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. Earl

    Joe the "Unlicensed" plumber should not worry, according to Wendy, Bob the (Licensed) Builder wasn't invited either.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Tammy

    This guy thinks he's the next President. Hang on Joe and your star is burning out! You fit in perfectly the McCain campaign – arrogant and always looking for the next big stunt!

    And they say democrats are looking for handouts/or the easy road! HA!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Susan from Virginia

    The McCain Camp needs to take Campaign Organization 101 from the Obama Camp!

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Tony

    WAHT A CLWON CAMPAIGN!

    MCCAIN STOOD UP BY A FAKE PLUMBER!

    SINKING FAST JOHNNY BOY!

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Judy

    When one puts her/his faith in someone who lies, as Sam the plumber did, who will she/he put her/his faith in when they are elected?

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Thomas

    Aren't his 15 minutes of fame over yet???

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. SoCal

    It appears that Joe The Plumber won't show up until someone will buy him new clothes...

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Tom

    I would have blown him off too.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Chris the Engineer

    Why are we still talking about this guy !? The guy owes back taxes and supports the canidate who will give him a higher tax rate than Obama. His 15 minutes are up !!

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Winnie Hussein . . . in Montana

    LOL. Maybe he's in cahoots with Palin to stab McCain in the back. Uh oh, look out!!! They are both going rogue!

    This guy is a joke and he doesn't even get that. The entire world, not just the U.S. is laughing at his hubris. Of course, the same goes for McCain and Palin. Oh yeah, and Palin has a new complaint to deal with in Alaska. She is so corrupt it makes me sick. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she deplaned on Tuesday in Alaska and was arrested?

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. JIMBISCIELLO

    I GUESS JOE IS HIDING FROM THE IRS.
    MAYBE HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE LINKED WITH LOSERS...

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Dave

    hahaha!

    That is hilarious. What a great example of the kind of mish mashed, disorganized campaign this man is running.

    Now we just sit back and wait for the attack ad blaming this on Obama.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. GOP Pay As You Go Society

    McCain has run such a poor campaign with no focus and has offered nothing of substance to contrast himself to the policy rollout of Obama. Then, looking at his "executive" decisions: first Palin (a knee-jerk impulse that by itself strikes fear in most reasonable Americans); then, the bank bailout to buy mortgages at "face" when there is no valuation model that shows their true value – how clueless.

    The only chief executive with measured, calculated muscle to carrry out the job is the one that took down Hillary and has made a farce of the GOP: Obama

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. Sam F. from Jackson, TN

    Oh my GOODNESS! I almost expect Joe to have his own VH1 reality show called "Plumber of Love".

    Please, no more mentions of Joe! I can't take it anymore!

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Mavwreck

    another slightly awkward moment for McCain

    You Betcha

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Mike

    Another indication of the solid and effective team that McCain has built (sarcasm intended). What a pathetic demonstration he is giving of his "so called" leadership skills. You are telling me that no one had the responsibility for checking to see if he was really there before John called on him from the mic???? His campaign is crumbling.

    I am sure that there will be more backdoor sniping and "anonymous source" comments between staff members as a result of this one. Thank goodness McCain has only been in charge of his campaign, and not the country. We need to make sure in 5 days that he is not promoted to being responsible for all of us.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. Martin

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times just call me a bad decision maker and poor judge of character.

    P.S John Mccain and the G.O.P should demand the $75,000 they reported are paying "Joe the Plumber" to campaign for a few events.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Lucy

    Even "Joe the Plumber" can't stand McShameful Loser. He showed up for McMoosie though. Wonder what HE was thinking!!!

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Truth Hurts

    Joe the plumber and Palin are in this for their own personal agenda's.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Truth Hurts

    Joe the plumber and Palin are in this for their own personal agenda's.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Dawn

    Remember the song "Indiana wants me," well a new song is out, "Ohio wants Joe the Plumber" He is the biggest Fraud and has distances himself from McCain, wink, wink. Maybe he is being hunted down by angry toilets.. This is one for you McCain, egg on your face time. Making a total joke out of your campaign and inticing fear and hate in this Country... You and Caribou Barbie should apologize to the American people for just that.

    Reading the post and seeing everyone's feelings, whether it is for either the Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin ticket, you have that right of beeing free...this our democracy, we can voice our thoughts.

    enough said, Go Obama/Biden08/12

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. NOVA

    OMG why won't this go away?? He's NOT EVEN A PLUMBER.

    October 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. jaimito

    he is playing both sides.

    he already voted for obama because he will get lower taxes.

    he is traveling with mccain's team because they pay him for the time, not to mention some celebrity moments.

    smart guy. joe the fake plumber rules!!!

    October 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Kendy

    So much for competence....this is a sign of bad things to come from the McCain/Palin ticket....what a shame having this two so close to the WH...

    October 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. MSU Dem

    I think the larger question is why is he attending a fundraiser in PA unrelated to the campaign? Knowing what we do about his taxes, is it likely that he'd come through on a charity pledge?

    October 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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