Wilson Vows No More Apologies

Posted September 13, 2009 at 9:27am

Updated: 11:25 a.m.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) reiterated on Sunday he will not apologize on the House floor for shouting “You lie!— at President Barack Obama during the president’s speech to Congress on health care reform — even it means a facing a resolution of disapproval crafted by Democratic leaders.

Wilson, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,— insisted the apology he made to Obama at the urging of Republican leadership on Wednesday night was sufficient.

“I am not going to apologize again,— he said. “I apologized one time, my apology was accepted by the president, my apology was accepted by the vice president. … I’m not apologizing again.—

Obama quickly accepted Wilson’s apology and said it was to time to move on. Wilson said the resolution that could be filed by Democratic leaders this week would be a purely political action.

“My view is it’s politics, this is plain politics,— he said. “The Democrats are playing politics. This is just a way to divert attention from a [health care] bill that would cost 1.6 million jobs.—

And while a resolution of disapproval is essentially a slap on the wrist — falling short of a censure or the ultimate sanction, expulsion — Wilson said it would be hard to hear the rare measure invoked against him.

“It’s going to be tough because I respect my colleagues, and I respect civility and I support civility,— Wilson said.

Wilson attributed his “town hall moment— to frustration about what he believed were misstatements by Obama about the ability of illegal immigrants to access health care benefits through the Democratic plan.

“I believe he was misstating the facts,— Wilson said. “I truly would have said it in a different way if I had had time.—

Wilson acknowledged language in the House bill explicitly states that illegal immigrants would not be permitted to receive benefits, but he contended the provision had no enforcement mechanisms.

His outburst on the House floor has been a fundraising boon for his Democratic challenger, Rob Miller. Both Wilson and Miller have raised more than $1 million since last Wednesday night.

“I have been named the No. 1 target for the elections next year,— Wilson said. But, “in the district, it has been overwhelming, people have been loving actually.—

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who appeared on an earlier panel on the show, said he believed Wilson’s apology to Obama was sufficient.

“I think Joe needs to make it clear that what he did was wrong,— Graham said. “This needs to come to the end for the sake of Joe, South Carolina and the country.—

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas), speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,— said neither side should resort to name calling in the health care debate.

Of Wilson’s outburst, Cornyn said: “There’s a time and place for everything and that was not the time or place for that kind of comment.—