Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Thursday night released an online video responding to the controversy he sparked after shouting "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. He also used the video to ask for financial help in order to combat efforts to defeat him next year, after his Democratic opponent raised more than $700,000 in the wake of the Congressman's outburst."I need your help now," Wilson says in the one-and-a-half-minute video that was posted to his campaign Web site. "If you agree with me that the government-run health plan is bad medicine for America then I ask for your support. Please go to JoeWilsonForCongress.com and contribute to my effort to defeat the proponents of government-run health care."In the video Wilson acknowledges that he "let my emotions get the best of me" and notes that he apologized, a gesture that Obama accepted. But he also asserts that he won't be silenced by supporters of Obama's health care reform plans and "liberals who want to give health care to illegals." "On these issues I will not be muzzeled. I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan," Wilson says. As of Thursday night, retired Marine Rob Miller (D), who challenged Wilson in 2008 and is running again next year, had raised more than $700,000 through more than 20,000 individual contributions to his campaign.House Democrats were also using Wilson's outburst as a fundraising tool. In an fundraising appeal e-mailed Thursday evening, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Jon Vogel wrote that the committee was only $29,000 away from their goal of raising $100,000 to "send a message" to Republicans like Wilson. Help us raise $100,000 in the next 48 Hours to send a message to Republicans like Congressman Joe Wilson that we will not stand for our President to be called a liar in front of the nation, Vogel wrote in a money appeal earlier Thursday. Your contribution will be immediately put to work to defeat Republican Members of Congress and support meaningful health insurance reform.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.