South Carolina representative Joe Wilson says he just couldn’t help himself when he screamed “You lie!” at the president last night during Obama’s big health-care speech. Even though the Democrats’ plan wouldn’t actually change current policy to cover illegal immigrants, Wilson later said he still “disagreed” with the president’s statement that: “the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” In a public apology released after he called the White House to personally deliver his regrets, Wilson said:
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.
In this video, you can watch the moment when Wilson is heard shouting at first over the grumbles off his caucus, and then alone in the silence after Obama finishes speaking. Our favorite part is when Nancy Pelosi, who has been displaying her trademark simpering smile the whole night, turns into a gorgon before your very eyes, swiveling her Medusa head toward the Republican side of the aisle and scanning the crowd for which person she needs to turn to stone.
Shortly after the speech, Republican John McCain, who said plenty of nasty things about Barack Obama (including questioning his truthfulness) during the election, told Larry King on CNN that Wilson’s outburst was “totally disrespectful” and that there is “no place for it in that setting or any other, and he should apologize for it immediately.” Regardless of whether he still “disagrees” with Obama, we bet Wilson is sorry. His opponent for next year’s reelection, a former Marine named Rob Miller who won 46 percent of the vote last time around, has already raised an extra $100,000 in the wee hours since the speech.
Below, Wilson at the moment of “truth.”