New GOP Meme On Joe Wilson: Obama Started It!

September 16, 2009 7:36 am

An interesting new pattern has emerged from some Republicans. Both during and after yesterday’s House admonishment of Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) outburst of “You lie!” during President Obama’s speech to Congress, GOP House members have been emerging to say that it was Obama who started the breach of decorum.

• After the vote was taken, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) declared on the House floor that Obama had insulted Congress, by saying that his opponents were lying about his health care proposals. “He comes in here talking about a lie … He says we’re making wild claims,” said Gohmert. “That’s no way to act when you’re invited into somebody else’s house.”

It’s interesting to see Gohmert take such a sudden interest in the gentlemanly etiquette of the House, considering how he too was heckling Obama during the speech — albeit through the silent display of a sign, rather than shouting out:

• During the floor debate on the disapproval resolution, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said that Wilson had been right on the substance of the immigration question, and quoted the Bible in order to show how Obama had incited Wilson’s anger:

“You know, the Old Book tells us, ‘A harsh word stirs up anger.’ Well we might have seen a little bit of that last week. In the midst of a highly partisan speech by the President of the United States, Joe made a mistake,” said Pence. “Immediately, after the speech was over, Joe recognized his mistake and he offered his sincere apology to the President and the President’s staff — and he was right to apologize. But it’s important to note that despite his admitted error, the broader national interest was actually served.”

• Rep. Steve King (R-IA) also argued last night that Obama “threw the first punch”:

“A lot of us said, well, this health care bill is gonna fund illegals, and the President said, ‘Prominent politicians are lying to you.’ He said that on the floor of the House of Representatives,” King said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a President comes to the House of Representatives as a guest of the members of the House and makes a declaration like he did. I mean, the President threw the first punch.”

And King said of Wilson: “God bless him. He said what we were thinking.”

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