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. RPL

    who cares

    how quickly they turn....

    this guy is a first rate moron

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Lauryn

    Joe, don’t jump off the McCain bandwagon, now that is has crashed. If you really cared about the well being of America, you would have told us this prior to the election. You are a coward and an opportunist.

    How is an Obama presidency scarier than a McCain presidency? Last time I checked, you would benefit more from Obama’s tax plan.

    Before you criticize an intelligent, community serving man like President –Elect Obama, look in the mirror-What have you accomplished?

    It’s not surprising you love Palin so much-Ignorance loves the company of Ignorance.

    Joe the scum is so dumb.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. mba

    Don't laugh! This idiot has a book deal! While thousands of worthy writers go unpublished, this giant turd gets a book published. That's enough to make you vomit.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Reality Check richmond virginia

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............................

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Dexter Skagway

    Is Joe the Stereotype's opinion on policy actually considered relevant or credible to anyone? The guy was a lame publicity stunt and nothing else. His only value was in chumming up ignorant yokels. Where does he get the idea that his opinion actually matters?

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. David, Chicago, IL

    From these comments, Webster's Dictionary could coin the phrase "Dumb as a Plumber".

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Dave

    I shutter to think where we'd be right now if McCain/Palin had been elected. After two errors in judgment (2000 and 2004 elections) the voters finally got it right.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Jake

    Enough! This guy is a moron. He has a very small understanding of this world and frankly, he needs to be chaperoned off the air.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Chuck

    Joe, make sure your taxes stay current so that we, the tax payers, do not have to bail you out.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Wisdom

    Wow...
    The Gov of Illinois is dirty, heavily connected to Rezko... who made land deals with Obama... 5 years of tapes... 26 page rap on him... fall out that could shatter (hopefully) the Chicago machine...

    and you have Joe the Plummer... nice work

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. RZA

    This is the same dork that supports the war, yet doesn't want to pay a dime in taxes- And since when do we look to unlicensed plumbers for relevant political commentary?

    What an absolute dimwit. Shame on whomever keeps shoving a microphone in Joe's idiotic piehole.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Lucy

    Why are we giving this guy any space!? What are his credentials? I wish the media would cover real stories.

    December 10, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Carolina Girl

    Short on cash Joe the Plumber? Looking to continue being infamous? Grow-up. You said you wanted to get off the bus after hearing McCain's comments on the bailout. And the reason you didn't is . . . . Stop being an opportunist and get to work.

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Tim

    Tell me that Joe, the fake Plumber (not liscenced), who is a liar (was not going to buy a busines that did not make over $250K a year), and had to be bailed out on his own taxes has the nerve to talk about anybody. But of course he loves Palin. I kinda feel sorry for John McCain.

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Martin Okoth

    This dude Joe, I think is the biggest joke in America right now. He's just a costume away from becoming a clown!!!!!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. True Blue Ohio

    And people care what he has to say because.....? He's an alleged plumber, he should be used to the smell of excrement.

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Larry

    This guy will never be an attention seeker,or go along for the ride,didn't you read the article above?????????????He's an independent American with a brain,and his own view points.Why are you now,and the Obama campaign earlier, bashing him ???

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. gb

    MAYBE HE WILL BE PALIM RUNNING MATE 2012

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Joe "The Plumber" and Sarah Palin should take a lesson from McCain - after your party is repudiated in an election, lay low for a while.

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. MARY

    Wow, Glen Beck must be hard up for some news to talk about. He had to seek out Joe the Plumber for a story. Joe is giving interviews to anyone dumb enough to talk to him and laughing all the way to the bank. Joe is getting his Bailout.

    December 10, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Mike

    Why is this guy still being interviewed and why are you putting this on CNN? Palin is the real deal....what a joke.....real deal what? She made the election a circus.....real deal clown? Wake up plummer (who makes over 250K???)

    December 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Debra in CA

    Joe The Bummer!

    December 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Grey

    The last sad comments of a sad man...

    December 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Hugh Betcha

    YOU – - CAN'T – - MAKE – - THIS – - STUFF – - UP – - LOL!!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Melissa, NC

    Why is this idiot still getting ANY publicity?

    And, he thinks Palin is 'The real deal?' Those two deserve each other!

    December 10, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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