October 17th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Enough with ‘Joe the Plumber,’ Palin says

 Palin has been advised to avoid campaign news.

Palin has been advised to avoid campaign news.

(CNN) - Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin told supporters at a North Carolina fundraiser that her aides discouraged her from watching campaign news because they thought she would get “depressed.”

“At those times on the campaign trail when sometimes it’s easy to get a little bit discouraged, when you know, when you happen to turn on the news when your campaign staffers will let you turn on the news,” she said Thursday night, to laughter from the crowd. “Usually they’re like ‘Oh my gosh, don’t watch, you’re going to, you know, you’re going to get depressed.’

“But yeah, sometimes you do get depressed watching what it is that they’re reporting and the spin and some of the distortion of what our message is and what we stand for, sometimes that, that gets draining,” she added. “But it’s at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country, and that’s why we so appreciate you being here.”

The view isn’t all glum from the trail. “We even saw today, thank the Lord, we saw some movement,” looking upwards and making a fist. Another bright note for her, she said later, was visiting “pro-America” areas of the country.

"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe, we believe that the best of America is in the small towns that we get to visit, and in the wonderful little pockets of what I call the 'real America,' being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation," she said.

"This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories, and teaching our kids, and growing our food, and fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom."

After 24 hours dominated by the campaign’s latest unwitting celebrity, the Alaska governor conceded she was getting a little tired of talking about Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbach. “And I, I begged our speech writers, ‘Don’t make me say Joe the Plumber, please, in any speeches.’ And I was asked ‘Just one time, just at this fund raiser.’”

The McCain camp has encountered some playlist difficulties this year: Heart, John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Jackson Browne, and the Foo Fighters have all asked that the campaign stop using their songs on the trail. On Thursday, Palin expressed satisfaction with the latest musical selection.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had intro music by AC/DC before. That was kinda cool,” she said. “In fact, we were on the bus today, we were making a list of who are some celebrity singers who could come out and help us and gosh, for the life of us, the pickings were slim there. Who’s quasi-conservative out there in the celebrity land?”

Country singers Lee Greenwood and Hank Williams Jr. – who has written a song in tribute to the McCain-Palin ticket – have both appeared at events for the campaign. Palin thanked them both Thursday.

According to Palin, the 500-person event brought in roughly $800,000.

Filed under: Joe the plumber • Sarah Palin
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Tessmarie

    As reported in your article, Palin claims that she would be "visiting “pro-America” areas of the country."

    I, for one, would like to know which areas she is referring to!

    This comment frightens me as it indicates that she really believes that some areas of our country are not "pro America," and, therefore, that some of us are not "pro America"! This comment incorporates so many ugly fallacies that it is difficult to categorize, but for starts, I see ad hominem, poisoning the well, dicto simpliciter, and loaded language. I also see mean-spiritedness!

    Please, Sarah Palin, do not sink so low as to claim based on a desire to win an election that those who support you and McCain are "pro America" while those who support Barack Obama and Joe Biden are not! I would object to this line of attack even if I were not voting for Obama/Biden. Your comment evokes the ideology of Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 rather than the principles of our constitution.

    I am a patriotic citizen of this country and I will not be accused of anything less by you or by anyone else!

    October 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Andy from Michigan

    SO ALL 500 people gave 1600 dollars?? Right! Please stop the conservative lies!

    Obama 08

    October 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. hsl

    Fine man Senator McCain. Monumental error in selecting Governor Palin.
    Pro America – wonder what towns she excludes. No wait I really don't want to hear from her about it.

    October 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    Gosh! If Sarah was brought in to firm up the Republican base, does that mean the Republicans are now the party of ignorance and hate? There are reports of people are getting attacked at her rallies, they're getting targeted in early voting lines by McCain supporters, given info on McCain, and asked to reconsider. We're going backwards at a startling speed.

    October 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. WA

    I guess they realized they really put their foot in their mouth with planting JOE the plumber now that his business is out about him owing back taxes and he's a registered republican, not an independent as he claimed and he's related to one of McCain;s scandalous cronies.

    October 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. independent in Texas

    She has to "beg" about what to say or not say ? and cant watch news unless her "handlers" approve it ?????? That proves she is no more than a republican PUPPET...cant even be her own person..thats even scarier ! No way I want republicans trying to do that with rest of us..brainwash America..thats next...
    No way, no how, no McCain or Palin....
    white independents from TEXAS for oBAMA...

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Spider

    Veterans for Obama-

    Wouldn't want you to be insulted!!

    But then if your candidate's campaign is called a "fairy tale", you feel insulted.
    If your candidate is referred to as "that one", you feel insulted.
    If your candidate's lack of a voting record is called into question, you feel insulted.

    No insults when your candidate mentions bitter Americans clinging to guns and religion or calling his opponent out-of touch and his judgement faltering.

    Maybe this is your first election, as it is for so many Obama supporters, but, this is American Presidential politics. Has been and always will be, even if we Hope for Change.

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. barbary

    Palin's statement that there are 'pro-America parts of the country" obviously insinuates that there are "anti-American" parts of the country. This needs to be shown in ads over and over again as proof that her handlers are working directly from the Rove-Bush-Cheney playbook of pitting one part of the country against another.

    This is the most unpatriotic thing I've heard yet from this sad team – and that's saying a lot considering their previous comments.

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. WI vt

    I'm with you Vets for Obama... are only her supporters proAmerican? Funny, I thought that calling for the death of a sitting senator (and likely future president) of your country isn't very pro-American.

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Joyce

    I am a woman but I guess I just don't like women in piolitics. They are after power and when watcfing Palin you know she is worse than most.
    Just because she snowed the people in Alaska doesn't mean all the people in the United States are stupid.
    I also have always been a Republican until now. I think someone with no experience in Washington can do more for the country than someone with 26 years as a senator.

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Mimi in Ohio

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    The caption should read – "Sarah Palin's response when asked about how to combat the economic crisis we're facing."

    John McCain lost me when he picked her as a running mate. Country First? I don't think so. Did he put the country first when he picked her as a running mate? Someone should ask him that question. He picked her to try to get Hilary Clinton's supporters. Sarah Palin, you are no Hilary Clinton.

    Folks go out and vote – Obama/Biden. Vote early!!! Don't wait until Nov 4.

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Kansas for Obama

    Palin is nothing more than a Barbie doll Parrott squaking out whatever she's been programmed to say for the day. She is by far the most worthless VP nominee McCain could have chosen and she is the single most reason why most of my Republican friends are "not" voting for McCain.

    Welcome to the Obama fold friends. Real change is coming.

    Say it with me now: "President Barack Obama"

    October 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. john

    As per Kaya:

    Sarah, Sarah, can you come out and play, or won't your speech writers let you? Did they write the line that you didn't break any ethics law while the report clearly shows you did? Reform and Ethics team????? What a sad joke...

    White is black. up is down, and soon, Lord willing as you would say, yall be down and out......and this land will be safer....

    October 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Mikey

    Here is a line that highlights the "more patriotic than thou" attitude of this campaign:

    Another bright note for her, she said later, was visiting “pro-America” areas of the country.

    October 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Women for Obama/Biden

    You are not independent. independent dont criticize any side if you are truly independent you wont talk ill of either side.
    Sen Obama's achievements in his short period in senate
    1. Ethics reform
    2. Nuclear proliferation bill
    3. "Google washington"
    4. oppose Iraq war from the start to show the country the motive has been wrong from the start.
    5. Vereran's health reform
    6. supports healthcare for children and families also suppoted by Sen Kennedy
    this are few of his acheivements...
    You need to find out in chicago how many bills he wrote and pushed.

    October 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. CindyN--PA

    Just exactly what Palin is. She has to tell her Speechwriters not to write about Joe the Plumber~ because all she is capable of doing is reading from a teleprompter. When will she do a Press Interview?
    She could be our VP– and we don't even get to hear from her in a Press Interview setting? That says it all about the McCain Campaign.

    Still - SO many fools will come out and support this lunatic.
    And please the band AC/DC are not from America. If they were, they would be protesting them using their music too. No one wants their music played at these events, aside from Country Musicians.

    October 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. PG


    I think Ms. Holy Spirit Palin better get her facts straight about the music she likes.

    October 17, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. drone

    Painlin go back to Alaska and hunt some poor defenseless moose...

    Go PETA!

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Sara, Wisconsin

    Does the idiot confuse pro-America with pro-Republican?
    UH, she's actually best used on Leno's Jaywalking segments – the ones for the stars.

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. peter

    "pro-american areas" ???

    What the...am I NOT pro-American? She hasn't come to California. Do I want less for my country because I happen to disagree with her on how to run it? If I didn't care, I wouldn't...never mind. Mudslinging is expected between candidates, but against the people you want and need to vote for you?

    Wake up Sarah Palin! Saying "enough of Joe the Plumber!" may be the most intelligent thing you've said all campaign, don't tie it in with something as far on the stupid side as "I'm just visiting the pro-American parts of the country"!

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. YakRob

    Pro-America parts of the country? And the other parts are what, anti-America? Where would that be?

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. texas dem

    OMG!!!!This is simply riduculous. "...when your campaign staffers will let you turn on the news" so what are the "letting" her watch? It's not PBS because her vocabulary would be greatly improved. Then, "And I, I begged our speech writers...", so you admit that you can't go off script?

    So we now know, without a shadow of a doubt, whose really running the campaign and who would run a McCain/Palin White House - the campaign staffers, the behind the sceners. The folks out front are just talking heads.

    On another note, I have to give their script writers kudos on a great speech for McCain at the Al Brown event.

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. James

    Independent leaning toward the right October 17th, 2008 10:37 am ET

    We'll see if CNN posts this…hopefully the 4th time is a charm

    Obama Bloggers…your hypocracy is shameless. When the polls show a double digit lead, you are declaring victory and taking the polls as Gospel. Now the lead is down to 2 in some polls and you are questioning the validity and importance of the polls. You are scared. People are waking up and slowly beginning to realize what a mistake an Obama Presidency would be. And as for campaign spending…if McCain were spending 3x as much as Obama you would be making comments here about how another Republican is trying to "buy" the presidency. Instead it's Obama who HAS to spend the money to refute the McCain campaign. Give me a break. So hypocritical. And for those of you who continue to brag about contributing to his campaign…how can you continue to give give give and then complain about how tough things and that you can barely afford to pay your bills. Get your priorities straight. He doesn't need any more of your money. I don't get it!

    I challenge you bloggers…Please tell me 3 things that Senator Obama has done. Not theories or promises. I want 3 tangible things he has actually done.

    Please…some original thought to this as well. The regurgitation of the same tired cliches from Obama supporters has gotten tiresome. Can someone actually take this challenge and add some ORIGINAL insight?

    Good Luck! Clock starts now.


    Shut up and quit saying you're an independent. You're post alone shows that you are a Republican. The polls are absolutely useless, and people realize that. Matter of fact, the entire McCain/Palin campaign is usless!

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Karl

    Sarah Palin came here to Grand Rapids, MI once a few weeks ago... a couple days later they (McCain/Palin) decided to pull out of Michigan never to return. I guess with our jobs going overseas and high unemployment rate were just not "Pro-American" enough for her.

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Steve, Jacksonville, Fl.

    Of course she doesn't want to talk about "Joe the Plumber". Maybe it's because ole Joe never got his plumber's license and owes back taxes and it doesn't look like ole Joe will be buying out the business anytime soon. In fact, it looks like ole Joe was never fully vetted by the McCain campaign, much like Sarah Palin so I can understand why she would be reluctant to talk about him. One thing for sure, though, Joe would get a tax break under an Obama Administration since he makes about 40K a year. Hmmm I wonder if he's familiar with the 'Bush Doctrine'?

    October 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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