October 30th, 2008
02:35 PM ET
5 years ago

Joe the no show

 Joe Wurzelbacher did show up to a Palin event Wednesday.
Joe Wurzelbacher did show up to a Palin event Wednesday.

(CNN) - Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, has become an integral part of John McCain's presidential bid, but it appears the Arizona senator's campaign and the now-famous Toledo plumber need to work on their communication skills.

McCain aides told CNN's Dana Bash Wurzelbacher would appear with the Republican presidential candidate at his first campaign event in Defiance, Ohio. But in what was a slightly awkward moment for McCain, Wurzelbacher was nowhere to be seen when the Arizona senator called out for him.

Read Dana Bash's first person account of the mix up on AC360 blog

A campaign aide later said Wurzelbacher had "decided not to come" and may join McCain later in the day.

But reached at his home by CNN's Mary Snow, Wurzelbacher said it was "news to him" that he was supposed to be at the McCain rally. Wurzelbacher said nobody from the McCain campaign confirmed he was attending the event and called the incident a "miscommunication."

Wurzelbacher also said he is headed to Philadelphia for a charity event unrelated to the campaign and has no plans to meet up with McCain today.

UPDATE: Contacted by CNN a second time, Wurzelbacher said the campaign only called him to confirm after the event in question already took place.  He will now try to meet up with McCain later in the day.

Watch: 'Joe': McCain 'a real American'

Wurzelbacher also said he had gotten an initial call about coming to the morning rally, "but no one called back to confirm," and was "not happy" that McCain had called out his name and he wasn't there.


Filed under: Joe the plumber • John McCain
soundoff (511 Responses)
  1. xargaw

    "Joe" is an insult to the intelligence of the voters. He makes statements rooted in complete ignorance of the subject matter he is addressing. For the McCain Campaign to champion such ignorance only demonstrates how out of touch they are. If Joe has to explain even one answer to have given to a question, he would hard pressed to offer any background or basis of fact for his conclusions. Is America really this dumbed down?

    October 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Mario the Embalmer

    LOL..this just gets sillier by the day...he's probably carving a backward "b" on his cheek at this point....

    October 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. roger

    Adding Joe the Plumber to McBush's campaign is about the silliests thing I have ever heard of or seen....But he seems to fit right in with the GOP crowd.....Keep in mind he will disappear after next Tuesday regardless of who wins the election....it is called being USED....Republicans will do or say whatever it takes to get elected...

    October 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Taz

    Mc Cain should do the country the favor and drop out of the race and save the country the time, the money and the trouble ( and leave, by leaving the American people with whatever is worth to remember about John Mc Cain – Mc cain the POW – not the politician ; Picking Palin without a background check was the biggest mistake of his campaign, panicking during the financial crisis and wanting to suspend his campaign, didn't say much about his experience either). His been tested "my friends" and he has failed.Barack Obama talks about the issues,John Mc Cain acts like a kiddengarden child, looking for insulting epithets ( socialist, radical ), and tries to score points by punching below the belt because he can not conceive anything intelligent to say and make a point. He is desperately trying to stay afloat, well here is the life vest: He should concede in dignity before he looses in a mudslide.In the meantime, he should do himself the favor and take into consideration who he puts on the campaign podium instead of judging Obama for his acquaintances.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. sf

    The gift that keeps on giving...

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Steve

    Who among us hasn't scheduled an appointment with a plumber, only for them not to show-up?

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Ted

    I can't believe this....today is five days before the election and McCain is introducing yet another Maverick! He just did a 'Meverick' on McCain himself. I'm laughing so hard my tummy is sore.......

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Mike

    Is it just me or does Joe the Plumber need to get back to work?

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    When you lie as much as Joe the Fake Plumber and McCain do, you're bound to get things fouled up!

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Maggie from Virginia

    Please stop the madness! This is not funny. Why does McCain allow this foolishness to continue?

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. A grateful voter.

    Thank you, Joe, for the no show. (I think it was becasue he wet himself. Look at the picture of him with Palin.)

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. David from Kentucky

    They should rename this campaign "The John McCain / Sarah Palin Circus Show! And they want to run the country!

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. OBAMA GIRL

    That's what McCain gets!!! He should have realized that Joe the Plumber is actually hurting him. These stupid decisions along with the hate and fear that they are spreading is why he doesn't belong in the white house.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Harry from york pa

    5 more days folks, then it will be all she wrote, no more gov. Palin, no more Joe the plumber, just America united under one president, Barack Obama. McCain rides around on the straight talk express but i haven't seen him be straight or his campaign be straight about anything. There was no miscommunication here, just lies, the McCain campaign is desperate so they are trying to find anything to latch on to, like Joe the Plumber. Unfortunately they will drag him through the mud with them. I think it's smart for him to run away from the campaign, or as the town he was supposed to campaign; Defiance.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. kuk-angry republican, PA

    what a joke Johnny boy. you just want to take the republican party with you to retirement. how on earth are you not in control of your campaign? i am ashame to be a republican. we need to forget about this joe the plumber gimmick, because it looks like it cannot stop the leak

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Bob Sixpack

    Joe probably gave McCain a three hour window as to when he might show up.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Paizley

    Joe is trying to get a date. He shows up to Palin's rally but he leaves John hanging....lol. It's so clear!

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. vw

    John, the man who grasped the essence of "American dream"-to encourage the hard-working American...

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Don

    Wonder how much his endorsement cost the McShame campaign? Maybe they paid his back taxes, or got him a temp license!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Joe The Phony Plumber Makes Me Sick

    Well, why not Joe The Phony Plumber? This guy proves that you don't have to have brains to get the country's attention. His 15 minutes would have been up on November the 4th and he's going to ride this ridiculous game until he makes some money. That's okay, this is America, I just don't want to see him.

    He makes me sick because he reminds of everything that's wrong with the Republican Party. He reminds me of the greed and mean-spiritness of this country.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Palin has misused her power and the campaign money!!!

    The McCain advisors are making a fool out of Mc Cain, they really have no ideas nor do they care about the campaign any longer. They are frustrated and making mistakes. Joe is for himself and had another engagment scheduled, but what really gets me is that the Repulslican party will allow any one even if they are barely educated, extremed , no scrupples, abuse power, liars represent their party. But we will not allow these stupid self centered liars to represent our Country. Maybe Joe the Schmo will have a life altering event that will leave him in a situation where he will need to rely upon the Government,then he may understand why helping others is not Socialism.

    Mc Cain first country..................... whenever?!

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Gladys,

    For crying out loud! if mccain and his camp think, they're use this man and dump him? I've news for them, they're have be punk by Joe the plumber. "Joe the Plumber" is only using the mccain camp for his own personal gain. sorry McSame........... Another bad decision.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. jesse

    Of course he didn't show when he was supposed to: he's a plumber! Like the cable guy they never show up when they say they will. Or is he trying to distance himself from McCain since he plans to run for office in the future?

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. ted d

    Maybe he was off paying back taxes to get the lien off his house. Hard to believe that the McCain campaign would feature a guy who misrepresented his circumstances and has dodged back taxes. Or maybe that's not so hard to believe. So sad.

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Mark - Illinois

    I can't believe it took Joe this long to 'go rogue'

    October 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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