(CNN) - Joe Biden sounded skeptical of “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher’s working-class credentials Thursday.
“You notice John [McCain] continues to cling to the notion of this guy Joe the plumber,” Biden said on NBC’s Today show. “I don't have any Joe the plumbers in my neighborhood that make $250,000 a year that are worried.”
Watch: 'Joe the plumber' on debate
“The Joe the plumbers in my neighborhood, the Joe the cops in my neighborhood, the Joe the grocery store owners in my neighborhood - they make, like 98 percent of the small businesses, less than $250,000 a year,” said the Democratic VP nominee. “And they’re going to do very well under us, and they’re going to be in real tough shape under John McCain.”
Watch: Moos: Plumbing the debate
McCain cited Wurzelbacher, who questioned Obama about his tax plan during a recent Ohio campaign swing, as someone would face higher taxes under the Democrat’s economic proposals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the United States in 2007 was $47,350.
DOWNINGTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) - It wasn’t quite the starring role that he had at the last presidential debate, but Joe the plumber still had top billing at the McCain event in Downingtown, Pennsylvania Thursday.
The senator from Arizona didn’t declare himself the winner in Wednesday night’s sparring match with Barack Obama, bestowing that honor instead on America’s newest star, Ohio resident Joe Wurzelbacher.
“My friends, we had a good debate last night. It was a lot of fun, you know. I thought I did pretty well. The real winner last night was Joe the plumber,” said McCain to applause and chants of “Joe.”
“Joe’s the man. He won, and small businesses won across America. They won because the American people are not going to let Senator Obama raise their taxes in a tough economy. They are not going to let him do it, my friends.”
And that wasn’t the last we heard of Joe. McCain again elaborated on what Obama to the Ohio plumber in their weekend meeting.
“He wanted to spread his wealth around. What does that mean? He wants the government to take Joe’s money and give it to somebody else, “McCain said as the crowd booed. “His hard earned dollars. We are not going to stand for that. America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by spreading the wealth; we became the greatest nation on earth by creating new wealth.”
The Republican presidential nominee had more criticism for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. “I agree with the chairman of the FDIC, who said that Secretary of the Treasury in this government is not going enough to help people stay in their homes,” he said. “That has got to be our first priority. Not Wall Street. Not the bankers. Not the investment houses.”
LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) – At a Pennsylvania campaign event Thursday, John McCain repeated his advisors’ favorite line from Wednesday night’s debate: that Barack Obama wasn’t running against George Bush. And on the trail in New Hampshire, Barack Obama repeated his comeback.
“He said, ‘I don’t know why you’re running against George Bush,’” Obama told a rain-soaked crowd south of Manchester. “I said ‘I’m not running against George Bush, I’m running against all those policies of George Bush that you support, Sen. McCain.’
“In three debates and over twenty months, John McCain hasn’t explained a single thing that he would do differently from George Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today. Not one,” he said to loud cheers outside of Mack’s Apple Farm, a location he campaigned at a year ago.
Obama said last night’s debated highlighted McCain’s “attack strategy,” and said the remaining 19 days of the general election campaign should focus on the “genuine differences” between the two candidates.
HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - Joe the Plumber, get ready. Your wild ride has just begun.
If past is prologue, you have no idea what's about to hit you.
Joe the Plumber, of course, is Joe Wurzelbacher, whose name came up so many times at last night's final presidential debate here that it seemed as if the people in the hall, the tens of millions watching around the country, and moderator Bob Schieffer were just getting in the way of what John McCain and Barack Obama really wanted to do.
They just wanted to speak to Joe. And they gazed right into the camera lens and did exactly that.
Mr. Wurzelbacher, you may have just become the next Vicki Lynne Cole.
If you've never heard of her, she once lived right down the road from you. And she's the prime example of what can happen when presidential campaigns find useful symbolism in the words of a citizen by the side of the trail.
Forty years ago this month, during the final stages of Richard Nixon's campaign against Hubert Humphrey, his campaign train stopped briefly in the town of Deshler, Ohio, population 2,000. It's about 45 miles southwest of Toledo, the part of Ohio where Joe Wurzelbacher lives.
Vicki Lynne Cole was an 8th grader who went to Nixon's whistle-stop. Evidently, at her school, the call had gone out for volunteers to serve as "Nixonettes."
She had made a sign to hold up– something about Lyndon Johnson and Nixon–but lost it, and picked another one off the ground. Reportedly she didn't look at it before she held it up.
"Bring Us Together Again," the sign said.
Well. . . .
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ohio's secretary of state on Thursday filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in an ongoing dispute over verifying the identities of the state's newly registered voters.
The appeal, from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner - a Democrat - and other elections officials, follows a Tuesday ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that sided with the state GOP. It ordered Brunner to create a system by Friday to provide a list of newly registered voters whose Social Security numbers or driver's license numbers do not match their names.
The state Republican Party contends that there is widespread voter fraud in Ohio - a crucial battleground state for the 2008 presidential election - and that Brunner "turned off" its process for verifying voter registrations while allowing Ohioans to cast ballots on the same day they registered. State GOP Chairman Bob Bennett has accused Brunner of concealing fraudulent voter registrations in hopes of swinging the state to Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate.
Brunner's office has acknowledged that preliminary information provided by about 200,000 registered voters may not match up. Brunner said Tuesday she had prepared for the appeals court's "possible adverse decision" ahead of time by announcing plans to "further improve the statewide voter registration database."
(CNN) - The Republican National Committee released a new ad hitting Barack Obama on economic policy, as the party began shifting some of its ad dollars to some of this year’s unexpected battlegrounds.
“Meltdown. Foreclosure. Pensions, savings wiped out,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “And now our nation considers elevating one of the least experienced people ever to run for president.
“Barack Obama: he hasn’t had executive experience. This crisis would be Obama’s first crisis. In this chair,” he says, over a shot of the president’s desk in the Oval Office.
The RNC’s independent expenditure unit confirmed that it is pulling its pro-McCain ads off the air in Maine and Wisconsin, re-directing the bulk of those resources to boosting advertising in a string of traditionally red states
At a presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Hofstra University Sen. Barack Obama criticized Republican opponent Sen. John McCain's stance on the economy. "Because in three debates and over 20 months, John McCain hasn't explained a single thing that he would do differently from George Bush when it comes to the most important economic issues we face today. Not one," Obama said.
Get the facts!
McCain has entrepreneurs spooked about widespread tax hikes, but fewer than 2% of small-business owners would pay more under Obama's plan.
(CNNMoney.com) - In speech after speech, presidential candidate John McCain hammers on the claim that his rival Barack Obama will raise taxes on many small businesses.
At the debate on Wednesday night, McCain said, "The small businesses that we're talking about would receive an increase in their taxes right now."
More typically he has said: "What [Obama] hasn't told you is that he would tax half of the income of small businesses in America," a line used in La Crosse, Wisc., last week.
Should small business owners fear for their wallets if Obama is elected? Not the vast majority, business and tax experts say.
To make its claim, according to a McCain spokesman, the campaign counts as a small-business owner any taxpayer who files a Schedule C, E or F – the forms used to report gains and losses from business ventures and farms.
Using that definition and citing IRS data, the campaign notes that "56.8% of total small business income is earned by businesses in the top two rates, which Barack Obama has pledged to raise."
It's true that Obama has proposed raising taxes on the top two income rates.
But there are three main problems with McCain's charge.