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. Maggie

    I am just SHOCKED...a tax-evading CROOK is going to vote republican!

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Matt

    Hey Everybody lets join in the "Lets bash Joe" blog on CNN. I know all he did was ask a legitimate question of a person running for president who came to his neighborhood and came up to him to see what he thought.

    But by all means lets attack ever single aspect of him and his life for asking tough question of "the One" because "the One" gave a stupid answer and is being shown in a light the press has spent a long time trying to hide.

    If we attack him then we don't have to deal with the fact that Obama is a socialist idiot who wants to spread the wealth around.

    Why do I know more about Joe then I do about Barack Obama? Pathetic Yellow Journalism at its best CNN. Hearst would be proud of what you have become.

    How about real news like the footage of Obama praising a person at a Jew Bash dinner? Ohh right the LA Times won't let us see it so lets hear more about Palins clothes.

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. sabuc for Obama

    What is scary is that this guy doesn't know he is being used as a gimmick by McCain and company to cover the butts of the small businesses that make multi-million dollar deals on a quarterly basis – i.e. Cindy and her beer company and the other fat cats in Wall Street. Poor Joe! Maybe he should get a side job as an unlicensed electrician to help buy the business he desires but cant afford.

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. A Dog's Life

    My dog, Poochie The Poodle is protesting. He wants just as much media attention as Joe The Plumber. He says his opinion is just as important because he's "thinking" about buying a plumbing business also. He's also behind in paying his taxes, like Joe. He wants to know if America is bias because he's a dog.

    Let the dogs have their say!


    Owner of Poochie the Poodle

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. applecrispbetty

    Birds of a Keating fly together.

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Amy For Obama

    we all knew this was planned! Do you really think we are crazy!

    I mean what plumber would refuse to vote for Obama, and opt for McSsame policies?

    I am an Obama supporter and I never identified to Joe, whateveer his name is.

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Rogue Palin

    9 people on this blogsite are going to vote for Obama the professor of constitution Law not

    mcCain the loser/liar
    Palin the soon-to-be impeached

    October 28, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Eight Is Truly Enough

    The fact that CNN keeps jumping on Pee Wee The Plumber's bandwagon everytime McMonster dangles him like raw meat in front of the snarling cult he calls followers knowing this guy's MO has been exposed as a lie and set up is the biggest joke of all. What next? You all gonna jump on the same stupid truck when McCain and Palin storm the jail Ashley Todd is in so they can free her from the liberal commies holding her against her will to denounce the anti-Jane/Joe six-pack establishment?

    October 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. New Day


    I'd rather have Colin Powell and Warren Buffet's endorsement

    October 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Kevin

    John McCain's plant who was endorsing him anyway. He is a part of the GOP Family.

    Use your Brains, WE NEED CHANGE

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Corey, Maryland

    This guy isnt even a plumber, he is just a crook like Ted Stevens..... no wonder the Republicans love him so much, he fits in so well with all of the criminals in the Republican party!!!!

    Obama Biden

    October 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, CA

    Joe the Plummer is going to regret voting for McCain just like he regrets voting for Bush.

    Some people will never change.

    "Thank you sir, may I have another"

    October 28, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Remy

    Joe the FAKE is a joke and fake. This is an example how McCain is cheating the Americans and hiding his Bush agenda!

    October 28, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. KT

    Joe also thinks that a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel. This was live on Fox, and they called him on it. JTP has no credibility, much like the rest of McCain's campaign.

    October 28, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Taxpayer

    Joe – from one who pays their taxes to one who does NOT – YOU should stick to toilets!

    October 28, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. j. williams

    release the tapes L.A.Times....

    October 28, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. catmom

    So McCain thinks a person who was not truthful about his situation and doesn't pay his taxes is an American hero ? This alone should tell people what type of person McCain is. Talk about judgement.

    October 28, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. TC in Idaho

    If McCain has been working with Obama as a colleague in the Senate, why didn't he know about and capitalize on these tax attacks BEFORE this Joe the Plumber was dreamed up?

    McCain, you are putting an unqualified Governor and a plumber by your side to make your message. Wear your dunce-cap with pride sir!

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Wharf, Wharf


    I'm Poochie the Poodle. I want to be on television just like Joe. I"m "thinking" about buying a plumbing business too. Let's be fair America, dogs unite.

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Melissa

    Yeah, he works against his own best interest. Not exactly intelligent.

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. christin

    Big Surprise!

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Danielle

    No one cares what Joe the Lying Plumber think. Your 15 minutes is over, please go home and pay your taxes.

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. geoff

    It's so funny how much this guy scares you!!

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Betty the maid

    Tick Tock......Joe's 15 minutes of fame is almost over........next Tuesday night Joe the plumber and that Bimbo Sarah Palin will both be farts in the wind......

    Maybe Joe and Sarah along with her entire disfuntional family can go on Jerry Springer

    October 28, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    This guy is a fraud on so many levels it isn't even funny. Now conservative radio shows are taking up money and trying to pay his back taxes??! This guy wants to run for Congress in 2010? Now I as an independent understand why there are so many disinfranchised Republicans in the party today. The party has no real vision of self, and it's eating away at it's base like a slow growing terminal cancer.

    October 28, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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