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. Patty

    This from the guy who loved being in the spotlight with McCain. Anything to get attention again. A lot can be said about someone who doesn't agree with the decisions of the person he supposedly supports. I didn't vote for McCain, but I don't think his "supporters" should be throwing him under the bus...especially when Joe gained so much. Makes me really wonder–what were Joe's ulterior motives?

    December 10, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. stt

    Who cares? Why hasn't this guy faded away into obscurity yet?

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. bobby

    please....for the love of God.....go away!

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Ty Altman

    Sorry, I checked my watch and 15 minutes were up Joe and Sarah!

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Chelle

    Will it ever end? seriously

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Give back the Property Tax Money!

    Didn't someone in the RNC pay his back taxes? Maybe he should give the money back. If he was appaulled, he should have been honest and said so.

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Howard

    Joe the Plumber thinks Sarah Palin is "the real deal."

    Dumb and dumber.

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. john stees

    Maybe we will see a Palin / Wurzelbacher ticket in 2012. The sad part is that they would probably get a lot of votes.

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Cruzan Obama Mama

    LMAO!!! This the kind of person that will be voting for the soccer-mom that never seems to be home for the kids if she comes back in 2012. The unlicensed plumber, that owes back taxes, & claims to want to buy a business that is barely making it. What a mess!!!!!

    Even though this story is HILARIOUS!!!.....Why is he even still being interviewed and/or relevant? Why can't these figments of McCain's over active imagination (Palin & Plumber boy) just disappear? I had enough of their ridiculous 15 minutes of fame 2 minutes after it started.

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Mary Swartz

    How much longer do we have to put up with Joe the Plumber?

    Seems to me he should have told Mccain he was dissapointed in MCcain before he got the book deal

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Mike

    Palin the real deal?

    Joe please stick with plumbing.

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Kelly

    Why won't he just GO AWAY already!!!!?

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Gabriel

    GO JOE!!!!
    Joe not participate in the US tax system
    Joe had his 5 mins of fame
    Perfect for Republican Vice Presidential Candidate with Sarah Palin
    SARAH/JOE 2012
    NOT!!!!!
    It is a circus why are you reporting anything about this bum!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. David Henley

    your fifteen minutes are up, "Joe". Get a job.

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Ronacrone

    Joe, Please be advised that your fifteen minutes of fame has ended.

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Annhy

    Nobody told this guy that it is wrong throw mud at people (evn whn others are)? That you are likely to miss your target but you'll certainly stink!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Linda, NC

    I am ignoring this ticker!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Joe

    Why are we even caring about this man? He's had his more than 15 minutes of fame. Time to be a "real American" and get back to plumbing.

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Veeee

    You get what you seek!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Sandy

    I can't believe anyone would seek out "Joe the plumber" as a legitimate, valid or even interesting person to interview. He is nothing but a joke. But then again, it's Glenn Beck. Would we expect anymore from him? I don't consider him to be a believable journalist (and I use this term lightly).

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. John Q. Public

    *News Flash*...We Don't Care Joe!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. vinny

    Where was his disgust during the campaign?? I will bet you $100 that Palin picks "Joe" as her VP candidate in 2012!

    God help us all!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. z

    who really cares what this moron thinks anyway?

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Chuck

    Moron

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Joe Green

    NEWS FLASH:

    Fake Plumber calls Fake Governor "the real deal".

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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