October 28th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
13 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.

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

    Who is he and why should I care???

    October 28, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. sandy

    We love you Barack Obama!

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Some news FROM CANADA folks!

    POLLS OVER HERE SHOWS THAT 72% OF CANADIANS
    SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT! This is
    wonderful, because I have been BLOGGING FOR BARACK
    FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER, AND TO FIND OUT
    NOW THAT I AM NOT ALONE IN SUPPORTING BARACK
    IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE!

    IT'S GOT TO BE UNBELIEVABLE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
    TO REMEMBER ALL OF THE CONTROVERSY OVER
    NAFTA, BUT CANADIANS ARE NOT IN THE LEAST BIT
    SCARED OF A BARACK PRESIDENCY, I GUESS WE ARE
    ALSO HUNGRY FOR CHANGE!

    GOOD LUCK GUYS, WE ARE WITH YOU 100%

    YES YOU CAN, YES YOU CAN, YES YOU CAN!

    YES YOU WILL, YES YOU WILL, YES YOU WILL!

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Rae

    I am STUNNED by this news.

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. AKRON, OHIO OBOMA SUPPORTER

    i grest joe the plumberr is just plain dump.

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Joe

    My word! Listening to Sam the non-plumber talk about history and politics is killing me. This guy knows nothing, and he is going to stump on the campaign trail for McCain tellin people untruth myths such as "Death to Israel with Obama" why don't you drop that Muslim smear to Joe! This guy has great credibility! Ha

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Annie

    Joe the plumber is an idiot. He would be helped by Obama's tax plan so I wish he would just shut-up.

    October 28, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Mike, retired Army

    Please can somebody help me understand this joe the plumber. Obama said you will get a tax break if you make less then 250k a year. I'm retired military, and have a full time job, and don't make no where near 250k, so I know joe is in the same boat. why wouldn't u vote for a man thats going to put more money in your pocket. JOE THE PLUMBER DO U KNOW 1+1=2 NOT 5. PLEASE PEOPLE IN MY PAY SCALE WAKE UP.

    October 28, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. slickingdom in N.J.

    Why doesn't this plumber wanna-be get a license and pay his taxes ?
    You can see that he couldn't afford to make his ends meet under the
    Bush/Cheney administration years, now he wants more of the same ?
    I'm really questioning this jokers sanity.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 28, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Ted:Canada,

    "General welfare of the United States" does not mean "Welfare" (i.e., the entitlement program) for individual citizens.

    Besides, this is our election. Why are you so interested in it?

    October 28, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Bob from Virginia

    Who cares what an uneducated liar thinks anyway? He has no credibility. I mean, I know that McCain chose one for VP, but why should care about this new one?

    October 28, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Charlie in Maine

    By Dad worked as a machinist in a tool factory for nearly 30 years. He was a hard working man and sacrificed a lot for his family. He and my mom with help from LBJ got his 9 kids an education. Many of us went on to graduate school. He and my mom taught us to value fairness, public service and education. He always paid his taxes on time(he grumbled about it when Reagan would waste it). He is a WWII vetran and knows more about the causes and effects of war than anyone currently in the White House or the Senator from Arizona. So you can keep Joe the plumber John McCain. Barack Obama has the support of Joe the Machinist.

    October 28, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. X

    This guy is a joke ... the joke that just won't go away or just keeps giving, I'm not really sure The fact that he hangs out with McCain shows how out of touch the Republican campaign has become. The era of American Idol politics? Gimme e break, please!!!

    October 28, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. MikeH

    Samuel the low income, not well educated, handy man, is stumping for McCain under a dishonest moniker. Sounds about right.

    Samuel will benfit from Obama's tax plan, but is too blind to see his foolishness.

    October 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. jesse jackson

    he is a fake and a liar. he is working for senator mccain and that is why he cant go into details about the tax plan. but he can point out the taxes for someone making 250,000 dollars. he is not even a plumber so they should call him joe the wanna be.

    October 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Independent New Yorker

    Joe is a real person. And he's not the only person who doesn't like the answer Obama gave him.

    The Obama supporters who are writing in these blogs are just NEGATIVE, MEAN SPIRITED PEOPLE.

    So much for "hope" and "change" when your followers always voice their opinions in such a DIVISIVE and OFFENSIVE ways.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Don't be fooled, this country isn't going to come together if Obama is elected.

    I get disgusted every time I read these posts.

    October 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. joebloe

    So the "plumber" backs the "reformer"!!!

    Since Joe seemed so worried about his taxes, I would advise him to vote for Barack Obama!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Biff

    John in WV... said...

    October 28th, 2008 6:54 pm ET

    If sharing the wealth is socialist ? What is trickle down ?

    answer.... BULLSH**

    they had control of the entire government from 2001 to 2007. They pushed through their entire trickle down garbage theory... WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS FROM ALL THE "RE-INVESTMENT", ETC.

    ANSWER... THERE "ARE" NO NEW JOBS CAUSE THEY TOOK THE TAX CUTS AND WENT OVERSEAS FOR THE CHEAP LABOR... "SUCKERS" !!!!!

    October 28, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Skip, a black man

    If you vote Oboma you are lazy and ANTI- AMERICAN !

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

    Its not just Joe the Plumber there was a bunch of small buisness owners on that bus going from city to city in Ohio voicing their opinions.

    October 28, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. AKRON, OHIO OBOMA SUPPORTER

    I GUEST JOE THE PLUMMER IS JUST DUMMER FOR VOTING FOR MCCAIN.

    AND WILL BE THE FIRST ONE COMPLAINING WHEN HIS TAXES IS RAISED.

    BUT HE WONT PAY THEM ANYWAY.

    GET A REAL JOB AND PAY YOUR TAXES JOE.

    October 28, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. John in VA

    Does Joe even know what socialism is? If Obama really was socialist the government would take over his plumbing business and make him a neurosurgeon.

    For those of you that are actually throwing around the "S" word, why don't you pick up a copy of Communist Manifesto? That'll change your tune.

    A house divided among itself cannot stand -Abraham Lincoln (R)

    "That One" 08

    October 28, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Renee

    Mccain/Palin in hearing Mccain I get sick to my stomach Mccain is so nasty in his speaking and Mccain sound so angery and disrespectful. When I listen to Obama so uplifting and telling his supporters Unite! Unite! So refreshing to listen to Obama that is why i cast my vote for Obama and my whole family We are for Obama

    October 28, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Linda Schatzer

    This is to Tim the obvious racist ignoramus for his shameful comment on here. Yep and tell me that Obama people are bad...please....Tim why dont you go read the constitution and find out what socialism is ....but the way you commented on here you obviously are grossly undereducated.

    October 28, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. Texas Teacher

    I guess it is possible, but not probable, that Joe the NOT REALLY a plumber had not met McCain before he spoke to Obama. But he DID meet Rush Limbaugh. And I find it highly probable that he was a plant at the Obama Campaign event!

    Sad that they have to plant liars as well as tell lies to try to win this election. I think people are onto McCain and his camp!

    Obama 2008

    October 28, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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