'Joe the Plumber' launches bid for Congress
October 25th, 2011
09:51 PM ET
3 years ago

'Joe the Plumber' launches bid for Congress

(CNN) - Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber," kicked off his congressional campaign Tuesday night, hoping to win over an Ohio House seat for the GOP.

"Our current system is all about control. It needs to be fixed," Wurzelbacher said. "They keep on putting duct tape on it. I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape."

Wurzelbacher gained GOP rock-star status in 2008 after challenging then-presidential candidate and Sen. Barack Obama on his small-business tax plan.

His confrontation quickly became a popular anecdote in the presidential election, frequently used as a campaign message by the Republican Sen. John McCain and running-mate Sarah Palin.

The plumber-turned-celebrity has since capitalized on his fame by writing a book and making multiple media and campaign appearances.

While he turned down a chance to run for office in 2010, he's now challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving Democratic woman in the House, to represent Ohio's 9th congressional district.

Making his announcement at Tony Packo's, a Hungarian restaurant in Toledo, the candidate said he's confident of a win, as said he knows how to "keep it simple."

"I don't have to remember what I said five years ago because I believe it. That's what it comes down to," he said. "They're not going to catch me in a lie. I'm not concerned about that at all. You've got to keep it simple and that's what it comes down to running for Congress."

– CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • House of Representatives • Joe the plumber • Ohio
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Avis

    Does this clown even know the basics of civics and how our county really runs? I see "Joe" having his a $$ handed to him.

    October 26, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  2. Jon in Rochester, NY

    "I don't have to remember what I said five years ago because I believe it. That's what it comes down to," he said. "They're not going to catch me in a lie. I'm not concerned about that at all. You've got to keep it simple and that's what it comes down to running for Congress."

    He's already been caught in a lie! He said he had his own plumbing business and Obama's policies were going to hurt him. He didn't have a plumbing business and he wasn't even a registered plumber. Why aren't those facts in this story. Come on CNN, you can do better!

    October 26, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  3. scott

    Didn't he lie about having a plumbing liscense? Grear start "Joe".

    October 26, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. W.G.

    Well if you want to keep it simple then he´s the simpleton to do it ! Another Idiot who makes under a million a year
    ready to follow the republican creed " Lets bring down America with "Division and Greed " !

    October 26, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Boy, the Koch brothers are backing anything that moves in their quest to get as strong a foothold as possible in our "democracy".
    Who else would back this unqualified, non-tax paying, stretcher of the truth for Congress?

    October 26, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  6. A. C.

    He can't be no worse then the other a-clowns in Congress.

    October 26, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  7. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    What was proved was that he was a liar and not even a plumber-he was a giant FAKE.

    October 26, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  8. Portland tony

    Holy Crap. This is news. When Joe is queried as to what he does for a living, he can proudly say he's a retired politician, but I will give you an estimate on that leaking sewer pipe.

    October 26, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. Clwyd

    LoL, just more republican loonies coming out of the wood work!

    October 26, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Anas not the plumber

    Joe,
    If that's even your real name, I would have taken your "I am for the people" seriously if I didn't read the part about you cashing in on your luck. You are just like the rest of them, you started wit fame and fortune and now you seek power.

    October 26, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  11. Erik

    This guy shouldn't be elected. He's a fake. Wurzelbacher wasn't actually licensed to be a plumber, owed back taxes, and was behind on child support. Yeah, great leader!

    October 26, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. Pragmatist

    Here we go... again!

    October 26, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  13. Nothing new here

    Keeping it simple is one thing – keeping to HONEST is another. Corruption and cronyism has taken it's toll on this country and the American people. Being greedy and currupt is not part of the "American Dream". I am an Independent voter, and I would prefer to start endorsing and voting for people that will consider taking the chance to run as INDEPENDENTS, and will run inexpensive campaigns, and without all this personal attacks and rhetoric.

    October 26, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  14. Jorge

    Our highest house of legislature is already infested with mendacious, puffery-filled horse traders and gypsies, why not one more?

    October 26, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  15. Frank

    I saw this buffoon while he was a "war correspondent." What a joke.

    Hey Joe, did you ever get your plumber's license so you could call yourself "Joe the Plumber" with no sense of dishonesty?

    Oh, and did you ever clear $250,000, as you seemed to claim when you met Obama? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Joe, stick with blathering to politicians. It seems as though that's all you are really good at.

    October 26, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. Robert

    This is insane.

    October 26, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. Pat

    Joe the Plumber who does'nt pay his taxes and has no real business, will now fight to save taxes for the rich. I must give him credit bcoz thats an easy way to get the attention of Faux news and GOP. He will make some $$ while the going is good.

    October 26, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  18. R

    Still looking for a job huh?

    October 26, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  19. George

    Samuel Wurzelbacher is not truly a plumber. He was, at one time, a plumber's helper. He has not gone through an apprenticeship. He was basically a plumber's "go for." He no longer works in the plumbing field. When he approached Obama as Obama was campaigning in a Toledo neighborhood in 2008, he presented Obama with a question based on the lie that he was a master plumber contemplating buying a plumbing business. He is a fraud and an opportunist.

    October 26, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    . "They're not going to catch me in a lie.
    ------------------------
    Really?
    Is that your final answer, or would you like to go to the videotape?

    October 26, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  21. some guy in New Hampshire

    In American, anyone can run for Congress. Whether anyhone SHOULD run for Congress is a different question. This is another GOPer who thinks that beliefs and strongly held opinions are the qualifications for a successful career in Congress. Being in the House isn't a reality show; it's a hard job that people need you to be qualifed for and good at. It's not about having tough-sounding slogans; it's about being good at solving complex problems as part of a coperative team. Let's see your credentials for that, Sam Not-A-Plumber.

    October 26, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  22. N&W 1000

    I thought you had to be a rabble rousing, street agitating thug with a resume thinner than an onion skin to run for Congress?

    October 26, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  23. Gregg

    First John McCain creates the Sarah Palin monster and now the Joe the Plumber monster. Both capitalized on their fame by writing a book and making media appearances. The next thing you know the Janitor who cleans Johns office will be running for VP!
    John McCain has unleashed two plagues upon our country. Hopefully no more.
    :-(

    October 26, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  24. roverho2

    You should know about putting duct tape on your resume fake plummer!

    October 26, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  25. Canuck

    "You've got to keep it simple and that's what it comes down to running for Congress."

    Its very easy for the present Congess – whatever President Obama suggests just oppose it – simple,

    October 26, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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