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September 15th, 2009
09:21 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Punishment for "You Lie" Outburst?

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, shouts 'You lie!' during President Obama's speech Wednesday night.

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, shouts 'You lie!' during President Obama's speech Wednesday night.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

With all Pres. Obama speaking about the economy today and people all over country worried about an economic rebound and the fate of health care, did you see what the House of Representatives was doing today?

It passed a resolution of disapproval against Republican Congressman Joe Wilson for shouting "You lie!" during Pres. Obama's speech to Congress last week. The vote was 240 to 179, with seven Republicans voting for the resolution and twelve Democrats voting "no". Five other Democrats voted simply "present" – taking no side.

What do you think: Is this all a waste of time? Should lawmakers be focused on more important things? Or did Rep. Wilson deserve the political scolding? Sound off below.

Joe Johns went to Capitol Hill to dig deeper on the Wilson rebuke. He discovered the South Carolina congressman wasn't hiding in his office. Don't miss his "Keeping them Honest" report tonight.

We also launch our series "Medical Malpractice: Who wins, Who Loses, Who Pays?" tonight. We uncovered this startling fact from the Institute of Medicine: Medical error kill at least 44,000 American each year. That makes medical mistakes deadlier than breast cancer, AIDS or motor vehicle accident. Of course, doctors aren't the only ones making mistakes – but when they happen what should be done? Last week, Pres. Obama in his speech to Congress called for a new look at how medical malpractice is handled to possibly lower health care costs. Doctors like that. Lawyers, not so much.

Plus, a former speechwriter for Pres. George W. Bush is speaking out – giving Bush 43's opinions of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Gary T.

    If Joe Wilson was really "sorry" about his outburst to the President he would apologize as many times as he is requested to.
    He is NOT sorry!
    Say it ain't so Joe??

    September 16, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  2. richard h

    If you cannot answer an arguement, just deflect the issue to something trivial. Ever witnessed Tony Blaire speak before Parliment? Move on. What is being pawned off on us as health care reform is a lie and maybe we had better force our would-be political masters to tell the truth before we all wake up in a collective nightmare.

    September 16, 2009 at 7:12 am |
  3. Pat

    I think there is a time and a place for everything. He was disrespectful and most of us outside of America wonder if he would have done it to president Bush. We do not think so!

    We have good healthcare in Sweden and last I check Sweden is not a communist country.

    I hope president Obama push on with the reform. It is about time. How can Americans think of themselves as a great nation/people, when vast majority of Americans cannot afford such basic necessity.

    September 16, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  4. Mr. Britt

    @ jackie turner, I live in the great state of Mississippi, and im white. There isnt one family member or friend of mine that thinks we are superior to any other race. NOW, you come visit my state and see how the African American act towards the whites. I never get anything but bad attitudes and intemidation. Im 32 years old, and i know things in the past were VERY wrong, BUT i didnt have ONE thing to do with that. So i dont owe any other race a thing...bottom line

    September 16, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  5. LB09

    Not speaking up is the same as agreeing.

    Look back in history and see what happened when too many people remained silent.

    It's done, move on – this is now just a tactic to distract people from the real issues.

    September 16, 2009 at 6:07 am |
  6. kay

    apology given....apology accepted....move on to more important business. Bush was called a liar all the time.....

    September 16, 2009 at 5:27 am |
  7. Bee

    He did lie- and when what he is saying follows no logical sequence or is failed by reason and common sense, he further insults people by expecting them not to notice. He just robotically repeats the salespitch in defiance of the people's will and charge. He works for us and yet assumes he can dictate reforms to American constitutional government and go back on his word, so somebody finally spit out what the speech illicited.

    September 16, 2009 at 3:31 am |
  8. Ralph

    As long as Joe Wilson is in office, progressives should boycott Hilton Head.

    September 16, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  9. tbolden

    Everyone has an opinion on what Obama is trying to accomplish with healthcare, but what is the opinion of the Ex president Bush who started this downward spiral in the first place. We haven't heard from him since he left office.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:36 am |
  10. keisha

    what he did was uncalled for and he should publicly apoligize free speech yes but dont direspect the president he's a congressman for gods sake he needs to act like one. they need to think about people like me who work hard and still can't afford health care instead of worrying about their pockets

    September 16, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  11. jim

    If I were from South Carolina I would be asking for an impeachment for my congressman, He's acting like 12 year old "my mama told me I have to apologize to you!! Joe Wilson hang your head in shame

    September 16, 2009 at 2:29 am |
  12. Freddie

    Disrespect, yes. No Question. But Racist? Come on people. If Obama was white and Joe was black. The race card would NEVER been brought up. If you don't believe that, you're living in OZ.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:25 am |
  13. tania

    we all should be ashamed of ourselves. we keep stating joe wilson is wrong. but where were we this weekend when all those folks were standing with there racist signs of the president. people we need to speak up and have obamas back like we said we would. stop the bickering let's act!

    September 16, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  14. Bella

    President Carter hit it right on the nail. He was not affraid to speak the TRUth.

    September 16, 2009 at 2:18 am |
  15. mjonesey

    How many times should someone apoligize?

    Why should one apoligize to anyone for a comment not directed at such persons?

    Let us move to issues of more frivilous debate like individuals who cant afford to pay for healthcare much less a fine that might be imposed if said individuals do not pay for said healthcare program.

    September 15, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  16. Debbie, Colorado

    His behavior was like a defiant child. Nothing less and so much more.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  17. warren

    I would hope anyone could speak there mind yet there is a time and place and this was clearly not that time or place. A personal apoligie should be offered but not forced and a reprimand because he was disruptive. Let us remember rudeness is not against the law. This should not be news when important things are on the table.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  18. Saleem El-Amin

    It was a waste of time because no sort of reprimand or reform came from it. That was total disrespect! The line between freedom of speech and racism is being comprimised. What good does it do to police the world on these issues when our own house is in such confusion?

    September 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  19. julie

    Oh come on! There is free speech and there is down right being rude and classless.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  20. Deepti

    It is a wrong and sad thing to do. He seems to be coming form a party who boast of values. So this is the value he shows.! Disrespecting President during his speech on the floor of the joint congress?
    His behaviour shows where he comes from. A person from good family would not do it. A person form good city would not do it. A person from good community would not do it. Lastly a person from a good political party would not do it. So he just didn't say two words. He opened doors to his family values, community values, and his party values. All i can say is i am glad i am not his sister, mother, daughter or any one distantly related ot him. Whereever the President comes form you do not disrespect " The President"!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  21. dianne08

    Jeanette wrote: "Whatever happened to free speech?"
    ......
    Are you serious? What ever happened to respect, maturity, tact, manners, and common courtesy? And we wonder why kids these days have no respect for authority.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  22. VPCAM

    If Joe Wilson got away with a slight tap on his wrist during the current economic and healthcare worries, how one might explain the behavior of the GOP during this same period in 912 march in Washington DC and during the month of August. Ask yourself if you would condone misbehavior of your child in the class room? It is not what Joe Wilson said, but where he said.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  23. linda

    Addressing the school children of South Carolina about not disrespecting their teachers would be a sufficient punishment for Mr. Wilson

    September 15, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  24. Larryboy

    Yeah! You go Joe! If this is all the punishment you get for dissing the president, then I expect my elected officials to be much more vocal from now on.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  25. Megan Martin

    I think it needs to be addressed. People need to respect each other, especially the president. Even if you don't agree with him, we're all in this country together and we have to have respect for our president.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  26. Tiffany

    We can't just get over it, since the disrespect of this president continues and no one says anything about it! Plus the facts never get discussed just lies, insults and hate messages is all thats being put out before the public!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  27. charles lawrence

    Representative Joe Wilson violated the Rules of the House of Congress and should be reprimanded. We are viewed by the world as the country setting the best example. We cannot be viewed as just another country headed down the path of a third world country. The Legislative Branch must be viewed as a Branch of GOOD government of the United States of America.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  28. Sharon

    Former President hit the nail right on the head. To deny racist does not exist is putting your head in the sand

    September 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  29. Sara

    Rep. Joe Wilson deserves the consequences of his outburst, which am sure it was racially motivated. You lie boy, was his meaning.
    That has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    Well done House of Representatives.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  30. JudithR

    The words that are being used are so immature like "punishment" that is for a Father or Mother tell a child...not one politician to another...Yes there are consequences...This society today is so immature which is why they can't find the solutions to this countries problems...We are living in a very troubled world..Ted Kennedy said "what is happening to our country???" We do not have a problem solvers...we have critics and want to bash each other and say who is right and who is wrong..What we need is SOLUTIONS to the problems..The Europeans must be having a field day laughing at us and how this country is disintegrating...

    September 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  31. Josie

    What Joe Wilson did was not only offensive and rude, it was unprofessional. I for one feel that a reprimand is necessary to set a precedent that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  32. Zoya

    Joe Wilson embarrassed US Congress, it is shameful

    September 15, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  33. Bo

    This was maybe rude but not an untrue statment by Congessman Wilson. If we want "change" then maybe President Obamma should lead by example and not make false satements.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  34. Samson

    I have been watching your program since the election of President Obama. Just wanting for the terrible things I knew would happen because people refuse to accept there is only one race, the human race. For someone to disrespect the President as Joe Wilson did seems to open the door for others to do the same or worse the way some of your guest speaks have done.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  35. Heather

    Thanks Jimmy Carter for speaking out, this racism is not and should not be tolerated by any of us. Can't believe the ignorance and misinformation that the Republican party is supporting out there.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  36. Bonnie Dankert

    What has happened to our decency? I am disgusted and so discouraged at the same time. I am an educator. How do I explain to young people how uncivil we have become? Joe Wilson was wrong. Plain and simple. Does it really need to be debated? The man should receive more than a reprimand. Maybe we need children to teach elected officials about boundaries.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  37. Kevin

    I think congress had to make a statement about Joe Wilson's behavior because Joe Wilson's actions reflect the mean spirited attitudes of many. Whatever his beliefs he will have to work with others in government to get things done. In every endeaver it takes people working together to accomplish goals. If he had a genuine problem with Obama and a sincere desire to address it it would have served the country well had he chosen a mature method of addressing it. It is necessary in marriages, in schools, in the military, at work and also in government. If the ugly,mean spirited and antagonistic behavior continues we can forget solving the problems in healthcare, the economy, national interests or social issues.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  38. Laurie

    Without question Joe Wilson deserves a public thump on the head. Free speech is one thing. A complete lack of decorum and courtesy to the President is another.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
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