October 18th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain calls 'Joe the Plumber,' invites him on the trail

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.joelum.ap.jpg caption="McCain wants Joe to campaign with him."]MELBOURNE, Florida (CNN)– At a rally in Melbourne, Florida Friday evening, Senator McCain revealed he had called Joe Wurzelbacher.

“I talked to him this morning for the first time ever,” said McCain. “And I want to tell you his sprits are good and he’s a tough guy. He is what small business people all over this country are all about. They are tough and they are good and they want to get ahead and they want to keep their money.”

McCain did apologize to the Ohio resident for thrusting him into the media spotlight on the night of the debate according to McCain press secretary Brooke Buchanan.

The night before he called, he appealed to Joe on CBS's “Late Night with David Letterman.”
“Joe, if you’re watching, I’m sorry,” he said into the camera.

Buchanan did say that the Arizona Senator invited Ohio’s most famous voter to meet up with the campaign but did not set up any specific stops.

McCain has a rally in that state on Sunday but Buchanan said she didn’t know whether Murzelbacher would appear.

When asked why he called Joe, Buchanan said, “I think he just wanted to reach out to him.”

Whether Joe is there in person or not, he is certainly a star at McCain events. McCain urged others at the rally to contact Joe and share their support. “Send Joe an email and tell him you are with him, ok,” said McCain.

And the crowd definitely seemed to be full of Joe supporters as well as John supporters, with people at the Melbourne rally were wearing tee shirts with a picture of a name tag on them that said, “My name is ... Joe the Plumber” and holding signs about Joe like one on stage that said, “Joe’s dough, not Obama’s.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (608 Responses)
  1. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    John McCain has an IMAGINARY FRIEND!!! His name is Joe and he pretends to be a plumber. He pretends that he makes $250K when really he makes less than $50K. He pretends he's an independent when really he is a Republican. He says he's a patriot but he doesn't believe HE should have to pay for our troops.

    The Republican party has lost its soul. The patriotic, fiscally responsible, intellectuals have been overrun by a horde of self centered, evalgelical talibani and their redneck minions.

    October 18, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. Californian

    A real Joe the Plummer, not a 'full of it' Joe Biden. JTP is tough & just as qualified to be pres as Obama. Go JTP!!
    To all you haters out there, if Sarah Palin suddenly was Obama's running mate, you would think she was flawless.
    JTP did not hang with Wright or Ayers or Rezco, only your cult-leader Obama did that. Why not direct your hate there, where it belongs? Or maybe you think more explosives would be better.

    October 18, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  3. John Brayton

    Hi Folks,
    I'm a retired general contractor in California. John McCain, a man I consider to be an American hero, has sunk to a remarkable low. When did a dead beat like "Joe the Plumber" deserve such attention? Neither Joe or John seem to know the difference between net and gross income.
    I can guarantee that small business owners across this nation would welcome the tax break that Obama offers. Joe is getting his 15 minutes of fame but at the expense of John McCain's credibility!
    Regards, John

    October 18, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. james

    I can't believe it. THis guy is a complete fabrication and the so called "left wing media" doesn't call McCain on it?
    Left wing media my butt!..............This is so sad what McCain has been reduced to. The part that blows my mind and scares me the most is that something like half the country believes every word McCain says.

    The time has come to NOT let the candidates and their gangs side step REAL questions by using talking points. Shoot, ...put me up there, McCain WILL answer my questions, because I wouldn't be a WIMP and back away as soon as they forcefully use the same 3 talking points for every question.
    This guy is FAKE!..don't you get it?!...FAKE.

    October 18, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Any working stiff who votes republican needs his head examined. Republicans couldn't care less about working people. Republicans love the Bush/McCain war. Have Romney, Rove, Hannity, O'Reilly, Buchanan, and the rest of the GOP chicken hawks served? NO!!! Phonies.

    October 18, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  6. basilp

    Obama made a boo-boo while talking w/ Joe Schmoe here. He slipped by saying "spread the wealth". Obama is no Robbin Hood. He is more an FDR than anything. Obama wants to create a jobs program directing America's wealth toward energy independence while pouring money into the economy with a concomitant ripple effect to boost the groundswell of demand (demand = willingness and ABILITY to purchase) and spinning economic engine. This is different than giving money away. Government gets something for it's money . Hard capital creation in the form of an energy producing edifice. Government needs to lead the way in establishment of standards. $760 Billion now leaves the USA every year and how much more when the price goes up? This is an achilles heel for our nation. Obama made a tiny boo-boo. The real boo-boo would be a McCain administration.

    October 18, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  7. Robert

    In my opinion, anyone who is self employed IS a small business owner, and there are many people who are simply trying to scrape out a living doing something they are skilled at. There is a reason plumbers and other trades advertise their services as "licensed, bonded and insured". The customer has a choice and should know to ask this question if this is a concern. There are a lot of laborers in a number of trades who don't get a corporate paycheck with percs like health insurance at a discount, who work job to job to make ends meet. The fact that this guy Joe is working to support himself rather than sitting at home collecting a welfare check says something about what kind of guy he is at least attempting to be. The fact that he owes back taxes is between him and his taxman, it's none of our business, frankly. And finally, in my opinion, both candidates should offer to pay Joe's back taxes for bringing his personal life under a microscope.

    October 18, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. ILOVSARAHPALIN

    Did you ever think that Joe (and many others) couldn't pay his taxes because he's already being over taxed already by the DEMOCRATIC run Congress????.....

    Democrats are always for giving free handouts to all those people who want to take advantage of the system rather than trying to work hard for things like us smart, hard-working, non-sub-human people!!!!!

    October 18, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  9. JD

    Yep, McCain keeps surrounding himself with real competent people. A Non licensed, Non trained, tax evading plumber as his mascot and a running mate with no experience and without a clue! Just what we need more of now!

    October 18, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. TAM

    Don't blame Joe – blame the politicians & media for using him & making him into some kind of average American – which he is, but he doesn't own the business, and besides – is he really worried about the tax thing? What average American will ever make $250K in a year???? He does need to rethink his politics – like, McCain is really going to help middle America in anyway??

    October 18, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. ken from reading, pa.

    Does it mean nothing to the McCain campaign that this guy is a fraud, and his claims have no basis in fact?

    As Obama said, how many plumbers are making $250,000?

    It's another nonsensical and desperate ploy but an obviously incompetent campaign.

    October 18, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. Angus

    if Joe is making an annual profit of $250,000, I don't think Joe is 'Joe your everyday plumber'.

    October 18, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. Liberal hater

    Are all of you liberals idiots or do you just want people to think that of you. Grow up you leftist morons.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 18, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  14. chris

    Yup.

    You are right. They deserve each other, you venom spewing left wing libbies.

    They deserve each other just like Obama, Jeramiah Wright and William Ayers deserve each other.

    Have a *nice* day.

    October 18, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. Tony from Missouri

    The traveling circus just keeps getting bigger!

    October 18, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. calpilot

    The responses from some of those commenting would have one believe that Joe was a GOP plant. To begin with, Obama was outside in front of his house. Secondly, You can still call yourself a plumber if you are working under a licensed plumbing company as Joe does. Finally, who says one has to be a small business owner in order to not want taxes raised. This is America, remember, the land of opportunity where people can dream of owning their own business. We have gotten too far from our roots as Americans. A point of fact, the Boston tea party took place because taxes were raise a whopping 1%. The left, (including the media) in this country are so ideologically committed to party that they will even stoop to smearing the average Joe. Shameful.

    October 18, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Todd the Engineer

    BOO HOO People. That's all we hear from you media hypnotized Barrack Hussein (Steve) Obama II supporters! Do some research on his (Sen. McCain's) RECORD. Look at both histories. McCain: long line of Veterans serving the USA, then his own military service, then congress, then senate, then soon to be Commander In Chief. Obama: Hawaii where he was influenced by "Frank" (Frank Marshall Davis) from his book, research shows he was a member of CPUSA with FBI files to prove not to mention he was a sexual deviant, (you don't even know what CPUSA is do you.....RESEARCH IF YOU DARE....I know you won't because you are too content to be spoon fed by media) Then off to Illinois, Ayers, ACORN, J.Wright, and too many more to list. How do you think he got fast tracked to the US Senate 2yrs later DNC Nominee. Then one man asks a legitimate question to Obama about how High he will Cap the American dream with his socialist platform. HOW DARE HIM does Joe not know whom this great man (maybe man is not a good enough word for the great one) then the disgusting press are like wolves and out to ruin his life.....over a question, the Biden nails him at a rally too! I personally am SOOOO happy that they have done this because USA sees your true characters now and this is the nail in the coffin for the Obama campaign that they put there themselves and the media's help. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Please continue to attack Joe with all your might and say nothing about ACORN, or the Ohio Sec of State, etc etc and thanks for not acknowledging John Lewis comments were disgusting mr obama, thanks for all your loving emails sent to James T Harris (he's such a sellout isn't he) who does he think he is to have his OWN opinion as a black MAN, G Gordan Liddy setting bugs in Watergate is MUCH worse than blowing up buildings on and on and on BOO HOO the INFLATED numbers are going down (I sure hope not though it tickles me) and then the True USA that is so much smarter than Obama and media give them credit will show you Nov 4 and leave you uninformed dumbfounded.....How did this happen???? 😉
    choice is rookie or veteran (in both senses of the word) and socialist or capitalist. But PLEASE keep slamming Joe and the USA Scream it louder
    R/
    Todd

    October 18, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. Clare E. Kapphahn

    Tonight in Toledo Ohio sleeps a UNION LICENCED plumber wondering how he'll pay his mortgage or if on Monday he'll find some work.

    Thanks to you Joe.

    Last I checked if this Joe was a "real" plumber he would have been better off under Obama's tax plan. This has been verifed by several news outlets.

    October 18, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  19. lisa butler

    I THINK JOE THE PLUMBER IS ANOTHER WAY TO ATTACK OBAMA LIKE ALWAYS TRY TO TURN PEOPLE FROM THE TRUE FACT THAT HE REALLY DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT OUR COUNTRY LIKE HE HAS PROVEN. DURING THE DEBATES. WHEN JOE THE SO CALL PLUMBER ASK OBAMA IF HE MADE $250.OO0 A YEAR WOULD HE RAISE HIS TAXES OBAMA ANSWER YES AND THAT IS WHAT HE HAS BEEN SAYING FOR THE LAST 3 DEBATES SHOWS YOU THAT HE IS VERY REAL ABOUT THE LOVE OF THE PEOPLE MEANING HE WOULDNOT JUST TELL YOU SOMTHING TO GET A VOTE AND THATS WHAT WE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR IN OUR NEXT PRESIDENT MCCAIN HAS RAN A VERY POOR CAMPAIGNE SINCE HE HAS BEEN RUNNING. LOOK WHO HE HAS CHOSEN FOR VICE PRESIDENT PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO SPEAK ON IT BUT AS A NATION WE SHOULD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY WE WOULD HAVE A VICE PRESIDENT WHO REALLY TEACHES NO MORALS IN HER OWN HOME SO WHAT MAKE YOU FEEL WE SHOULD TRUST HER OR HIM WITH OUR COUNTRY. TO HAVE AN 17YEAR OLD UNWED MOTHER ON STAGE AT THE DEBATE IS SENDING A MESSAGE TO OUR YOUTH WHO IS OUR FUTURE THAT IT IS O.K TO HAVE UNMARRITAL SEX IT IS O.K TO HAVE UN PROTECTED SEX IT IS O.K TO CONTRACT ALL TYPES OF DISEASE AND MOST OF ALL AT THE AGE OF 17 TO SAY I CAN DO WHAT I WANT WITH NO REPERCUTION TAKEN AND THAT'S HOW I FEEL SHE WOULD RUN THE WHITE HOUSE DON'T MEAN TO JUDGE BUT LOOK FOR A PERSON WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE IN ABORTIONS SHOULD ALSO NO THAT THE POSITION THAT SHE IS RUNNING FOR SHOULD BE VERY WELL RESPECTED AND AS AND EXAMPLE TO THE YOUTH THEY ARE GOING TO AT THE AGE OF 13,14,15,16,17
    IT'S O.K SO SINCE THEY WANT TO SPEAK ON HOW THE DEMOCRATIC ARE GOING TO HURT THE COUNTRY LOOK AT HOW SHE REALLY THINK'S WITH NO RESPECT NO KNOWLEDGE ON MORAL'S NO DISCIPLINE AND JUST REALLY DON'T CARE AS TO HOW SHE DOES THING. LOOK WOMEN YOU SAY THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO HER BUT LET'S BE REAL IS THAT AN EXAMPLE THAT YOU WOULD SEND TO YOUR DAUGHTER AND IF SO WHAT DOES THE DAUGTHER REALLY THINK OF HER MOTHER AS AN EXAMLPE WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO AND TRUST HER HER DAUGHTER DID'NT. PEOPLE THINK AND THINK REAL HARD PLEASE ON WHO YOU REALLY WANT IN THE WHITE HOUSE

    October 18, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  20. emily

    I just can't believe this old fool is going this far. Joe is clearly not what he was originally represented to be. Why keep up with this farce?

    October 18, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. joe st louis

    When did the truth get lost .......Joe is better off with Obama.

    October 18, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  22. Laura

    "Joe" appeals not to Obama's top 5% or the bottom 40% who he plans to give welfare checks to, but that middle 55% of Americans of some do aspire to be more than mediocrity. If we struggle and make sacrifices, such as working 13 hour days, 7 days, to seperate us from the pack, why should we be penalized?Unfortunately this county is filled with those who have a dollar and a dream, and choose not to plan and work for it, but are the first to vote for those free handouts. It's pitiful what we've become.

    October 18, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Sue in MI

    Another case of McCain not paying any attention to facts-will this election never end? I am so sick of Repubican lies and spin.

    And can someone tell me why Palin hasn't been back to Alaska to answer the charges against her? What is she, under executive privilege?

    October 18, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. Russ

    I find this just too arranged.
    1. First the way Samuel "Joe the Plumber" address Obama sounded scripted.

    2. McCain was the first to bring up "Joe the Plumber" on the Debate.

    3. Same issue McCain keeps using as part of his primary complaint.

    4. Apparently Samuel J.Wurzelbacher may be related to Robert M. Wurzelbacher who was convicted as part of the Ketting 5 Scandal that McCain was acused of. Deregulation of Banking Systems that allowed fraud.

    5. Samuel J. Wurzelbacher used to live in Ariziona near the Senator.

    6. AND NOW MCCAIN WANTS Samuel J Wurzelbacher to join him on the campaign trail, whats next?

    Any Fool can tell this is all a set up. Who are you trying to fool McCain?

    October 18, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  25. Theresa

    It's a sad state of affairs when the McCain campaign has to ask "Joe the Plumber," a non small business owner, an unlicensed plumber, and one who doesn't pay his taxes to join the campaign!

    Barack the Vote!

    Obama-Biden 2008

    October 18, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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