communist against the President, members of his party, and threats against the President and members of his family are indicative of a deep paranoia that resides inside of some people in America. Racism is a disease. A person can get healed from it.

Joe Wilson must go!

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

The hatred you "atta boy " types spread is sad... I'll bet your a christian too eh? you're obviously not too bright since all day today it has been noted that Mr. Obama was correct, and there is NO help to be given to illegial residents. You don't want to hear that do you?? So the only orifice working in your case is your mouth. hate on fella.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

re: sue sturgis 5:58 input... not only is he "uncivil"...("apparently based on bad information...") he speaks without knowing. The state of SC should be proud to know that they have a "guy" out there representing them and making statements without even reading the bills he is "quoting"??

let us pray!!!

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Maybe the gov. and this fine speciman could go back to the other side of the equator for an extended period???

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Joe "you lie!" Wilson a pawn of the pharmacutical companies, is obviously a closet KKK member. Adolph Hitler won acclaim in pre-WWII Germany thanks to his negative propaganda machine that spread mis-information and hatred---sounds like the Republican party.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Wilson's statement was NOT false. The only limitation on illegal aliens getting insurance through this program is that they won't get any "poor people credits". They will have the same right to buy AND PAY FOR insurance as any real citizen. And since they don't pay taxes, they will not be helping to support the program.

WHEN THEY'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AT ALL. DEPORT THEM NOW.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

The only help for illegal aliens that is NOT there is the cheaper "poor people's plan". Every other aspect of this program will be available to illegal aliens. Obama lied, Wilson was right. Rude, but right.

THEY'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE, DEPORT THEM NOW.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

You libtards. When your guy's called a liar to his face all you can do is stand there with your mouths open sputtering.

How delicious!!! I wish that all of the Republican's had stood up as a group and marched out at the multitude of lies pouring out of his mouth last night.

Makes me long for the days with Senators carried around walking sticks!!

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

I guess I need to run for Congress. There is apparently a lack of HONOR among MEN ,Southern MEN should be able to control their outburst to proper effective methods . WHat effect is a jeering shout?? Disrespect the office make yourself look foolish??
Consider a wiser response! THAT is WHAT AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE dependent on. A real plan do you have a better plan ?

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Yeah, I too wish all the Republicans walked out on Obama last night. Democratic opponents of those Representatives and Senators would have reaped millions.

Please, I urge Republicans, either moderate and be constructive, or do as you've been doing for quite some time... keep digging that hole you're in deeper and deeper. You're already a regional party. Might be nice to see you dig yourself into China, then you'd be the illegal aliens.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

The fuss was over whether illegal aliens will have gov't sponsored/taxpayer subsidized healthcare benefits. What they can buy is what they can buy, and only "governed" by the private businesses happy to take their money - and hire them and pay them less than American workers. To qualify for a Private Option or lower cost plans, a person will have to show s/he can't afford another insurance, which will require tax records, which would require the illegal alien to have been paying taxes. So if ya wanna deny illegal aliens the right to BUY private health insurance, you'll have to tell profit-based private insurers not to accept their money . . . Oops - but that would interfere with private business' right to do anything they please as long as they show a profit, right? Yikes!!!!! Heaven forfend!
People like SC Rep Whatshisface need to try to figure out what they're talking/barking about. (Sorry to insult the canine race there, folks - )

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Michael, did you see the republicans holding up their health care plans every time President Obama asked if anybody had a better plan? Wilson's outburst was justified, and what does being a southern man have to do with it? Wow...
And Slag, by Wilson saying he let his emotions get the best of him makes total sense to me. He could have handled it better but it was just too painful to sit and listen to the sugar coated lies.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

actually, since there are no real verification measures to check for legal status, what wilson said is true. the democrats in committee specifically denied republican amendments to add such verification measures. some of the verification measures are in use in many federal programs, but apparently they're not good enough for this bill. so though technically illegal aliens are "banned" from publicly financed health care coverage under this bill, they can easily access the program if they want. reasons like this are why people should never take what politicians say at face value.

wilson may be a jerk who broke decorum, but ad hominem attacks do not change the plain fact that obama did lie.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

If you are going to list contributors to Wilson, then be fair and
list Obama's. And don't forget the illegal votes arranged by
ACORN....without those it is possible Obama would not be prez.
There are truths unspoken...such as treatment paid by tax-payers
when illegals go to hospitals for free care and cannot be turned
away. Face it. This, among others brought on by Obama and his
Czars (who are illegal)have put the good ole' USA and our beloved
Constitution in a very deep hole. I fear for the future even if
some of you backers cannot see it. As for Joe Wilson, he has
apologized for his outburst even though it is true. Just wait.
Let's see who is howling when your tax bills arrive. jh

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

And Barack Obama received over 12 million from health professionals and over 3 millions from hosptitals and nursing homes. Granted larger scale campaign. But I'm sure everyone takes money from the health industry in DC. I'm a democrat. But heard this morning that the congressional research showed Joe wasn't incorrect and the President was quite accurate. Be it rude to yell out something like that and totally inappropriate - it's getting me more involved in what the discussion is...

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Right on Joe Wilson. He did lie, or as you politely said "misstated" The president is still campaigning and needs to
be corrected when he "misstates" Hang in there.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

You go, Jim. You're our hero. You're the only one who was telling the truth!!!!!!!!

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

I do not understand,Blind sheep,If hussein,Had not been lieing in the first place,He would not had been called a lier,You illiterate people.hussein obama,WAS PROVED to be lieing,IN pelosi,reid,husseins Health-Die plan,The GREAT ALL AMERICAN PATRIOT JOE WILSON,STOOD UP AGAINST,THE MOST CORRUPT SOCIALIST PARTY,AMERICA has ever seen,Joe Wilson,Does not need DIRTY CORRUPT MONEY or acorn,He has something the demoncraps,Dont know anything about,INTEGRITY,MORIALS,ETHICS,What does it take for you blind mice,To realize that you are a sucker,And being lied to so much,I think some of you love being used,One day you will see how stupid you've been,When it is to late for all of us.When A MAN,Gets tired of enough lies,HE'S had enough,If you think a man would put his integrity,On the line in front of the world,If it was not true,My GOD PEOPLE WAKE!!,When you know a person,And every body atleast one person in their life,That is a known lier,You get fed up with the crap time after time,You blow up,You have had enough,Would you buy a millon dollar home,Give the man cash,And he said just sign the contract,I'll will send it later,There are just a few change's.Then you can read it.The demoncraps,Are so low & discussting,They are trying to start a race war,Which so sick & dangerous,While they sit up there stealing our money,Letting good people go to prison,On their damn lies,Just because people disagree,Does not them a racist,This is the SAME garbage the clintons,Tried 9 yrs ago,And they still dont have a solid plan,If the government media,shows the town hall meeting,You can planly see these thugs,Still wont give them a answer,Not one of them,hussein is still giveing the same old campaine speach,Not one fact,People after all the billons of stuminus dollars wasted,Now he is wanting a trillon,For the just year,Will not decuss,How much the years after that,Do YOU PEOPLE EVEN WATCH THE NEWS,OH I forgot[sorry]You watch the government media puppets,You old people in Fla.You are the ones that is going to lose the most,And I will laugh,At how stupid you are,& deserve it the most,Next to Calif.& NV.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Dickie, you're not helping the cause. It's kind of hard to get your point across when you're drunk and it shows.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

I wish they had all walked out also and just kept going, going, going into the Potomac.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

You were lied to for so long (8 years) you don't know when you hear the truth. (weapons of mass destruction, no climate warming, they will welcome us with flowers, etc etc.) You are stuck on stupid.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

And herein lies the real problem. People like Dickie (a perfect name for him) above are actually brainwashed by major corporations and Fox News into believing some kind of false reality. Barack is the most articulate, intellectual, and I believe genuinely caring Presidents we have had in a long time. The way Dickie sounds he would rather have his Republican party corporate bulldog buddies run everything just like the last eight years. Wake up, your ignorance is destroying you. And if that was a hint of violence in your voice then that makes you a domestic enemy, an enemy of the "Constitution" that you keep blathering on about (except the real Constitution is much different from your biased, ignorant, never actually read it interpretation).

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

The point of health reform isnt so that you get cheap healthcare, its so that everyone gets healthcare so that uninsured ER bills etc don't get passed on to the rest of us when someone can't pay. (And yes, as of the joe wilson attention stunt I had read the full text of the bill.) This is what brings the cost down and generates bargaining leverage. If you don't believe insurance is out of hand, you've never had a health problem. Example: I had to have an MRI of my head last year. Nothing fancy, just one series of pictures. Without insurance this would have cost $12,000. (I was also instructed to have this repeated every six months...) As it is they still want several grand because my plan keeps scaling back coverage, but thats another story altogether.

The point is,If an illegal immigrant gets this test done just ONCE, that 12 grand gets passed on to the rest of us when they don't pay. They don't get the low income federal assistance, so even if they WERE allowed to buy the plan it saves EVERYONE ELSE from having to pay their bills. I live in LA and that sort of thing is quite a problem here...medical prices are grossly inflated, often because they account for a certain percent of people not paying their bills or having insurance. Let the illegals buy into the plan if they want it...it only means less bills for everyone else.
So, to sum up, joe wilson is speaking out of his ass.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

What a jerk...embarrassing that he represents my state.

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

Hey MyDime...... How soon we forget that the ENTIRE democrat side hooted and cat called when George Bush was giving the STATE of THE UNION address. A much more formal address than a speech in which, BTW BO was lying.

Thanks for attacking a true American....

Great selective memory.......

re: South Carolina lawmaker who accused president of lying durin

How come the Senate voted the next day to "correct" HR 3200 that allowed illegals?