Say It Ain’t So Senator Joe
While addressing congress and rebutting the many falsehoods concerning health care reform legislation, Pres. Obama explained that illegal immigrants would not be covered under his administrations proposal. This was quickly followed by South Carolina Senator Joe Wilson (R) shouting out, “You lie!” in response, which drew shock and mixed reactions from Democrats and Republicans alike.
According to factcheck.org there is nothing in the proposal that will allow illegal immigrants to receive health coverage under the national plan. They would not be entitled to any public subsidies, which are public grants and benefits. Per federal regulations, it’s illegal to ask someone for proof of status. So, technically, illegal immigrants must be treated if they have private healthcare or if they need emergency treatment at a hospital. This is the way the system already operates.
In any case, this outburst is another example of how denigrated the office of the president has become since Obama took the stage. The people who support and are in agreement with Wilson’s outburst are more than likely some of the same idiots who protested Obama’s education speech.
Senator Wilson issued an apology, which Pres. Obama accepted.
“Shame on you!” shouted someone from the Democratic side. “Throw him out!” shouted someone else. First Lady Michelle Obama, seated behind and above Wilson, seemed to mouth a drawn-out “damn” at the scene unfolding before her.
Following Obama’s speech, Joe Wilson was criticized by both sides of the aisle. It seems to be a character flaw of his. The New York Times pointed out that “Jackie Calmes points to the biography of Mr. Wilson in CQ’s “Politics in America,” which includes this line: “Wilson’s sharp and careless remarks sometimes land him in hot water.”
Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ), said the outburst was disrespectful and demanded an apology. He told Larry King, “No place for it in that setting or any other, and he should apologize for it immediately.”
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) said, “I’ve never seen anything like that before. We do not invite the president of the United States into the House of Representatives and hurl insults.”
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving member in House history, said: “Well, you’ve got to understand: They’re Republicans. They’re just doing what comes natural.”
Not long after the speech ended, Joe Wilson issued an apology.
“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.”
Joe Wilson also phoned the White House to apologize. However, he did not reach Obama, but spoke to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who accepted the apology in Obama’s stead.
Meanwhile, Joe Wilson’s web site crashed, his Twitter page took a beating, and Democrat Rob Miller raised thousands of unexpected dollars online for a possible rematch with Wilson in next year’s midterm elections.