Lawmaker won't apologize to Obama in Congress

WASHINGTON Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:07am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson, who faces possible censure in the U.S. House of Representatives for shouting "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's speech to Congress on healthcare reform, said on Sunday he would not apologize again.

Calling his outburst on Wednesday evening "a town hall moment," Wilson told "Fox News Sunday" that since his apology to the president had already been accepted, he did not plan to apologize on the House floor as Democrats have demanded.

"I've apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, the vice president. ... I am not apologizing again," he said.

Wilson added he would "never do something like that again," but continued to defend himself, saying: "I believe in the truth. What I heard was not true. I believe (Obama) was misstating the facts."

Wilson's shouted comment, which both Republicans and Democrats have called a breach of political decorum, followed Obama's statement that healthcare reforms being proposed would not cover illegal immigrants.

If Wilson does not apologize in the House, Democratic Party leaders will likely call for a resolution of disapproval, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.

Campaign contributions to both Wilson and Democrat Rob Miller, who plans to challenge him in November 2010, have quickly soared to more than $1 million each in the wake of the outburst, according to party officials. (Writing by Eric Walsh)

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