06/26/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Karl Rove Boosts Joe Wilson: South Carolina Must Re-Elect 'You Lie' Republican

Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove spoke at a South Carolina GOP event this weekend and stressed the importance of re-electing Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, the infamous "you lie" heckler.

"(Democrats) want Joe Wilson out, they know what a strong symbol he is," Rove said, according to The State.

"They want him out. They know what it would mean in red, red, South Carolina to get him out of here. They're trying to pull a surprise on us; let's pull one on them. Let's retire Spratt," Rove continued, referring to Democrat Rep. John Spratt.

Rove's hour-long speech at the $100-a-plate dinner also included criticism of the recently-passed health care reform bill as well as the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package.

"Barack Obama will run up more debt in his first 120 days in office than George W. Bush did in eight years," Rove said, after calling the stimulus a failure.