December 10th, 2008
11:55 AM ET
5 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. Muhammad

    If he thinks Palin is "absolutely the real deal", then his judgement of McCain is not worth 'squat'. He is only attempting to extend his 15 minutes of fame.

    December 10, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. D. Dean

    Poor dumb Joe the Plumber, . . . he learned what so many others before him has learned. Ask Katherine Harris. The Republican Party will use anyone to get what they want, then cast them aside like so much garbage when they're finished with them. But frankly, Joe got what he deserved if he realized that McCain wasn't worth supporting and still continued to mouth the McCain platitudes. Sounds like both sides got used in that deal and both lost. Ho-Hum Joe, just another day in Republicanville.

    December 10, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Desi

    JTP thinks Palin is "absolutely the real deal", lol. That makes sense.

    December 10, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. bearface

    the dust has settled. how does anybody care about this schmuck. let's hope he doesn't get a book deal.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Joe the Teacher

    God, please go away.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. KLK

    I thought his 15 min. were up already.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. damon

    15 minutes are up dude..get back to work.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. D.Bolden

    Wurzelbacher praised Palin as "absolutely the real deal." She'll be the real deal until he sits down and talks with her as well....LOL

    Joe have you gotten you license yet?

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Tina

    Your 15 minutes are up. The election is over. We are appalled with you.
    Goodbye!

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

    Why is this guy still relevant? And why was he ever held up as an 'undecided' voter?

    And he was appalled with McCain, but still campaigned for him? Real character, there. This guy was a wingnut plant if I've ever seen one.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Sully

    Joe the Plumber calling Sara Palin the "Real Deal" appropo to the ruin of the Republican Party.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Mark M

    You Republicans wanted McCain even though he didn't have a conservative bone in his body. He is one of most liberal Republicans in Congress. You thought he changed his ways simply because he was the nominee. Please!!! There were other qualified conservatives in the race that would have been better a choice, but no, you wanted to throw McCain a bone.

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

    I don't think I'm the only person to think an article about "Joe" is as big a waste of time now as it was during the campaign. No one cares what he thinks.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Joe

    We are all "entitled" to our 15 minutes of fame. This guy is now up to 20. What a waste.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Really?

    Why is this guy still newsworhy? Why?

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Former Lifelong Republican supporting Obama, Columbia, TN

    I hate to even respond to this recent "Joe the Plumber" story, because I'm afraid that CNN and other media outlets will continue to extend this idiot's 15-minutes of fame. GIVE ME A BREAK and stop paying attention to this fool.

    December 10, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. The Obnoxious American

    Once again Joe's right. And proven right. 350 billion dollars into the bailout and what do we have to show? Instead of the banks using the money to shore up credit markets, they used it to expand their reach and buy smaller companies that were in trouble. This is an example of how well our government shephards your money. This is why guys like us want LESS taxes, not more (regardless of whether you are rich).

    This is why the idea of government healthcare is scary. Will the government do a better job with healthcare than they did with this bailout, or with katrina, or even with doing the basics like running the DMV or even public libraries? Don't count on it. Wait, you already did when you voted Democrat.

    Perhaps if what came out of McCain's mouth this election cycle wasn't "democrat lite" we might be talking about President Elect McCain.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. Geeque - Chicago,IL

    I'd rather go with McCain than this fool Joe "The Stupid" Plumber and Sarah " The Illiterate" Palin.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Aneta

    Yes, Palin is the real deal all-American idiot...

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. wesley

    Dillusional

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Matt

    I would like to shave his head without any shaving cream. This guy is a total idiot. Every time i see him on the news he is saying something stupid.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. bill

    praised palen for being the real deal.WHAT PLANET DID JOE PLUNBER COME FROM.maybe these two idiots can get together in the frozen north.and leave the lower 48 comletely. SICK OF BOTH OF THEM

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. OBiden all the way

    Why is this man's 15 minutes not up yet??? Who cares what he thinks?

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Apples for sale

    The biggest loser?

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. DC

    Disappointed with McCain but Palin is "the real deal?" This guy is delusional. Beep! 15 minutes are way over, dude.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24