October 23rd, 2008
01:15 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain on Joe the plumber tour

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.macpt1021.ap.jpg caption="Sen. McCain is on a Joe the plumber tour."]
INTERSTATE 4, Florida (CNN)– Joe the plumber goes on tour?

Well sort of.

Driving through Florida on the "Straight Talk Express," Sen. John McCain rallied voters and talked to small business owners during the "Joe the Plumber: Keep Your Wealth" tour.

“You know whether it is Joe the plumber in Ohio or whether it is Joe over here –thank you Joe. There's Joes all over here,” said McCain at his second stop, a rally in Ormond Beach, Florida. “Senator Obama wants to spread the wealth around. That means fewer jobs at their businesses and fewer jobs here in Florida.”

People cheered as they held signs that said, "McCain will help the working man" and "My husband is Tom the plumber". Two fork lifts held the "Country First" sign above the platform.

McCain kicked off the tour at the Starlite Diner in Daytona Beach with four small business owners, or in campaign speak, four Joe the plumbers.

Their actual names and professions are florist Richard Rivers, pub owner Tom Curtis, food store owner Patricia Surgine and Thomas Crowe, president of a lumber supply company and a former professional football player.

Diners at neighboring tables manned their cell phone cameras as the business owners told McCain their troubles, particularly with Barack Obama's tax plan.

At the morning rally, held at the lumber supply company owned by Crowe, the Arizona Senator got very fired up about two topics: the Bush presidency and his Democratic opponent.

“I call on the Administration to act now and buy up these home loan mortgages and keep people in their homes,” he said as he pounded on the podium. ”And why is the Secretary of the Treasury not ordering them to do that?”

McCain also emphasized concerns about Obama's ability to lead.

“You know it is amazing," he said "Are you ready to trust Americans’ national security to an untested leader in these times of war?”

He also mocked Obama’s explanation of why Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden said his running mate would be tested by an international crisis as president.

“Yesterday Senator Obama tried to explain away this by warning – by saying that his running mate sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. Really? Really? That’s another way of saying he accidentally delivered some straight talk to America.”

At his third and fourth stops, he also met with small business owners. The third stop was held at a dentist's office in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Hispanic business owners were targeted at the later stop, a Puerto Rican restaurant in Orlando.

After his meeting, he made a statement to the press corps where he talked about one of the women he spoke with inside the restaurant, noted the new jobless report, and said he was optimistic about his chances in Florida.

“We’re doing well in Florida, I’m happy with the polling numbers. It’s going to be a battleground state, we got a lot of work to do but with Charlie Crist, Mel Martinez and a lot of the great support we have across this state we will win and we will win this election.”

The six stop tour will take the McCain campaign through Florida along the I-4 corridor. This part of the state is home to nearly 20 percent of undecided voters which both campaigns consider the key to Florida’s 27 electoral votes.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Elle

    It is ridiculous to think (and to claim) that a business PROFITING $250k/year is considered a "small" business. Because, as a small business owner myself I know this for a fact: you may Gross $250k, but you're only taxed on your Net income. So you would have to make a heck of a lot more than $250,000 a year Gross to be taxed on that amount (unless you have $0 in expenses, which I highly doubt any business has). So, seriously people, REAL businesses making under $250k are going to benefit much more under Obama's plan than under McCain's. He's protecting the Big Boys, not the Little People.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Agnes Fleming

    Truly, it would be just so nice if McCain could get the truth straight, and a man with 7 (or is it 11) houses is hardly used to "palling around with" plumbers, except to have them work for him, and I doubt very much John McCain and his plastic wife, Cindy, hire unlicensed ones earning $40 something thousand and with no hope of ever earning $250,000 + or owning his own business. Time to get off the jaded record with the stuck needle.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. thomas

    America is a nation built on capital. All of society's systems, institutions, and laws are based upon this common maxim. If America were built around humanity, society would function and appear very different, but it's not. More than a third of the nation's wealth is owned by just one percent of the wealthiest households while the bottom 80 percent hold a mere 16 percent. The wealthiest 20 percent own the USA, they run the USA, and they pushed the USA into political and financial ruin. America is in crisis and the wealthiest Americans are the only ones with the capital to fix it. That's not socialism, it's reality.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Rich

    All you worthless liberals will be to blame when, the bad economy gets 100 times worse under the racist puke. You thought Bush was bad, just wait your messiah will run this country into the ground and you ignorant bums will be to blame.

    Not smart to raise taxes on the people who provide jobs. Don’t worry my income will stay the same (The rich will stay rich) I’ll just fire a couple employees to cover my losses that Obama creates.

    Unemployment will be over 10% under Obama guaranteed. Other business owners I have talked to will also start cutting jobs if Obama is elected.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Why does the "Joe the plumber" tour sound more like a concert tour than anything else?

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    PALIN WITH YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. globalgroove

    Great!!! Now these 4 small business people are going to have all their incomes exposed. I doubt a florist or pub owner nets $250K for himself.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. JJ

    Joe the Plumber is the only thing McCain and Palin has going for them right now. I'm tired of hearing about the non-registered Republican who doesn't pay his taxes!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. X-Republican in Texas for Obama

    I guess when your campaign is going down the toilet the only person McCain can turn to is Joe.

    October 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Digusted

    How can you "honorably" (in reference to the honorable campaign you promised to run, McCain) hold up a unlicensed, back-tax owing Joe who lied to in front of the cameras as the model citizen you want to help????

    October 23, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Ben

    When folks like Joe the-wanna-be-plumber vote for McCain they are voting against their own financial interests. The Repubs are laughing all the way to the bank because of these clowns. Now if their only concern in choosing a candidate is whether he will allow them to have an AK-47, then maybe they are OK with hurting themselves financially. Most, however, probably don't even understand the result of their selection–they just do it because they are too lazy to look up the real facts, their spouse told them to vote that way, or they can be played like a violin with a little political rhetoric. The Repubs are so desperate these days that they'll take whatever they can get. A plumber shown to be nothing he claims and VP candidate better suited to selling cosmetics. Bow out with a little dignity, McCain. You're looking like a cartoon version of your former self–your tooth grinding smile and your negative topic du jour are making you look and sound like a lunatic.

    October 23, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Jamie,Hattiesburg,Ms

    13 days and a wake-up.The McCain/Palin nightmare will be over.

    October 23, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. James, Ho. TX

    "Joe the Plumber", was and continues to be a "Plant" imposed on Sen. Osama by McCain, so as to distract and take pressure away from Himself, McCain, an old Karl Rove Move !
    McCain has aged 6 yrs. in the last 6 months; With a little help ,Joe, He might just pull through Nov. 4, 2008.

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Voter

    I wonder what sidekick McCain will ask to help him rally in Florida. How about George Bush. They also think a like.

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Carl, Atlanta

    Is there any doubt now in anyone's mind that "joe the Plumber" was a plant and that he is nothing more that another planned political stunt. Mr. McCain, you're pathetic.

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Charlie Bradley

    McCain is cocky too, he said in an interview yesterday here on CNN that he wouldn't be tested...Newsflash McLame...you're not invincible. If something is going to happen you don't have two things that are key to stop it

    those things are 1) intellect and 2) Common sense

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Carl, Atlanta

    Is there any doubt now in anyone's mind that "joe the Plumber" was a plant and that he is nothing more that another planned political stunt. Mr. McCain, you're pathetic.

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Laverne

    Like Obama said "I think one of the wheels just fell off the straight talk express" McCain is a liar and a pitiful excuse for a leader! I really do believe McCain has the little man syndrome.

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. DGS in Louisville KY

    I think that once VA NC OH are called for Obama, us on the East Coast can be in bed by 10pm. will be cracking open champagne if Mitch McConnell loses Senate seat!

    October 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. welches oregon

    McShame and his moose are so stupid.

    Do they really think "spread the wealth around' is a bad thing, especially after the current finanacial crisis and the last 8 years of Bush economics? Make the rich richer and to heck with the rest.

    I mean if John McShame is so worried the moose can't dress herself, he should pay for it with his own bucks [pun intended] instead of taxpayer money. After all $150,000 is small potatoes to a millionaire like him with 13 cars and 7 mansions.

    I'm so glad I'm not a conservative.

    Obama/Biden 'till 2024 (that's 8 years of Obama and 8 years of Biden as POTUS

    October 23, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |

    Joe the plumber or not, both of these canidates suck.

    October 23, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Ian

    Joe the plumber can drink anyone under the table any day.

    October 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. True Blue Ohio

    Keep your wealth? McCain is clueless. I wish he would come up with a plan for the thousands of people trying to keep their homes.

    October 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Tony

    I hope there's enough people in Florida who take pride in their own work to counteract the lazy Obama supporters who want something for nothing. I believe there are, and I think McCain will win Florida.

    McCain's been talking about fighting for American's small business to create jobs, and all Obama and Biden have to say is that Joe the Plumber didn't have a plumber's license that he didn't need anyway. Way to focus on the REAL issues, Obama. How pathetic. Why don't you give another vapid speech about how you'll CHANGE America by spending us into bankruptcy. Do you have China's banks on speed-dial?

    October 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Joe The Plumber, Dave the Drywaller, Frankthe Framer blah blah blah.......

    What about Geppetto the PUPPETMAKER????

    McCain is like Pinochio!

    October 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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