Wilson Not Planning SOTU Outburst
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) isn’t planning another outburst during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address tonight, but he knows what he would shout if he were moved to do so again.“It would be, Please have a budget freeze,’— Wilson said Tuesday. He said he is “very supportive— of Obama’s call for a three-year freeze on discretionary, nonmilitary spending in his fiscal 2011 budget.Wilson described his infamous outburst last September, when he shouted “You lie!— during Obama’s joint address to Congress on health care reform, as “a town hall moment— and said it won’t happen again.“It was out of passion People in my town hall meetings were very passionate. I picked up the passion,— Wilson said. He said it was “a sign of being a civil person— that, following his outburst, he remained for the balance of Obama’s speech and applauded at the end.Despite the gaffe, the South Carolina Republican said the message of his outburst — that Obama was lying about illegal immigrants being eligible for benefits under Democrats’ health care legislation — changed the debate on immigration in the way he hoped it would. Two days later, the Senate adopted language in their bill that cracked down on citizenship verification. The White House followed by issuing a statement in support of the change.Still, Wilson said he didn’t think the incident altered the debate on the larger issue of comprehensive immigration reform, which appears dead for the year despite calls for action by Congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).“I wouldn’t relate it to that,— he said.