'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. Gigiastro

    Why not? If Ron Paul can run for president ...

    October 26, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. TxJim

    Why are they calling this guy a plumber. He isnt a plumber. He works for a plumbing company, well worked for one. I worked for a law firm, that didnt make me a lawyer.

    He has lived off the dime of people who use him to inspire other ignorant, underachieving people, because he looks like a 'regular guy', He is a regular guy, and we dont need any regular guys, we need people with ideas on how to make things better, not just people looking for the next handout. Enjoy your campaign money Sam the loser, you arent going to win.

    Thanks John McCain for unleashing these half wits who try to pass themselves as leaders, but are corporate and media free loaders that prey on the ignorant. Senile old bat.

    October 26, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  3. Don

    Sam the Scam.

    October 26, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  4. unretired05

    I thought the Republican White House Plumbers were all convicted.

    October 26, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. CP in FL

    This is not the type of simpleton that we need running our country. Has this guy held any elected offices in his life? Where did Joe the unlicensed plumber go to school?

    October 26, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  6. Observer

    This guy fits in fine with Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and the rest of the mental lightweights on the right.

    October 26, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  7. Lenny Pincus

    Man, that is good to hear, because three years ago Joe said, "I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year." Of course, he didn't because he wasn't a plumber. Then, after either quitting or getting fired, he claimed he was going to sign a record deal with a major label and get some corporate sponsorship. Of course that didn't happen because he can't sing or play or any of that sort of musical stuff. In other words, old Joe is a fraud, a liar, self-deluded, and politically ignorant, which makes him a perfect Republican candidate.

    October 26, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  8. CP in FL

    "Our current system is all about control. It needs to be fixed." says Joe the unlicensed plumber. I can't wait to find out some of Joe's plans to fix our country. There is always room for one more wingnut in the Republican clown car.

    October 26, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |

    Next thing he will be running for president saying you have to keep it simple. Wow, what a country!!! And in the Republican party they believe anything. They are anti-intellectual, they love ignorance, they wouldn't mind less inquisitive characters from running our country into a ditch. Then they will blame the poor, middle class and everyone else but the characters they provide. Sad , really sad but it's a beautiful country to give opportunity to anyone. REALLY.

    October 26, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  10. Dennis from Millbrae

    Right off the bat, let's fix the record–this guy isn't even a licensed plumber. If this guy gets even 100 votes then those good folks of northwest Ohio need to get serious counseling.

    October 26, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  11. NoGr8rH8r

    Joe the Plumber? Really? Who's next ? The Balloon Boy's Father for President?
    A vote for Joe the Plumber is a vote for the "End of the World"!

    October 26, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  12. kat

    GO JOE ! We can take our country back,Don't give up!

    October 26, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. ChrisG

    What a joke. just a TP lapdog.

    October 26, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  14. thomas

    Cant he do something else , like Dancing with the Stars or American Idol show ?

    October 26, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  15. Brad

    God help us all.

    October 26, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. whome

    First Sarah Palin, now Joe the Plumber.....thanks John McCain!

    October 26, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  17. Brad

    The Republican Party is a cult.

    October 26, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  18. Kevin

    This isn't news. What would be news would be if someone that actually had a clue, and represented anything other than the status quo, and wasn't a Koch brothers shill, actually ran as a Republican. This fool doesn't realize he's a good half-hour into his 15 minutes. The sad part is, he could actually be elected, with no other qualifications, than just being a fool.

    October 26, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  19. Anonymous

    And we wonder how this country is so screwed up!

    October 26, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  20. Glenn from Cary

    Don't you mean Joe the Liar? This story has been over for years. Move along, people, there's nothing to see here.

    October 26, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  21. 66Biker

    Hey... He's as qualified as any other Republicon. Which at best is not very.

    October 26, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  22. pjfla

    What a joke. One more unqualified nitwit in the election race.

    October 26, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  23. Marry

    Where do these very „simple “people get the idea they could do something for you? (Wrong question – the idea is a different one!)He already was not capable to understand what the President said to him way back – and it is unlikely that he understands anything now. Of cause, this is a convenient and clever way to get the “healthcare” and the “work” that the GOP/TP is denying the rest of the people for himself. And when he is then as often in DC as the rest of the tea-party-members, it is a swell job for him – but for you?

    October 26, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  24. Leonard from Arizona

    "You're not going to catch me in a lie," he claims. This coming from the guy who claimed to be of "non-partisan" interest at the time of the 2008 Election Cycle. Yeah ... right. I wonder what other tricks the supposedly formerly uninterested "regular Joe" has up his sleeve. Time will tell.

    October 26, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  25. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Good luck, Joe. We're all looking forward to your campaign, buddy......we could use the laughs.

    October 26, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
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