By Mark Memmott

The two words said -- shouted, actually -- in the Capitol last night that are getting much of the attention this morning are "you lie!"

If you haven't heard by now, that's what Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina screamed when President Barack Obama said that none of the health care programs he's proposing would apply to illegal immigrants.

Here's what it sounded and looked like last night when Wilson heckled the president:

Wilson has apologized. "I let my emotions get the best of me," he said in a statement issued shortly after the end of the president's address. "While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."

The condemnation of his actions has been broad. And there's some talk on the Hill about Congress punishing Wilson in some way -- perhaps with a censure.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank says "the nation's rapidly deteriorating discourse hit yet another low" with Wilson's outburst.

There's a defense of Wilson, of sorts, from Townhall.com's Meredith Jessup -- who says the look on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's face when Wilson shouted was "my favorite part of Obama's speech."

We wonder:

In South Carolina, by the way, The State reports that shortly after the president's speech last night:

The congressman's Web site had crashed, he had taken a beating on his Twitter page and Democrat Rob Miller had raised thousands of unexpected dollars online for a possible rematch with Wilson in next year's midterm elections, according to Lachlan McIntosh, Miller's campaign manager.

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET: Wilson spoke with reporters on Capitol Hill a short time ago, saying that his outburst "was spontaneous" and not pre-meditated. He also repeated that he believes there are provision in some of the health care overhall bills that would benefit illegal immigrants. And, Wilson said he agrees with the White House that the health care debate should be kept "civil."

Update at 11 a.m. ET: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just told reporters she expects the House will "move on" and not censure Wilson. She said she doesn't want to give the incident any more attention "than it deserves."

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET:

The independent PolitiFact.com says that Wilson's wrong when he says the president's plans apply to illegal immigrants.

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categories: Politics

7:30 - September 10, 2009