Rep. Gingrey Blames Democrats for Rep. Wilson's Outburst

September 10, 2009 3:04 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

According to Rep. Gingrey, his conservative colleague "got caught off guard" because the "Democratic leadership" didn't provide Republicans with a copy of the president's speech.

Today on MSNBC, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) appeared alongside Rep. Kendrick Meeks (D-FL) to discuss President Obama's speech last night. 

At one point, host Nancy Snyderman asked the conservative lawmaker about the "egregious behavior" of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who shouted "you lie" while the president was speaking. 

Gingrey acknowledged that Wilson "lost his cool," but seemed to suggest that Democrats were partly to blame for the outburst.  "But you know, I wish they had given us -- the Democratic leadership -- a copy of the speech ahead of time," he said, adding, "I think he got caught off guard." 

Watch it:

Later in the afternoon, Gingrey made a similar statement on the House floor. "We typically have when we sit down a copy of the speech -- and not just a draft -- a very copy of the speech the president is going to make," he said.

Of course, Gingrey's argument makes about as much sense as a student saying, "I wouldn't have failed the test, if only the teacher had showed me the questions beforehand." It is indefensible and only serves as further evidence of the right wing's willingness to attack their opponents, over everything, no matter how ridiculous they sound. 

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