'Joe the Plumber' launches bid for Congress
October 25th, 2011
09:51 PM ET
11 years ago

'Joe the Plumber' launches bid for Congress

(CNN) - Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber," kicked off his congressional campaign Tuesday night, hoping to win over an Ohio House seat for the GOP.

"Our current system is all about control. It needs to be fixed," Wurzelbacher said. "They keep on putting duct tape on it. I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape."

Wurzelbacher gained GOP rock-star status in 2008 after challenging then-presidential candidate and Sen. Barack Obama on his small-business tax plan.

His confrontation quickly became a popular anecdote in the presidential election, frequently used as a campaign message by the Republican Sen. John McCain and running-mate Sarah Palin.

The plumber-turned-celebrity has since capitalized on his fame by writing a book and making multiple media and campaign appearances.

While he turned down a chance to run for office in 2010, he's now challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving Democratic woman in the House, to represent Ohio's 9th congressional district.

Making his announcement at Tony Packo's, a Hungarian restaurant in Toledo, the candidate said he's confident of a win, as said he knows how to "keep it simple."

"I don't have to remember what I said five years ago because I believe it. That's what it comes down to," he said. "They're not going to catch me in a lie. I'm not concerned about that at all. You've got to keep it simple and that's what it comes down to running for Congress."

- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • House of Representatives • Joe the plumber • Ohio
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Janet

    And once again, the whole world is laughing.

    October 25, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Panties

    Samuel can do it. Vote for him.

    October 25, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. Paul

    I think it is a great idea for mechanics, bricklayers etc. The so called educated idiot lawyers have sure screwed the country up. If we had logical thinking people in Washington the US might turn around. They would be hard pressed to do any worse. Lets give them a chance.

    October 25, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. dnick47

    Why is it that all you repubs say,Things are out of control!" when it was you GWB who set this nation into a tailspin. Yes, you're d..n right there out of control and the GOP got them that way.... belly up to the bar and admit it that eight years of failed policies and out of control spending and shipping jobs overseas by the container ship full was all your doing.

    October 25, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Didn't he miss paying taxes back inn 2008? What has he done to really justify the trust that the people would give him if elected? I don't think this guy is really going to represent the entire district should he be elected. It is a sad fact.

    October 25, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  6. surfninja

    Just when we thought the Republican clown car was empty, one more Bozo popped out of the trunk.

    October 25, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  7. klarg

    Except he is not a plumber, no license, no training, no skill. Just another "make-believe" candidate

    October 25, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. Jack V

    HA! That is silly.

    October 25, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |

    This country is doomed.

    October 25, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. RillyKewl

    Ha, ha, ha!
    This guy? His only claim to fame is that he lied his way into a presidential candidate's debate. He was quickly exposed as neither a plumber, a business-owner, nor even a guy named Joe.
    Go ahead, Ohio. Vote him in. Who needs authenticity anyway?

    October 25, 2011 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. John

    This guy wasn't a plumber either. He just lie about It. but than again that all Republican does any way.

    October 25, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. DudeRanch

    sorry. your 15 minutes are up. time to go back to plumbing...

    October 25, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. Freeb

    He seems to have duct taped Joe the Plumber over his real name. Pfft, what a phony.

    October 25, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. A Texan for Obama

    Damn, how do I sign up to run for Congress? Sounds like a good idea to me if the Plummer is qualfied.

    October 25, 2011 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. jc

    You aren't even a licensed plumber.

    October 25, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. sharon

    He. Is. NOT. a. Plumber.

    He worked without certification.

    October 25, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  17. TheMobileMac

    Does ANYBODY take this guy seriously? Ohio, you deserve better!

    October 25, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  18. Dave

    Well the GOP truely are a circus now.

    October 25, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  19. MikeH

    His name is not Joe, and he's not a plumber.

    Samuel Wurzel-dufus is a loud-mouth ignorant moron that CNN is trying to exploit for mouse clicks.

    Nothing more (have you no shame CNN).

    October 25, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  20. Cillian1977

    The GOP is a joke. Joe the Plumber, try Joe the Liar.

    October 26, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. A Mom

    Guess what 'Joe' you didn't represent "us" then and you don't now......you were a lie then.. you are a lie now. No regular "Joe" wants to pay for YOU to have a mansion, credit cards, free cars, free gas, a golden pension or a lifetime golden health insurance for you family while the rest of us "Joes" struggle to keep our homes and buy Christmas gifts for our kdis this year..thanks ... but NO THANKS!!!

    October 26, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  22. keeth

    He wasn't a licensed plumber, he owed back taxes, and someone else paid them for him once he became a Fox News darling. Yeah, that's honesty and personal responsibility, huh?

    October 26, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  23. Reggie from LA

    It's come to this. No offense "Mr Plumber", but come on. This can't be real, but I guess the years have passed and Joe has more...no way. Not even going there.

    October 26, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  24. mk1

    My oh my, his entry into politics sure ups the intellectual bar. I must say though that he fits right in there with the other heavy weights in Republican politics.

    October 26, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  25. Psychologist

    Who will be 'Joe the Plumber's' potential running mate down the line? Jack the custodian, Henry the electrician, or Amy the cashier? It is a frightening outlook considering how many delusional people think they are worth taking a look at when none of them would have the slightest shot of passing basic literacy tests.

    October 26, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
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