October 15th, 2008
09:46 PM ET
14 years ago

Who is Joe the Plumber?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/art.obama.ohio.copy.jpg caption="Obama campaigns in Holland Ohio"]

(CNN) – Joe the Plumber was the star of the final presidential debate on Wednesday night. But who is he?

Watch: Obama meets 'Joe the plumber'

Last weekend, while Barack Obama was canvassing for support in the small town of Holland, Ohio, the Democratic nominee ran into a tall, bald man, since dubbed Joe the plumber. He asked Obama if he believed in the American Dream — he said he was about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year and was concerned that the Democratic nominee would tax him more because of it.

Obama explained his tax plan in depth, saying it’s better to lower taxes for Americans who make less money, so that they could afford to buy from his business. John McCain attacked Obama for this exchange, saying the Illinois senator is trying to “spread the wealth around.”

“We're going to take Joe's money, give it to Senator Obama, and let him spread the wealth around. I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around,” McCain said. He added, “Why would you want to increase anybody's taxes right now? Why would you want to do that to anyone, anyone in America, when we have such a tough time?”

Joe the plumber was mentioned 11 times at the beginning of the debate, nine times by McCain and twice by Obama.

Watch: Voters sour on 'Joe the plumber' story


Filed under: Presidential Debate
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. RS-Texas

    sorry from previous topic...talk about 'skeletons in the closet' of an EIGHT YEAR OLD Obama...what next ladies and gentlemen....YES he wet his bed at that time too.....should we do like McCain's cronees say and get him...

    October 15, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Mary, ex-PUMA

    Wow. McCain is acting like a bigger jerk than usual.

    October 15, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. Drew

    McCain is imploding in a sea of his own distortions...he has no life..energy...just anger sarcasm and interruptions.

    October 15, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Bama4Obama

    Huh? Is he related to Joe six pack?

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Joan Fl Voter

    SEN. OBAMA IS A WINNER TONIGHT... DONT NEED TO SEE ANYMORE LOL! ITS OVER FOR McCAIN!
    SLAM DUNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

    Where is McCain Flag Pin??? This is the 3rd time for McCain!!

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  6. Temitayo Gidado 4 obama

    THANK U I JUST WANT 2 KNO WHO JOE IS VOTING 4 ...PLS DO THE RESEARCH

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. ines

    McCain is trying to fill time talking about one very specific obsure case so he doesn't have to talk about the economy.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Richie

    Thanks for the explanation. I think paying taxes is patriotic. That's Joe (the Senator).

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. amandazz

    Joe the plumber=Joe six pack

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  10. Doc G

    Obama is sending McCain home. Angry does not allow for CLEAR THINKING.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. USA!

    McCain seems so angry and unsteady. really scary to see him unraveling like this..

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  12. saint paul mn

    as usual, mcsame making up things

    what a waste

    I have made up my mind and so has the rest of the country

    what a mess is this guy, mcbush

    CLUELESSSSSSS

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  13. franknitty41

    All I can say is 95% of the people weigh more than Joe the plumber.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. No Hillary = No Obama

    Joe Plumber? Is he one of those bitter people clinging to his religion and guns?

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. brian

    McCain sounded a little loopy.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. Trysh, Los Angeles

    He will forever be a symbol in Political Science courses.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. NIKI

    the guy Obama met when door knocking

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. Eric from California

    Obama is setting him up. He is like a boxer. He knows that McBush has a bad temper, and when he gets heated, Obama comes at him with blow after blow.

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. Michele

    My guy is named Joe the Plumber too.

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. JIM HAWK

    thats as bad as my friends !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Concerned

    JOE SIX PACK!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Accountant Guy

    OMG!! That VP question was AWESOME!! I think that made America see that Obama/Biden is the only logical choice!! Palin is a power abusing unethical liar and cheat!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. GJ

    Joe the Plumber is Joe Six Pack's dad.

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Cynthia; Bham

    All I know is that I don't make $250,000 and am looking forward to seeing a little bit more money in my check. If I made $250,000 I would not mind paying a little more.

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Cheryl from Minnesota

    Illinois senator is trying to “spread the wealth around.......and what is wrong with that!?

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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