'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. brin3m

    a male sarah palin....lots of cute sayings no real solutions....

    October 26, 2011 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  2. jojo

    So this is the guy who was working without a plumber's license, who made up a story about he was going to buy to business, and had a lien against him for unpaid taxes. As long as he doesn't like Obama, being a liar, a fraud, and a tax-dodger doesn't matter to Republicans.

    October 26, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  3. Marie MD

    And the circus that the old man from AZ started continues three years later.
    For a plant, and a bad one at that, he has really milked his 15 minutes of fame. Too bad they can't put duct tape on a few of them starting with him!
    Then again, it IS Ohio who we found out last week are really not up to their laws are they? All those animals killed. Where was Samuel?

    October 26, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  4. Mike in Tennessee

    First, McCain gave rise to the undeserving Sarah Palin. As she's fading away, we've now got Joe the Plumber.

    Anyone who thinks "simple" is always the answer when it comes to ensuring the rights of 300 million Americans clearly has no in-depth knowledge or grasp of the complexities of the human race. Life is not a series of "yes" or "no" answers. This is how partisan hacks are born.

    October 26, 2011 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  5. cm

    Nothing wrong with having a personal plumber on stand by.
    Wasn't his 15 min. up years ago. Some people don't want to go un-notice.
    Joe go stick your head in the jon.

    October 26, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  6. Jewels

    Gag me with a spoon....

    October 26, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  7. Faren Beallenced

    Here we go. Another candidate with no qualifications but 15 seconds of fame. Didn't we have enough with Sarah Palin?

    October 26, 2011 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  8. LegendRx

    Joe the plumber will be showing a lot of crack from kissing a lot of back sides as he brown noses along the way to making a complete and utter fool of himself. Pass the popcorn!

    October 26, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Just what we need, another nut runnng for office. Oh well I guess he has the lying down pat, should fit right in.

    October 26, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  10. EdSantaFe

    You get what you vote for.

    October 26, 2011 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  11. proudmemberofglobalzero

    but, but, but....he is NOT really a plumber. In the words of the "birthers", show me his license.

    October 26, 2011 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  12. Ain't life strange?

    They're not going to catch me in a lie, he said. Except for the one he made when he said he was a plumber and was considering buying a plumbing business.

    October 26, 2011 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  13. noteabags

    Another celebrity running on the GOP ticket. No brains required – just popularity.

    October 26, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  14. listenToMe

    "I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape."

    - I'm not a plumber - Fixed it for ya Joe.

    October 26, 2011 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  15. HenryB

    And this is what the Republicans have to offer. Quite predictable. All emotion, no intellect (no, I did not say intelligence).

    October 26, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  16. Rags

    Go Joe. Leave the duct tape at home along with the teflon tape. You'll need stronger tools than that to fix the broken political system.

    October 26, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  17. BD70

    Simple huh? Is humanity simple? Is running a country simple? I don't know why people who get a little notoriety think all of a sudden they know how to fix our government. What we don't need is another simpleton in congress.

    October 26, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  18. zb

    Everybody has a right to run. Besides that he will fit right in with most other Republican/Tparty candidates – check out his past and you find a habit of making things up while making it simple minded.

    October 26, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  19. Don

    Joe! Why no president? You're as qualified as most of the GOP candidates.

    October 26, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  20. no thanx joe

    "They're not going to catch me in a lie"

    Didn't he lie about actually being a licensed plumber

    October 26, 2011 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  21. markfromdover

    Sir- I know plumbers- plumbers are friends of mine. You sir, are no plumber.

    October 26, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  22. Paul

    Oh, good lord. Hasn't he already pushed his 15 minutes?

    October 26, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  23. Sam the Fake

    Other than platitudes, does he actually have a platform? Don't worry it's a rhetorical question.

    October 26, 2011 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  24. MarineWill

    Really? Are there any serious Republican left in the party?

    October 26, 2011 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  25. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Great, the GOBP deathcult works even harder to lower the collective IQ of our politicians.

    October 26, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
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