Wilson: 'I will not be muzzled'

S.C. Rep says in video he isn't ashamed of his outburst

By Alex Isenstadt
|  Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 AM EDT
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Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) released a video saying he isn't sorry for his outburst.

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South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson released a fiery fundraising appeal late Thursday, calling himself a target of the left and vowing to push forward in his battle against President Obama’s health care reform effort.

“…I will not be muzzled. I will speak up loudly against this risky plan,” Wilson says in the video appeal on his campaign Web site.

Wilson’s combative video appeared 24 hours after he shouted “You lie!” at President Obama during a joint session of Congress after the president called the idea that his reform plan would provide insurance to illegal immigrants a myth. Wilson immediately faced a chorus of criticism, including from many in his own party.

But in his appeal, Wilson presents himself as a target for Democrats seeking to push health care reform forward. And he pointedly refuses to back away from his assertion that Obama’s plan would supply health care to illegal immigrants.

“The supporters of the government takeover of health care and the liberals who want to give health care to illegals are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan,” Wilson says. “They want to silence anyone who speaks out against it. They made it clear they want to defeat me and pass the plan.”

“I need your help now,” Wilson pleads, directing viewers to his campaign Web site.

Wilson’s appeal for campaign cash capped a day of frenzied political activity, with Wilson’s Democratic opponent, former marine Rob Miller, raising a whopping $700,000 over the course of the day.

Wilson, looking directly into the camera, begins the video acknowledging that his outburst Wednesday evening was “wrong.”

“Last night, I let my emotions get the better of me on the critical issue of health care,” he says.

 

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