Sept. 13, 2009 -- Risking the ire of his colleagues and censure by the House of Representatives, Rep. Joe Wilson said Sunday that he is through apologizing for shouting "You lie!" at President Obama during a health care speech before Congress last week.
Wilson told Fox News that he apologized to the president Wednesday and would not apologize again on the floor of the House, despite threats from Democrats to censure him.
"I've apologized one time, the apology was accepted by the president, by the vice president, who I know. I am not apologizing again," Rep. Wilson, R-S.C., told Fox News Sunday when asked if he would apologize on the floor of the House.
The Republican congressman's unprecedented outburst got as much attention as the president's speech, and Wilson at the behest of members of both parties quickly apologized to the White House soon after Obama concluded his speech.
Wilson's outburst Wednesday, which some from both sides of the aisle have called a breach in decorum, followed a line in Obama's speech in which he said illegal immigrants would not be covered by his proposed health care overhaul.
Wilson called his outburst a "town hall moment," and said he would "never do something like that again."
The congressman, however, stuck to his guns, insisting that while shouting something at the president may have been wrong, he still believed in the sentiment.
"People know my civility, they know that this was a onetime event, and it was out of frustration. I believe in the truth. What I heard was not true," Wilson told Fox.
Wilson's outburst has made headlines for days since Obama's speech and became a rallying cry at Saturday's anti-Obama protest in Washington Saturday. It was still be discussed today on the Sunday morning talk shows.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has called on Wilson to offer an apology to the members of Congress or risk a resolution of disapproval.
Wilson Says Attention Being Diverted From Health Care Issues
In a statement issued following his appearance on Fox News, Wilson said the resolution was an attempt to divert the American people's attention onto him and away from reforming health care.
"The American people are fed up with the political games in Washington, and I refuse to participate in an effort to divert our attention away from the task at hand of reforming health insurance and creating new jobs. Having apologized on Wednesday to the White House, we agreed that we must move forward in a civil manner to do the work the American people have sent us here to do. Health insurance reform is too important to take a backseat to political partisanship," read the statement.
Since the outburst, campaign contributions to both Wilson and Democratic challenger Rob Miller have soared.