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. Donna

    He's such a liar...he was using McCain and is still using Palin for his own benefit..Palin is still a "star" so he is latched on to her coattails...quit giving him ANY type of attention please..he isn't worth it...

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Joe the Politician...backpeddling

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Brownee

    Oh, so AFTER the campaign is over he comes out with this...who cares.

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. samantha o

    Palin is the "real deal"????? Yeah, it's called a BLUFF!!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. PrivateCitizen

    Give us all a favor and stop breathing

    December 10, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Truth Be Told

    ...this fraud obviously has an agenda of his own in place...

    December 10, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Bridgette-PA

    Stop supporting this guy CNN. He's a nobody and neither is Glenn Beck for interviewing him!

    December 10, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Richard N from D.C.

    Palin-Warzelbacher 2012: A True Dream Ticket

    December 10, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Samantha

    Why don't this snake slither back in his hole. He tried to come up on Mccain coat tail and when it didnt work now he has a problem with Mccain. He's an idiot.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Shelly

    Okay Joe, your ten minutes of fame is long expired! Time for you to really get off the bus.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. fcw

    I'm appalled with Joe the Plumber.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Matt

    Make this guy go away. His opinion literally means nothing.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. ed brennan

    He's as ignorant as they come. Small wonder he's a fan of Palin. All mouth, no thought, no information. Without the bailout we'd be moving back quickly to living in caves, and as I recall, there was no indoor plumbing in them and no need for plumbers.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Cathy Brandes

    He needs to go away as well! Perhaps he can join Sarah Palin in Alaska!

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. EnoughAlready

    This guy ought to name his plumbing business "Dumb and Dumber: The Plumber." What a worthless POS this guy is. Get your plumber's license, pay your back taxes and shut the hell up.

    December 10, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Danny, OH

    Joe we paid the taxes and can do whatever we want to do with it.You do not pay taxes so stop complaining about taxes that others have paid.

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. jfs Memhis, Tn

    This guy is a wack-O........possibly a walking time bomb !!! Stop encouraging this idiot.......you folks may be creating a monster of gigantic proportions that the rest of the world will not be able to cope with !!! He is not NEWS.....just stop already !!!

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Dissenter

    Ok "Joe," now it's time for YOU to go away as well. BYE!!

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Anonymous

    this tool(man) is still around?
    WHY?

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. jay

    Joe, your 15 seconds are up. No go back home and pay your taxes like the good little dog you are. This guy is the butt of a joke and he doesn't even realize. Please stop giving him media attention.

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Husker4Huckabee

    This isn't a surprise, McCain was basically a RINO anyways. True American hero; but a RINO nonetheless.

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Matt

    No

    One

    Cares.

    Go back to fixing toilets, idiot.

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. bill

    Do we really care what this guy says? Please stop covering this jerk.

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Florida Joe

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

    Yeah Joe...but you still supported him until AFTER he lost

    And if anyone has a doubt about your judgement......PALIN.....REAL DEAL........ GO Away Joe and take Sarah with you

    December 10, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. rmf

    Hey Joe, you've had your fifteen minutes. Go get your license now you poser.

    December 10, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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