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. wabash246

    Why would anyone care what Joe the Plumber thinks, says or does? Actually, it would be nice if he wasn't a tax cheat also!

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Jim

    He really needs to shut up. He's an idiot that just wants some of the attention, being that he was publicly made out to be a dolt, a delinquent, and a flip-flopper himself. No one cares that he doesn't like McCain – even McCain doesn't care... it's over... go home.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Pat

    They only through in the quick verbage on Palin but he talked very highly of her as has everybody that knows her. Her biggest problem is she is a political outsider and that threatens the powers. Note how little waves in the Ill. Gov situation Obama is making now or has ever made with the Chicago Political machine. Can't say the same about Palin and Stevens because they were known to have a frosty relationship. I also love how Axelrod punted on Obama's comments with the Gov. If you do the math he had to call or was totally unprofessional in not calling. If a US Senator gives up their seat and the person replacing is the Gov don't you professionally owe that person a call or should they find out from the media? Obama has boxed himself in a corner.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. lol

    “I asked him some pretty direct questions,” he continued. “Some of the answers…they appalled me, absolutely. I was angry.

    Really. So, what were the questions? What were the answers?

    The only reason why Palin's "the real deal" is because she knows just as much as the average American does about foreign politics: nothing. Oh wait, she can see Russia from her front door.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. John

    Who cares? Crawl back under a sink.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. jerry

    Does anyone really care what this guy thinks? He was behind in his taxes, wasn't anywhere near to buying a business like he said, and isnt even a licensed plumber like he claimed. Calling Palin the 'real deal' shows he just an ignoramus who's 15 mintes should have expired last month.

    December 10, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Mike

    Can we please just agree this guy should go away?

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. former gop

    Oh, I love waking up to a laugh! This guy is such a loser! He's biting the hand that feeds him to the media! And calling $150,000 wardrobe Palin "the real" deal? When will the comedy end? My side hurts from laughing.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Nick Peterson

    Palin – Wurzelbacher '12!!!

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Jon Stewart (but not THAT one)

    Duh!

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. jane in Columbus,ks

    Who cares what this no tax paying moron thinks? But seems to me he should be more appalled at Palin's racist comments than Mccain's attempts at explaining to him why the bailout was needed

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. joe mama

    he gives plumbers a bad name. stupid neocon

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Dave

    That he praised Caribou Barbie as "the real deal" tells me everything I need to know about Mr Wurzelbacher....

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Georgia Gal

    He's a conservative, Republican, white male ... of course he thinks Palin is the real deal ... after all these types think that she is the greatest thing to walk the earth simply because she's hot. Give me a break ... the woman has no experience to speak of and is a complete and utter ditz.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Joe the Troll

    The fact that McCain was paying attention to you should have been your first clue that something was wrong with him.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Bill

    Why does anyone give any credibility to what Mr. Wurzelbacher has to say about anything? I voted for Barack Obama and am certainly not a John McCain fan but, good grief, giving publicity to this guy who apparently does not want to go away is absolutely ridiculous!

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Rolling in the Aisles, VA

    Joe the Dumber.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Jim Jackson

    Ah Joe, still trying to milk that 15 minutes of fame, huh?

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Zandex

    Yes, even Joe the plumber knows how to play the political games. Why didnt he jump off the bus during the election season? Surely fame makes a man walk differently from his talk.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. UM

    And this is relevant now because?...

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Darren.

    A Palin/Wurzelbacher ticket in 2012 would confirm that the Republican Party has finally turned into the Jerry Springer Show.

    Still, Palin and Wurzelbacher are well matched on political knowledge and coherence. Stranger things have happened.

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Paul

    This "Joe-ker the Plumber" guy is obviously a far-right fanatic who's in love with Sarah Palin. That's what his involvement has always been about. C'mon, the guy lived in Alaska before moving to Ohio a few years ago!

    December 10, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. terry

    Can "Joe the Plumber" just shut-up and go back to "plumbing", if that was his actual job!!

    December 10, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Matt

    How funny - the only person involved with the 2008 who is dumber than Sarah Palin professes to like her. Go Joe the Idiot!

    December 10, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. John Anthony

    Yeah? Well, Joe the tax cheat phony plumber, we're pretty appalled with YOU! What a disgustingly dishonest prima donna! Joe, your 15 minutes of fame ended 15 minutes ago. Get out of our lives!

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