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article imageRep. Joe Wilson apologizes for calling president a liar

By Kay Mathews     Sep 10, 2009 in Politics
South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson shouted "you lie" as President Obama clarified that illegal aliens would not be provided health care coverage. Wilson apologized for his "lack of civility."
During Pres. Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) shouted “you lie,” reports The New York Times. This outburst came as the president was pointing out that health reform proposals do not include any provisions to provide health coverage to illegal aliens.
Pres. Obama continued his remarks even though the awkward moment was palpable.
Republicans and Democrats alike criticized Wilson’s exclamation.
The New York Times reports that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-New York) said of Wilson’s comment, “It is outrageous.” Moreover, Sen. Mitch McConnell (D-Kentucky) said, “I think we ought to treat the president with respect and anything other than that is not appropriate.”
Rep. Wilson issued the following apology, according to the New York Times:
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.
Additionally, Wilson phoned the White House and reached Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, who accepted Wilson’s apology on behalf of the president.
As legislators tried to recall if an incident like this had happened before, it was pointed out “that a similar remark could draw a formal reprimand if delivered during a routine session of the House,” notes the New York Times.
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