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. Harold

    Hey Pat the story was about Joe the Plumber; If you knew anything about the Chicago Political Machine, then you would know, Obama wasn't a part of it when he started and because of that is not a part now. The election is over, quit looking to blame the President Elect for anything dumb someone else does.
    To make sure everything appears above board, why call. Given what the Gov. said over the phone, I am glad Obama didn't have any contact. If he had folks like you would be screaming to impeach him before he take office.
    I know its hurts but that's life!

    December 10, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Len

    Joe had his 15 minutes of fame and now he should go away!

    December 10, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    Joe, your 15 minutes of fame is over, and has been for a long time. The media will do most anything for a story so give us a break and go away. Please. Pretty please.

    December 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Tired of W, OH

    Joe, if Obama will hire you to fix the toilets in the White House, will you please just SHUT UP?!?

    Oh, I forgot. You're not really a licensed plumber, are you? Maybe you can call yourself a plumber because you can see the sewer from your house?

    December 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Rose

    Joe is a user and abuser. An opportunist like Palin. Neither one qualified for their 15 "seconds" of fame. . .and that's being generous. Who cares what he has to say. Why is he even being asked? Why the coverage? This is the media's fault.

    December 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Brad

    Joe the plumber was a Republican operative from the get-go. He was a fake "average employee" and a plumber who didn't even have a license. His 15 minutes of fame are up. It's time for him to just go away and be insignificant again.

    December 10, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Jim, Atlanta

    I am looking forward to Joe's appearance on Meet the Press and his articles in National Review, The Economist and Plumbling Today.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Marcia Harris

    This guy has more than his 15 minutes of fame. Enough already!

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Pam

    Ahhh, Joe the opportunist. Your fifteen minutes are over dude. Face it and get on with your life. Or perhaps you should be the VP nominee for Palin in 2012. We on the left could certainly look forward to having another good laugh at the RNC's expense. Imagine the clothing and makeup bills for the two of them. ba ha ha ha ha.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Dumb and Dumber

    "TOOL" says it all.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Irma in North Carolina

    You can see what is Joes mind if he thinks Sarah is the real deal. Did he not realize that she was having hate rallys, which endangered the life of Obama? Did she or Mccain try to stop this, no they just kept it up. And Sarah thinking she could give a concession speech, how dumb is she. It would of been full of hate for obama any way. Thank god the Mccain camp did n ot let her give it. Mccain gave a very good speech that night and he had control over the crowd too. And Joe you think she is the real deal? Where are you from?

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Dan

    Joe, you're a tool–in more ways than one. Go away, please.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Frank

    GO AWAY!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. jake747

    What a total tool. If this guy doesn't go away soon, it will prove how pathetic, and desparate conservatives have become.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. Jay

    Sorry Joe...you are a pin head.

    December 10, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Joe the Plumber should be Palin's campaign manager in 2012.

    December 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Christopher Harrison

    Joe, your 15 minutes of fame expired in November. Please just go away. I don't think McCain or Obama supporters want to ever hear your words of "wisdom" again.

    December 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Laura

    Joe, the Red Neck , white trash! As Ignorant and scary as they come

    December 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Stef

    Who the What?

    December 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. J

    I TAUT I TAW A PUDDY TAT

    December 10, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. murderkillpray

    A resounding "AMEN" to the Vet from NY!

    Sarah Palin is the very reason I did not vote for McCain (doesn't mean I voted Obama ... ) I only wish I could put it better than Vet from NY! She only pandered to the hatred and bigotry of the religious, narrow-minded jerks that want leaders that believe in talking snakes and magic tricks.

    December 10, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Anonymous

    joe-who

    December 10, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. mike

    Joe must have been charmed by Palin's good looks, but no way could he be impressed with someone as stupid as she appears to be.

    December 10, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Ian

    It is our duty to support our government since they know best. I am completely happy by paying more in taxes to get this economy back on track.

    December 10, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Donna

    Please just go away.

    December 10, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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