The South Carolina Republican who famously shouted “You lie!” during an address by Mr. Obama to Congress last September sat quietly through Wednesday night’s State of the Union address.
But after the speech, Mr. Wilson responded with a live video message on Facebook.
With more than 350 viewers watching online, Mr. Wilson looked directly into the camera, spoke calmly and criticized Mr. Obama’s positions on the economy, health care reform and global warming.
“What the president proposed tonight would not truly create jobs,” he said. “He is persisting on the wrong path of excessive spending.”
Mr. Wilson did commend the president for advocating aid for Haiti and supporting American troops. But he called cap-and-trade legislation “a national energy tax” that “would kill jobs.” And he said the federal government should “be limited to doing what we cannot do for ourselves.”
Discussing the Democratic health care reform proposal, Mr. Wilson said: “It almost sounded like everything for everyone for free. That’s not correct and it’s not truly in the interest of the American people.”
It was the first time a politician has broadcast a live Facebook video response to a State of the Union address, according to Mr. Wilson’s re-election campaign. Mr. Wilson is an avid user of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Before Mr. Obama’s speech, Mr. Wilson had promised to be a “gentleman,” and Republican leaders discouraged their members from booing the president.
Mr. Wilson waited 45 minutes after the end of Mr. Obama’s speech to allow time for an official televised Republican response from Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Mr. Wilson, who polls show holds a comfortable lead in his re-election campaign this year, closed by predicting victories for Republicans in 2010.
“We’ve seen it in New Jersey, we’ve seen it in Massachusetts,” he said. “This coming year, people can make a difference.”
by Robbie Brown