09.10.09

Seven Outrageous Political Outbursts

Think Joe Wilson’s heckle of President Obama was over the top? Think again: From a political brawl in South Korea to Margaret Thatcher doing verbal combat in the House of Commons, here are six videos that make Wilson look polite.

Seoul: Out of Control

This 2008 brawl in South Korea’s National Assembly erupted over a U.S. free-trade agreement. This could be one creative way to boost C-SPAN’s ratings.

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James Traficant: I’ll Kick You in the Crotch

You can take your pick of outbursts with Traficant, but here’s a minor classic: The former representative from Ohio at a House Ethics Committee hearing, saying he wants to kick attorneys on the opposing side in the crotch.

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President Bush Tears NYT Reporter a New One

It’s quick but good. In 2000, then-President George W. Bush calls New York Times reporter Adam Clymer “a real asshole.” Not shockingly, Dick Cheney agrees.

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The Iron Lady Stands Her Ground

That one man shouting at a head of state could cause a national scandal would seem a bit odd in Britain. Here’s a typical moment from a Questions to the Prime Minister session at the House of Commons, in which Margaret Thatcher ably does verbal combat with a political rival.

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Hillary Hits the Roof

In her 2009 tour of Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thought someone asked her about her husband’s opinion on a political matter. Turns out there was a translation error—but she didn’t find out until later.

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Rep. Schmidt Calls Murtha a Coward

In 2005, Rep. Jean Schmidt went there, delivering a massive insult to fellow congressman and Vietnam War veteran John Murtha (D-PA). She claims to be delivering a message for someone else, but she doesn’t exactly mind the task.

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Joe the Dumber

Here’s another look: Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, perhaps inspired by recent town-hall insanity, shouts “You lie!” during President Obama’s health-care speech. We bet Rep. Wilson was that one kid who actually jumped in the pool on the count of three while everyone else laughed from the dock.

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Xtra Insight: The Daily Beast’s Samuel P. Jacobs: Meet the ‘You Lie’ Guy