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'You lie!' lawmaker to lie low during State of Union

WASHINGTON -- When President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, there'll be no shout-out this time. At least, not from Rep. Joe Wilson. The South Carolina Republican yelled, "You lie!" at Obama on Sept. 9 as th...

Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. speaks to reporters outside of his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

WASHINGTON -- When President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, there'll be no shout-out this time.

At least, not from Rep. Joe Wilson.

The South Carolina Republican yelled, "You lie!" at Obama on Sept. 9 as the president addressed Congress on live, prime-time television.

Not this time, Wilson said Tuesday.

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

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Wilson, a fifth-term lawmaker who was a military attorney before he joined Congress, said he had a nice conversation with Barack and Michelle Obama at a White House holiday party last month for members of Congress.

Neither Obama nor Wilson brought up the lawmaker's outburst, even in jest.

"I have high respect for the president and the first lady," Wilson said Tuesday.

Wilson apologized to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in a midnight call immediately after Obama's address on his health care overhaul.

In the following days, as the shout got global news coverage, Obama and his aides repeatedly said they had accepted Wilson's apology.

Aides to Obama declined to discuss the incident Tuesday.

The yell catapulted Wilson from being an unknown outside South Carolina to a hero among conservative activists, who have flooded his re-election campaign with contributions.

The flap also benefited Rob Miller, Wilson's Democratic opponent in the November elections.

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Wilson and Miller raised a combined $4.75 million through Sept. 30, an astounding $4.34 million of it in the 21 days after Wilson's outburst.

The fundraising total already has set a record for a U.S. House of Representatives campaign in South Carolina, and the Wilson-Miller race could challenge the nationwide record.

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