Wilson: 'I Am Not Going to Apologize Again'

Gibbs denies Obama opposition motivated by race
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2009 9:15 AM CDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, called President Obama's speech a "disaster."   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Responding to threats by Democrats demanding he apologize to President Obama on the House floor, Rep. Joe Wilson was adamant today: “I am not going to apologize again.” The South Carolina Republican told Fox News Sunday, “I apologized to the president on Wednesday night. I believe that is sufficient. The Democrats are playing politics. It's a diversion from people looking at the bill and their concerns about the bill. People know my civility. They know this is a one-time event.”

Race and health care reform shared the table elsewhere on the Sunday talk shows:

  • Rebuffing a claim by Maureen Dowd, Robert Gibbs told State of the Union, “I don't think the president believes that people are upset by the color of his skin.” The White House press secretary also refused to call Sarah Palin a “liar” because of her “death panel” comments. “I’ll let Webster define what one calls her,” Gibbs said.
  • Lindsey Graham minced no words today about the president’s speech last week, calling it “a disaster” and “combative.” Fellow GOP senator Orrin Hatch added that the speech was “short on substance.”
  • Sen. Kent Conrad expressed doubt that the House Energy and Commerce Committee's health bill will pass Congress, but told Fox the so-called Gang of Six was “very close” to an agreement.
  • Appearing with Conrad, fellow Democratic senator Claire McCaskill said the public option “has become a distraction” in the health care debate, and that in comparison to bringing down costs, it is “a small part of this.”