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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. Paul

    This congress, especially Pelosi needs to stop the petty nonsense. In fact, she needs to retire and impeach Obama.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  2. Mary

    Joe Wilson is a disgrace for the Country.
    All of you that agrees with him and show no respect for your President
    are a shame for your Country in the eyes of the whole world watching
    the news!
    Grow up and show some respect!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Ritu

    What's the difference between Joe Wilson and Kanye West? Atleast Kanye repeatedly apologized and looked as if he meant it.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Betsy

    I agree with Jeannette, Joe Wilson said himself he was frustrated having been at a healthcare rally and listening to people's frustrations with the proposed Healthcare system...and wished he had not said you lie – if he had more time he would have phrased it differently, but it was a lie to say that undocumented people would be covered, they later changed that ..probably due to Joe Wilson shining a light on it..
    Maybe he will listen...but probably NOT!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  5. Kathy Wilson

    Roland Martin is one of my favorite people and I so liked him during the last election and very proud of him - I am so disappointed the he would agree and start talking racism on TV - I think we are way past that and I believe our country proved that during the last election. Please my friend Roland, don't go there - Let's move past the Al and Jesse days.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Mrs. C Reeves

    Yes, it's true what President Carter said. It's about time a former president tells it like it is. This hate needs to STOP against all people of color. We are all Americans and need to be fighting the war on terror. If we do not watch out the real enemies will sneak up on us and show some REAL hate. Whites show more hate than any other race in the world...against Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians even other whites. It is so so sad!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Hazel Calladine

    Good for President Carter! I see our President as a world pacifist. Are we also forgetting that the President is bi-racial and extremely educated? Ignorance should not prevail!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  8. Jamie

    Mr. Wilson was wrong in his statements and the need to stop further such outbursts by other memebers of the house and senate was needed. The vote in my opinion was more about the future than Mr Wilson.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  9. nick

    This is doing what it is designed to do.keep the debate off of what's real section 246 of hr 3200 and allow the insurance companies to keep the status quo.there are real americans hurting both black and white we need health care reform

    September 15, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Evelyn

    I agree with President Carter. Although I am an independent and voted for President Obama, I repeatedly heard the comment from Republican friends say: "No way can we have a black president.......our president lives in the "white house" not a "black house". I found that to be an outrageous comment in this day and age. I find most republicans to definitely feel that the white race is the supreme race and although they would never admit it, they certainly are racist.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  11. Gilby-HI

    Time will tell if it was a lie or not, but just watching the Congress do what it thinks is its job.??
    I say make out the Pink Slips for the lot of them...

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  12. Susan

    Considering that Joe Wilson has been made a hero by the tea partiers and some Republicans, it probably didn't do much good in stopping future outbursts by those who want attention, but why should they give him a free pass if he violated the rules of the House? Why was there even any discussion on whether he would be censored – he broke the rules before an audience of 30 million people.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  13. Matthew

    Nobody cared when President Bush was booed in 2005. Why do we care so much now?

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  14. Mary

    Absolutely necessary. Not only as a Congressman, but as an Army Colonel, he showed disrespect to the office of the President, to his Commander-in-Chief and to the House of Representatives and all Americans. There is a certain decorum to be followed by the rules. He may have "apologized" but he only went through the motions because his Republican leadership told him to. It was not voluntary and was not sincere as he has shown by continuing rebuttal.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  15. Michael Lowe

    I am a white man, angry and appalled at the outright racism on display over the past few weeks. It seems that many are benefiting from this new strategy. I wish the media would ask the minority party what there ideas actually are, in regards to healthcare. Intsead, the focus is on these disgusting racist rallies. I am not proud of this country.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  16. david james

    Stupid waste of time.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  17. chuck

    as disrespectful as this is I think the guy who was texting was being just as disrespectful to the president

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  18. jamilla

    Are you kidding? The outburst needs to be reprimanded before the fanatics think it is okay to continue to disrespect the president. The level of disrespect is outrageous, and something has to be done to stop the politics of hate. Before we can move forward and heal this nation's woes we need to attend to the wound within that is spreading its poisonous tradition of superiority and hate.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Paulette Bergeron

    I feel Wllson should be punished, then let it lie. Let's get to health care reform then go on. Let's stopping watting our time.;

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  20. Karen, Charlotte

    My 17yo son asked me why there was such outrage over Kanye West. I told him that it was because he was rude and his behavior was unacceptable. His response to me stopped me in my tracks. He wanted to know why if rudeness was such a big deal, why then was it ok for someone to call President Obama a liar on national tv. My son was also upset that someone threw a shoe at President Bush, so its not a case of him defending an African American.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Marie

    Joe Wilson is a crass, rude, person and so are all the people that feel what he did was right. Kanye West is a very young person that represents himself and he made a sincere apology. Representative Wilson represents the State of South Carolina and is an old man and has not made a sincere apology. Maybe Kanye is learning from Joe!

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Donna Anderson

    I am astonsihed at the behavior of Mr. wilson, we are a country moving backward, nothing but a bunch of disrespectful idiots. Wonder what your children must think of you, I would say not much because what they see is what they learn. If we can have all these old conservatives out there demanding what they want lets make sure that all are help up hold the law, punishment must take place it is the principle of the matter. get rid of him. Tolerance no more.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  23. phill riley

    Jeannett Kucan,

    It's President Obama! Give him the respect he deserves. I am so sick of folks like you not wanting to give him his respect.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  24. M.Clark

    Of course Sen. Wilson's outburst was racist. A So. Carolina senator weened by Strom Thurmond is but one clue. To have an African American standing at the podium as our President is his real outrage. He should be reprimanded, he should resign, he is a disgrace. I am white.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Gretchen Burke

    He should be censored and removed by the voters.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  26. mark

    What will you do next Joe Wilson? Throw your shoes?

    September 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  27. DANNY

    It is clearly a race issue. And it is very upsetting and can be very dangerous.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  28. sharon witt

    When I heard Rush Limbaugh refer to President Obama as the happy negro I knew the Republicans had a problem. Then in the same show he played the theme song to the jeffersons, Movin on Up, I was disgusted. People like him are fueling the whole rascism movement. And thats what it is rascism at it's worst. I'm embarrassed that I used to be a republican.
    There's a saying if you give people enough rope they'll hang themselves. Keep listening to Rush.
    The you lie comment was appalling. Whats next fist fights like we see overseas. It's not okay.
    Sharon

    September 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Mary

    Free speech, yes. Crude , rude, and lazy is what Joe Wilson is. Couldn't he take the time to compose a cogent statement. Our elected officials have an obligation to act like leaders or get out of the way.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  30. ton

    This person has demonstrated what is wrong with this country. No respect at all. Remove him from office.

    The office of the President of the United States should always be respected.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  31. Tyler

    I think this is typical republican behavior and similar to the town hall protestors who shout out the congressmen and don't allow any room for discussion.
    Regardless, he said he was sorry (I don't believe him), and we have better things to care about.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  32. Ryan Hodge

    I think people should not vote for him for a re-election and I do think race has a lot to do with it

    September 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  33. Mark

    I wish every white person could be a black person for a yr and then they would see what we see.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  34. Heather

    I'm an old white woman from the 60's, Many of us voted and appreciate what President Obama and his administration are doing for all of us. Most of us voted for him because he is intelligent and capable to solve the problems we have currently.

    . Joe Wilson and the Tea Party folks, they do not speak for all Americans or all working people. This is the most uncivilisted distracting attention grabing crying fire in a theater and calling it free speech circus I've every seem. Mark Williams is a trouble maker not a problem solver.
    I agree with Carter, this is race motivated and please know our brothers and sisters this will not be tolerated by your white friends and neighbors.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  35. MMB

    Of course the Congress must rebuke Rep Wilson. This took little time and serves to maintain decorum and respect. If this rudeness was not disciplined, the behavior would continue to grow.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  36. Nick

    If only doctors had to guarantee their work, and pay a fine to patients for keeping them waiting for an hour.

    Regarding Jimmy Carter's statement, he is correct. Racism is insidious, veiled in disruptive shenanigans and double-talk. The uproar about President Obama speaking to school children almost took on a fanatical fervor, that cannot be explained otherwise. It gets a little more obvious when you get someone like Jon Voight slamming the President on national TV saying, "...it's about Obama personally..."

    September 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  37. ann

    Joe Wilson should be forced to resign. There is NO excuse for his blatant disrespect for the President, and his despicable behavior demands ZERO tolerance from every American.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  38. Steve Morello

    I live in Wilson's district. At a recent "Town Hall" he said Sara Palin was right about there being death panels in HR3200, and the democrats proved it by pulling the provision (about covering end of life counselling). Which is obviously crazy.

    And as a state senator years back, he also voted to leave the confederate symbol on the SC state flag.

    This district is fervently conservative. There is a large gap between rich and poor here. And there is still racism, which goes back to the original Gullah population being taxed off their land.

    Wilson is a symptom of these inequalities, and is on the fringe of an already ailing party.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  39. J Alabi

    Dear Jeannette Kucan: Free speech does not cover a person from shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Also, and more important in this particular case, there is a certain amount of decorum expected to be shown when a sitting President of the United States is addressing a joint session of Congress. Such an outburst has never happened on any other President's watch, and it was completely uncalled-for. Rep. Wilson broke protocol completely, and should be censured for it. Disrespect the office-holder all you like (and that has happened for Democratic presidents e.g. Clinton as well as Republican ones e.g. George W. Bush) but as a member of Congress, you MUST respect the office.

    September 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  40. Sharon

    As to the rebuke of Joe Wilson, I thought to myself as I saw a photograph of him standing with one of his sons in military uniform–what if your son shouted out to a commanding officer–You Lie? Can you imagine??? Someone should have asked him as Jay Leno asked Kayne West–what would your mother have thought? Was that a moment in which to be proud? Sign autographs? What happened to respect? His apology to the president was urged by the republican party, not his own doing. He could have immediately diffused the situation today by facing his co-workers and offered an apology–yes, he owed everyone there an apology–not just President Obama. What happened to accountability????? He embarrassed himself, his family, his party, his state and his nation. Shame on him. And to blame it on politics? Oh please.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  41. Michael Lowe

    This procedural vote did not take too much time. Maybe more attention should be paid to the weekly "schedule" of Congress.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  42. steve

    With more pertinent issues at hand I think taking time out to address this issues was a poor use of time.

    While I understand the reasons for Republican Congressman Joe Wilson's comments, another article discussing former Present Carter reaction put it best when stating that President Obama is both Head of Government and Head of State and should be respected.

    Time to take of more serious issues don't you think?

    September 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  43. Nalleli

    It was a big waste of time! Yes, it was disrespectful but we pay these people to look after our interest and if he felt it was necessary to yell "You lie" then so be it. What he said helped some people pay more close attention to what the President presented. Poor Congressman, what happen to freedom of speech?

    September 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  44. Deborah Halstead

    Rep. Wilson is only human and because of his status he should of keep his mouth shut, but he didn't and he made our country look awful to the world. He did talk to the President and that should be the end of it.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  45. DrBarbier

    What's done is done. Let's see what happens by September 15,2013 when we have a different President.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  46. Jeannette Kucan

    I don't think what Joe Wilson did was all that wrong. What ever happened to free speech?Obama does not listen to anyone any other time. It was nice to see someone got his attention finally. Maybe Obama will think about what was said.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  47. Dr. Stan B

    Get over it and get on with the business that we taxpayers are paying them to do!

    September 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  48. ES

    WOW that was a waste of time. Can we focus on more important things please?

    September 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  49. Jay-NYC

    I certainly do not want to make this a racially motivated outburst against President Obama but I do wonder if Rep. Joe Wilson would have embarrassed former President Bush in the fashion? His displayed of rage was unacceptable and he should therefore face consequences. He even looked annoyed at the fact that he was forced to publicly apologize for his rant and tantrum.

    Rep. Joe Wilson, you are a political figure and should behave as one.
    Who do you think you are, a tennis player?

    September 15, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  50. Matt Rose

    I think that this is part of the political process. It's a housekeeping of sorts. I'd be more upset if they didn't take some sort of action against him. What he did was rude and uncalled for.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
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