October 28th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Joe the Plumber backs McCain

(CNN) - The McCain campaign is getting some help from Joe the Plumber in the key battleground state of Ohio.

Campaigning with a McCain surrogate, former Congressman Rob Portman, Joe Wurzelbacher took aim at Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama, saying he wanted to redistribute the wealth. He told reporters, “We’re not a socialist country. That bothers me. It scares me. That’s the reason why I came out here. I’m really scared for our country,” he said.

“John McCain is spreading an important message for all of us. For small businesses. That’s really important,” said Wurzelbacher.

He told reporters “I’m not going to sit here and tell you which way to vote” - but he may be working to influence voters. A campaign aide says it’s possible Wurzelbacher will campaign in states outside Ohio, including Pennsylvania. Wurzelbacher himself has not confirmed the possibility.

While McCain has never met Joe the Plumber, the two have spoken. McCain has scheduled a two-day bus tour in Ohio starting Thursday. Asked whether the two will hit the trail together, campaign spokesman Paul Lindsay said Wurzelbacher approached the campaign earlier this week offering to help, and that they are is “open to whatever Joe is comfortable doing.”

Wurzelbacher shot to instant fame when John McCain brought him up during the last presidential debate. At an Obama campaign appearance, he Ohio native had challenged the Illinois senator on his tax plan, saying he wanted to buy a small business for $250,000 and was worried about taxes he might face.

Wurzelbacher later revealed he was talking about a possibility - that he makes far less than $250,000, and would not currently be taxed under Obama’s plan. He also came under intense scrutiny that included questions about whether he was even registered to be a plumber.

“There is a lot of, a lot of different taxes. Capital gains. Different things. It’s hard to follow all of that to be honest with you,” Wurzelbacher said Tuesday. “But if you look at the basic facts, [Obama] wants to spend a million or a trillion dollars in new spending. Where is he going to get it?”

Ohio’s inspector general is looking into reports that Wurzelbacher’s information was accessed on state databases. Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency Director Jim Viviani tells CNN he is trying to determine whether one of his employees accessed Wurzelbacher’s information on October 17, the day after the last presidential debate. Wurzelbacher doesn’t live in the county and Viviani says there would be no reason to access his records.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (398 Responses)
  1. adam

    so joe the unlincensed plumber, who cant afford to buy that business, and who would pay less taxes under obama ( even he admitted it), still backs mccain. say it aint so joe. i pity the future of republican conservatism, if they have to take people off the street and parade them around as if they are the experts on global economic, domestic, and foreign relation policy. wow what a sad day to be a republican.

    October 28, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. mcsamemccain on myspace

    Joe the Plumber is a figment of his own imagination.
    John McCain is a figment of his party's imagination.
    Sarah Palin is wearing lipstick.

    October 28, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. WOW - Irving, TX and Women for Obama

    Joe is just as stupid as McCain/Palin....so why wouldn't he back the most craziest campaign ever.

    Joe is never going to start a business because he doesn't know how and believe me JM is not going to help him at all.

    Vote tor JM if you like stupid.....

    October 28, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. sandy


    October 28, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Tired of McCain/Palin

    Who the heck cares about Joe The Plumber aka SAM. This guy has had his 15 minute famer. Is it any surprise he's for McCain. Joe the whomever is a loser and should concentrate on paying his taxers like the rest of us.

    October 28, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. BK

    We already knew that this liar and tax-stealing man backs McCain.

    October 28, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. sharif from philly

    joe the plumber is jerk pay your taxes jerkoff

    October 28, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Zoot

    And is the RNC going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to dress and shine the head of Joe the not real plumber?

    October 28, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Ted:Canada

    Joe the Plumber you are ANTI- AMERICAN

    and against the American Constitution

    So for the record – democratic governments around the world have been spreading the “wealth around since the start of democracy” – it is called “taxation”

    Joe read your own constitution –

    Article I Section 8 Paragraph 1:
    “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    note the words "general welfare"

    October 28, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. GA4OBAMA

    does joe the plumber plan on paying the taxes that he currently owes? i find it funny that mccain is promoting a tax evader.

    October 28, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Bob

    Is that a freshly shaven head there, Joe? Boy you're looking smart nowadays and certainly acting the part. This may be a bit premature but heck why not?
    Palin/Joe the Plumber 2012! You got my vote! Oh, and you too, John...

    October 28, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    If the Rushpublican party wants to hitch their star to the Joe the Palin's celebrity, guidance and wisdom, they will remain a permanent 25 % minority for the next 4 election cycles, at least.

    I can just see it: Palin/Joe The Plumber 2012

    America needs a good bath from the last 8 years of bush-cheney-mccain-stevens.


    October 28, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Marie in California

    Good for Joe! Good for McCain!

    Personally, I don't want an Obama presidency picking my pockets of hard-earned dollars to use as giveaways to the welfare culture that predominates in too much of our country.

    It's my money. I earned it. I get to choose what I want to do with it, even if it's spent on a second lhouse or a third car. It's my money. And no one else has a right to it!

    If Obama's elected, the only "change" I'll see is what little is left in my pockets after he's done going through them.

    October 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Believer for Obama

    This is absolutely ridiculous. A fake plumber, who OWES taxes is now campaigning for McCain. I really didnt think it could get any worse......

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. Jessica

    THE REPUBLICAN AGENDA BENEFITS ABOUT 5% OF THE COUNTRY'S POPULATION. It amazes me how this party uses trickery to convince the remaining +/-40% to believe that their policies will benefit them, too. A clever combination of patriotic rhetoric, appealing to religious sentiments, and fear-mongering rouse the base all to advance the corrupt agendas of the extremely wealthy to acquire more wealth by any means necessary.

    Now, they are actually convincing poor plumbers to follow this self-centered nonsense, too.

    In a course in college I read a book entitled "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism". In sum, the ethic is called "predestination". This means that God's chosen people become rich, as it's God's will. The rest of us were simply not "chosen". This ethic, which is not in the Bible, squelches the guilt of seeing poverty juxtaposed with personal greed. The Protestant ethic may not be spoken of today, but it shaped American Capitalistic thought.

    OBAMA 08

    October 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Viet Vet

    Ashcroft the Accountant here- -Give me 750 Billion and I'll take care of everything. And I'll even pay my taxes

    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. mike

    WE all must vote for Obama. I don't have to work, Obama going to mail a check. I love it. Obama go go go go.

    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. Kevin


    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    This surprises any of us? This is news by this point why? Didn't Palin already bump Joe for "Tito the Builder?" Joe/Sam whoever he is, is a moot point by now, just a tool in a drawer of useless campaign tactics by the McPalin bunch that have done them no good!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!

    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. wannabeobamagirl

    Traci the Mom backs Obama...is this CNN worthy, really? Let's PLEASE raise the bar a bit, people.

    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Matt

    To the idiots who think Joe was a plant by the RNC please explain the years of living in the house? the wife? the kid? the neighbors who know him?

    How did they know Obama was going to go down that block, go up to Joe and start talking to him?

    Amazing how he lived there for years but some liberal sheep think he was snuck in and was waiting like some trap.

    Ignore the socialist statement and attack the person for asking the question. No wonder you idiots support the person with little to no experience for president over other people in the democratic party that were running that have so much more.

    October 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. jm from sc

    Who in the world cares who this phony guy is voting for? He looks like a skinhead and was backing McCain from the start.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 28, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. SW,OHIO

    This guy is so full of himself! My Dad was a licensed plumber, electrician and worked a 40 hour plus job a week and never came close to a quarter of a million dollars. However, my Dad is a descent, biblical man. This Joe is a disgrace to all Ohio plumbers, to any small business owners and to all of Ohioians. Pack up and move to Alaska JOE! Do us all a favor!!!!

    October 28, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. Allan

    I asked my plumber, Bud, who he endorsed. He said Obama. So we're even.

    October 28, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Susan

    My husband and I are small business owners in Ca. We have had are own construction Co. for 20 years . Some years we made 250,00
    some 170,000 some 100,000. I would lkie to talk to Joe The Plumber and let him know what he is in for – if infact he ever does by a business and makes 250,000. My husband and I are voting for OBAMA and if you are in business for yourself and care about anybody but yourself you should to.

    October 28, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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