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Joe 'You Lie!' Wilson vows to behave himself tonight

January 27, 2010 |  9:00 am

South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson heckles at President Obama Feb. 24, 2009, shouting You Lie!

It was the expletive heard 'round the world, the emotional outburst by South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson to President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress in September. When the president promised that reform of the healthcare system would not benefit illegal immigrants, Wilson shouted, "You lie!"

Speaker House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was furious. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel complained that no president had ever been treated so rudely. Even Republican leaders were chagrined at the breach of House etiquette, putting pressure on Wilson to apologize.

The outburst propelled Wilson to national fame -- and infamy -- helping the campaign coffers of his reelection bid -- as well as that of his Democratic challenger, Rob Miller.

Tonight, Wilson promised, he'll behave himself.

"That was a one-time incident," he told McClatchy Newspapers in an interview published Wednesday. "I will continue, through my agreement with the White House, to discuss issues civilly."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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