December 10th, 2008
11:55 AM ET
6 years ago

Joe 'The Plumber' 'appalled' with McCain

Joe 'The Plumber' Wurzelbacher said he was 'appalled' with some of what McCain said.
Joe 'The Plumber' Wurzelbacher said he was 'appalled' with some of what McCain said.

(CNN) – With the dust still settling from the 2008 presidential race, one of its biggest celebrities lashed out Tuesday at the man who made him famous.

Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, the Ohio voter who challenged President-elect Barack Obama on his tax plan and later became a hero of John McCain's presidential bid, said Tuesday he felt "appalled" at some of his interactions with the Arizona senator, and soon felt the need to ditch his campaign.

Speaking with conservative talk-radio host Glenn Beck, Wurzelbacher said he was specifically at odds with McCain's support over the massive $700 billion bailout, a measure many conservatives opposed despite McCain's attempts to shepherd the bill on Capitol Hill.

“When I was on the bus with him, I asked him a lot of questions about the bailout because most Americans did not want that to happen,” Wurzelbacher told Beck. “I asked him some pretty direct questions,” he continued. “Some of the answers…they appalled me, absolutely. I was angry.

"In fact, I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him."

Wurzelbacher rocketed to stardom during the third and final presidential debate, when McCain referenced the Ohio plumber's direct challenge of Obama's tax proposals. On an Obama campaign swing shortly before that debate, Wurzelbacher approached the Democratic presidential nominee while cameras rolled and challenged the candidate over his plan to raise taxes on those making over $250,000. Wurzelbacher said that could mean his taxes would go up if he ever achieved his goal of owning a plumbing business.

McCain jumped at the opportunity to use Wurzelbacher as a symbol of all small business owners who could potentially be penalized under Obama's plan, and his name was repeatedly invoked by both the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

But Wurzelbacher never appeared completely comfortable being used as a tool of the McCain campaign, and notably failed to show up at one campaign rally - prompting the Arizona senator to embarrassingly call out to him to no avail.

Despite his disappointment with McCain though, Wurzelbacher praised Palin as "absolutely the real deal."


Filed under: Joe the plumber
soundoff (584 Responses)
  1. Viv

    Attention seeker.

    December 10, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. CanIcallyouJoe

    "(Despite) his disappointment with McCain though, Wurzelbacher praised Palin as 'absolutely the real deal.'"

    Takes an idiot to know an idiot.

    I don't see why he's so upset – he was surrounded with people exactly like him – uninformed frauds.

    December 10, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. BB

    McCain of Keating 5 needs to go next. Don't re-elect him AZ.

    December 10, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. B

    Sarah Palin? Real Deal? Now I'm appalled.

    December 10, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Jeff

    This is not news. It is not worthy. Remove it and get to something with some meaning and pertinence!

    December 10, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. obama-mama

    Joe the Plumber is mad because John McCain made a spectacle of him. They probable gave him money for his appearances so he could pay off his taxes. I guess the money and fame are now over and he's talking about McCain. I'm not a McCain supporter but I think Joe the Plumber and underhanded Sarah Palin are dumb clowns.

    December 10, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. labilirrubina

    interesting

    December 10, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. carol

    He wanted to get off the bus, is he joking.....he loved every minute of it.
    McCain made him into a big star and he was quite happy to roam around the country with him...who is he trying to kid here!!

    December 10, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Anon

    And yet he never spoke out about that during the campaign. Makes you wonder.

    December 10, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. HA HA

    What a bunch of losers!!

    December 10, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Shmoe

    Joe,

    You're in the 16th minute and you only had 15. Go back from whence you came.

    Thanks,
    The USA

    December 10, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Just shut up already.....

    Your 15 minutes were over 30 minutes ago, "Joe" – go back to dodging the IRS and beating yur wife....

    December 10, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Katrina Survivor

    Unbelievable.

    December 10, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. CV

    So he backed a ticket that apalled him basically to become famous? What a great guy.

    December 10, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. rj

    As stated by Joe, "Palin is the real deal", reinforces what I had believed all along. Dumber than a box of rocks.

    December 10, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Suzanne

    A monster has been created. Plumber and Palin in 2012! An ignoramus extravaganza.

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. Train

    Why is Joe "The Unlicensed and In Debt Plumber" still talking? Go read a book.

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Susan

    Who cares what Joe the Plumber thinks? He's revealed himself to be an intellectually limited, publicity-seeeking, talking points spewing opportunist, much like Sara Palin, the obect of his admiration.

    His fifteen minutes of fame are so over!!

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Matthew

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you... geez.

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. Victoria

    You've really got to be kidding me.. Just when I thought this moron couldn't get any stupider, he says something like Palin is the "real deal." We intelligent people are doing nothing but laughing at the circus that is the Palin crew. Joe the Plumber shouldn't have been a celebrity from the start, because his words and actions did nothing but falsely accuse President Elect Obama of having a socialist plan. I hope he's giving up his run for a house seat and kissing that book he was going to write goodbye. Morons.

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Sharon Kitchen

    Say it ain't so Joe.....................oh,that's right,you want to back the person who may run in 2012,not McCain.................................................
    You think you need to attach yourself to Palin????????????the wolf pup (2 day old) killer????????????????? good grief.
    Maybe, you will see someone else more to your sense of "good" , whatever that may be.....................................well, you and the American people/voters have a long while before this.......but ,can't give you an "F" for not trying to keep your name in the news. After all you are out for you.yep,all righty then.(Be sure to keep your clothes size handy.)

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. mike

    He's gotta crush on Sarah, he's gotta crush on Sarah!

    December 10, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Dude Manbro

    Who even remotely cares about what "Joe" thinks about anything? He's a fraudulent tax dodger, his 15 minutes are up.

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. GOP

    Joe the Traitor!

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Mel

    Of course, Joe the Plumber isn't "the real deal". His name is Sam, he's not a licensed plumber, and he doesn't pay taxes. Yet another Republican hypocrite.

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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