Those who attended Washington and Lee University with South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson in the late 1960s probably would have picked him to be among those least likely to heckle a president during a joint session of Congress.
Wilson shouted, “You lie!”, last night when President Obama said his health plan would not include coverage for illegal immigrants.
The outburst was condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike, and Wilson issued a statement apologizing for “this lack of civility.”
It also got him a lot of attention. His congressional Web site was at least temporarily unavailable today because of heavy traffic.
Wilson was a strongly partisan Republican even in college, but he exuded Southern gentility and decorum during the last days of the coat-and-tie tradition at the Lexington school.
He served in the South Carolina legislature for 17 years before winning a special election after Floyd Spence, his predecessor in the congressional district that includes part of Columbia, died in 2001.
By Alan Cooper