Congressman Joe Wilson, who said last week that he’s sorry for calling President Obama an outright liar with the whole world watching, says that one apology will have to do.
The Democratically controlled Congress has threatened the South Carolina Republican with being censured unless he issues another apology from the House floor for yelling “You Lie!” at Obama during his televised speech on health care before a rare joint session of Congress. The day after his quip, Wilson called White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and apologized. Obama said he accepted it and suggested that the nation move on, focusing on health care reform rather than Wilson.
“I am not going to apologize again," Wilson said on "FOX News Sunday" when asked about potential disciplinary actions against him.
Despite his apology, Wilson has never backed down from his position that the president did not tell the truth when he said his health care plan would not cover those living in the United Sates illegally. "I believe he was misstating the facts," Wilson told FOX News. However, both the House and Senate versions of the bill contain language specifically barring illegal immigrants from receiving federal aid to purchase health care coverage.
Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed public outrage and embarrassment over Wilson’s comment. Privately, Black leaders suggest that there is a racial element involved. They note that it took an African-American president to trigger this level of disrespect. Even when presidents Reagan and Bush seriously distorted facts, critics contend, no lawmaker ever shouted personal insults at them.
Meanwhile, the National Newspapers Publishers Association, the group representing the nation’s Black newspapers, has withdrawn its midwinter conference from South Carolina because of Wilson’s comments. "Rep. [Joe] Wilson's remarks were racist, disrespectful and a disingenuous violation – not only of President Obama – but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected," NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said in a statement.