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. 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 friend" and he has failed.Barack talks about the issues, 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.And he should do himself the favor and separate himself from the likes of Sarah Palin and "Joe the plumber."

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    Now McCain can't trust Palin or Joe "the Plumber". I bet Joe votes for Obama and Joe "the Biden".

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. cherrystrawberry

    LOL!!!! God and some of you idiots trust McCain to run the counmtry?!?!?!?!?!? LOL. AMAZING

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. SoCal

    I think Joe The Plumber didn't shw up because nobody bought new clothes for him... LOL

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Hannathehairdresser

    Whoopsy, there you go again Joe...where'd you go? Book signing or recording studio...need a snake?

    Plumbers and Republicans...great combo!

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Dexter Skagway

    How low has political discourse gotten when Joe the Stereotype is a viable topic. Joe the Plumber, Joe Sixpack, jeez, can't the Republicans find something of substance to talk about instead of bombing us with these childish stereotypes?

    And why has Joe McCarhty-style wild accusations become the norm for people like Palin, McCain and Elizabeth Dole? Godless terrorist radicals!!!! Is the American public so gullible? Are these candidates so deluded and desperate?

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Saad from NJ

    He probably had too much to drink last night.... I tell you, I feel bad for the poor guy....

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Robert

    This is a sign that Joe the plumber dont really like John McCain.

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Manny

    Wow!!! Is this a joke?!?!?! Talk about communication problems.

    And this team is what 42% of the country think should run the white house?!?!?! Get real!

    Obama-Biden '08!

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Crazy Cat Lady

    Another wheel comes off the Straight-Into-The-Ditch bus.

    Given the dreadful incompetence of how he's run his campaign, one can only imagine how chaotically awful a McCain administration would be.

    October 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. VOTE! OBAMA!!! VOTE! OBAMA!! VOTE!

    Joe, Joe, Joe, lying Joe!!! See he lied about his name, lied about having a plumbers license, lied about buying a business and now he's lying to McCain!! Yeah you get what you give, he's out for himself.

    Just another ploy spoiled by the McCain camp against the McCain camp.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. SoCal

    Maybe "Joe The Plumber" has finally found out than 99.9% of plumbers make less than $250K a year…

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. M.lyons

    amazing...

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. MLD ND

    Even Joe , not really a plumber, is doing a Palin, looking out for number one.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Michelle, PA

    "Joe the Plumber" was too busy working on his book deal, recording contract and Congressional campaign to bother with "John the Candidate" who discovered him. It's sad to see how quickly they forget the "little folks" once fame and fortune go to their heads......

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Ross

    OWNED.

    And that's pretty much all I have to say about that.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Eric

    Hahahaha, did you ever see such an unprofessional campaign like this one? McCain should have known not to count on this guy, hey, he does not even pay his taxes. Five days to go and McCain will be out of his misery.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. KAREN - TIRED OF Palin / McCain and JOE WHOMEVER THE HELL HE IS...

    Shouldn't Joe the whomever he is be working to pay back his taxes? Or is the Republican party taking care of that also? It's obvious this guy never had a job and was a plant by the McCain campaign and the Republican Party. All of McCain dirty tactics are backfiring on him and we the American people are voting for change.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Tim

    JOE THE PLUMBER HAS GONE ROGUE!

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. James in Utah

    Well what did McCain expect from the Joe or is it Sam? Who's idea was this anyway? Tell you what, have your people call my people and we'll do lunch.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. David in Minneapolis

    Well...now, doesn't that just sum up John McCain's entire campaign? One "miscommunication" after another.

    Soon this is going to be over and we can return to the days of having a true leader sitting in the President's office...I don't think that will be Senator McCain though.

    October 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. slickingdom

    I'm sure John McCain IS IN DEFIANCE !!! Joe-the-plumber is going to the
    Philadelphia Phillies parade !!!

    October 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Ann

    SPLASH! The sound of another rat jumping ship.

    October 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Billy

    How could this be? CNN reported that Joe was with McCain... is it possible that CNN and John McCain didn't get the updated McCain campaign talking points this morning?

    CNN–report the story of how McCain gave over $500,000 to Khalidi!

    October 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Awwwww..... a faux celebrity as star of a faux campaign is missing.... what a shocker

    All McCain and Barbie do is LIE and SMEAR and WHINE.

    October 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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