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. Ryan H.

    Just go away already!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. T_Head

    McCain appalled him... but he still supported him. He really must not have thought well of Obama to do that.

    December 10, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. elizabeth

    His 15 minutes of fame are over......stop giving this moron a platform.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Thomas

    He thinks Sarah Palin is the "real deal?" Not only should he get off the bus, he should stop inhaling the fumes! Joe the ersatz plumber offering opinions on the nation's economy. Wow. I think it was more than telling when McCain called for this chowder-head to stand up and take a bow and he was no where to be seen.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. matt

    He should thank McCain for making him famous. What a loser. Pay the taxes you owe and quite worrying about the ones that may or may not be down the line.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Mickey Dean

    glenn beck, extending people's 15 minutes of fame one minute at a time.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. TESAP;SAVANNAH, GA

    UMMMMMMMMMMM WHO CARES.. HE DID NOT SEEM APPALLED WHEN HE WAS GETTING THE ATTENTION

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Yousef Abed

    Seriously "Joe the Plumber" I really don't think anyone cares about anything you have to say...You arn't a plumber and you probably arn't ever going to make $250,000. Do us all a favor and go home, I'd love to have a "questions and answer" session with you just to call you out.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. gordo for joe

    I'm with Joe. McCain's support of the bailout may have cost him the election; 'maverick' he is not.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Willy

    Who gives a hoot what this guy thinks? He does not get even the most simple financial issues, gross versus net income, and somehow we care? Go get a license and pay your back taxes, and then we still will not care what you think about the financial bailout.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Joe is a Moron

    Can this be true? The rats are still abandoning ship?

    But what baffels me is that he believes Palin is the "real deal". Either he is really oblivious or he's thinking with something else besides his "brain".. or perhaps both?

    Yes, I expect him to campaign hard for Palin's run in 2012. Go for it Palin, sorround yourself with morons, they'll fit right in with you.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Billy form Dallas

    Well Joe the "not Plumber" I'm appalled at the fact that you received any attention based of your bogus resume. You are not a plumber, you owe taxes, you were not about to purchase a business with over $250K in revenue on your paltry $40K salary. I'm also appalled that McCain didn't vet you properly, oh never mind, he didn't vet Palin properly either.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Helen

    Why do we keep giving this man attention? Let's focus on all the big problems we're facing.
    Maybe he and Palin will team up as Republican's dream ticket.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Laura

    Joe the Plumber = Joe the Idiot. Not that I was ever in agreeance with McCain – this whiny "American Idiot" has no room to be the chosen, "Token Joe" voice of our society. Stop crying, Joe. Pull up your big boy drawers and get back to work!

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Gil

    I think we all agree that Joe's fifteen minutes of fame expired a few weeks ago!

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Kaitlyn

    Who cares what this putz has to say? He was nobody before, he'll be nobody after. He doesn't even have the slightest clue what he's talking about.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Justin

    Can someone fake clog a toilet so that this guy has something to do?

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Jeanette

    you're a idoit. go away. you 15 minutes of fame is up

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Butch Dillon

    It is a sign of absolute desperation that "conservative" talk show hosts are still clinging to Joe the Babbling Baboon.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. joann

    Oh please, Joe the phony plummer used Mccain too; now that everyone knows Joe he has the nerve to dis Mccain? I don't agree with everything Mccain did either, but I would have spoken up then and not have been around on every stage with Mccain if I had disagreed with him. Joe used Mccain too!

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Jeff

    Whatever Joe! Go back and leave the rest of us alone. You're a tax-evading bum and are just wanting to be in the spotlight.

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Paul

    Joe is a PUTZ!

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Los

    I am profoundly interested in this man's trenchant opinions and sophisticated world view NOT

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Obama fan in Charleston

    Has nobody told this man that his 15 minutes are over? The world is filled with uninformed people like "Joe" – who cares what he has to say?

    December 10, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Pam

    Well, there ya go!
    Joe did not just get off the bus, he through Mr. McCain under the bus!

    HA !!!!!
    OBAMA 08

    December 10, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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