Members of the Aiken Republican Club describe Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., as opinionated, passionate, a patriot and one of their favorite speakers.


Wilson discussed a broad range of issues ­– both state and nationwide – at the club’s meeting, held Tuesday afternoon in Newberry Hall.


Wilson told the audience that it was the first time speaking to them since the recent redistricting that has him representing all of Aiken County.


A retired S.C. Army National Guard colonel and the father of four sons who are in the military, Wilson talked a bit about serving on the House Armed Services Committee, in which he’s the acting chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.


He mentioned the sequestration that has led to cuts in funding for the U.S. Armed Forces that he said is shrinking down to the point of being the smallest military this country has had in decades.


“The sequestration was an attack on the military,” Wilson said. “We already know how important it is to have peace through strength.”


Wilson also called the cancellation of the White House tours due to staffing cuts from the sequestration a “charade.” He added that many of these cuts are hurting families across the country.


Wilson also took a moment to speak on the Benghazi attack that occurred last September that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Wilson said the story of the protest during the attack was fabricated.


“There has been a cover-up obviously by the administration and the news media,” Wilson said.


Wilson said that Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia is pushing to form a special committee to investigate the incident.


During the question and answer session, someone inquired if there’s any chance that the federal health care law will be repealed or drastically modified. Wilson cited the advancement of a bill that declares South Carolina’s opposition to the health care overhaul by a House subcommittee last week. Wilson said he sees continuing opportunities to repeal the law.


Another attendee asked if Wilson believed in term limits. Wilson, who was elected to the U.S. House in 2001 and served 17 years in the State Senate before that, said he does believe in term limits, although if they existed, they must apply to everyone.


Wilson also spoke a bit about his family ties to Aiken County, including his great-grandfather and grandfather, who were from Beech Island. He called his Aiken County constituents “superstars” and said he’s completely energized by them.


“I’m truly serving with good people and really enjoy the opportunity to represent you,” Wilson said.