'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. Jay

    Another person John McCain picked to make famous who appears to have zero substance and might just be looking for publicity and the money that inevitably follows.

    October 26, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Cfrench

    I wonder if he's going to register his candidacy, unlike how he didn't have a license to be a plumber.

    October 26, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. SlowGun

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

    You mean like lying about your name
    Lying about being a plumber
    Lying about buying the business you work for.

    October 26, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  4. usa/canada

    The basis of is fame is a lie he’s wasn’t a small business owner he never been a plumber never made $200,000.00 a year so now he qualified to run for office. Just more proof America has lost its marbles
    Thanks Ronald Reagan

    October 26, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  5. usa/canada

    every vote he gets is a vote for stupidity

    October 26, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  6. Will

    Now we are going to see his toilet politics.

    October 26, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  7. Tony

    Have you paid your taxes yet, hillbilly?

    October 26, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  8. DAW

    Keping it simple will not be hard for "Joe, the Plumber", I am not sure he can understand much complexity in his thought process. Quick with a comment/slogan slow with an idea/solution.

    October 26, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. Jake D.

    Sad thing is, he's probably the most qualified of any GOP candidate, nationwide.

    October 26, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. phil the electrician

    He's not a plumber, and his name isn't Joe.

    October 26, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  11. durundal

    great, yes lets dumb everything down: Joe the plumber...A simple mind for simple people. Thank god we have someone to give us simple answers to complex problems....

    October 26, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. cigarman

    I remember this guy. He is starting out lying, he would make a real politician. Remember, this guy is not a real plumber, he is a LIAR. If he won a seat, it would be a toilet seat and he wouldnt know what to do with it. It would take him four years to figure out where the bathroom is . Remember how stupid he really is.

    October 26, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  13. Randy

    The libs will eat him alive.

    October 26, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. Corporations R. People II

    Sammy "the tax dodger" launches bid for Congress <-– fixed it for you CNN.

    Be sure to let us know when he gets his rear handed to him.

    October 26, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You've got to keep it simple and that's what it comes down to running for Congress."

    Keeping it "simple", Joe? Can totally understand. 2010 was Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. No arguing with that, was there? Turned out to be a real bust for America, didn't it? 2012 will be more of a "when we got nothing to offer, we offer nothing", including a Republican presidential nominee - unless you consider who the hopefuls are running for. This time around, they aren't too shy about protecting the wealthy. Each and every domestic plan they've unleashed so far raises taxes on the millions of folks, we in the middle class, who GOPers promised to protect by NOT raising taxes ... all the while duping their constituents by signing Nordquist's contract against raising taxes, which in effect is only protecting the wealthy anyway.

    So, yeah, Joe. You go. Follow McDonnell, Angle, Palin, Joe Miller, Bachmann, and all the other GOPer fools into historical obscurity. It's ALL you got going for yourself.

    Viva the Plumber. Rah-rah.

    October 26, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  16. steven

    If this guy ever read a book let alone write one it would be a wonder...... I doubt that he ever read the constitution..it is guys like this plumber that has made congress into the joke that it is slowly becoming..they know nothing about how the congress runs nor do many of them have the intelligence that is required to sit in a congressional seat..just like the person behind this plumber that wrote his book, there will be people behind him in the congress pulling his strings..never a single thought of his own...only those of others...zthis is the best that the repulicans offer....puppets.

    October 26, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. sortakinda

    Proof, once again, that any moron can run for elective office. You have to love this country.

    October 26, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. sortakinda

    Of course he'll keep it simple. He's a simpleton.

    October 26, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. Tex71

    He's not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape! He's the kind of plumber that operates without a license and cheats on his taxes. As if that weren't enough, he supported the most openly stupid candidate for public office this nation has ever seen. Enough said.

    October 26, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. quinLee

    What is up with these unqualified crazies running office? Whether coming from the Left, Right, Indie, or whatever we don't have time for this crap. We need SMART REASONABLE people with real ideas that will work.

    October 26, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  21. come on..

    your 15 minutes of fame up already. gheeze, please do not become another somebody, A name I do not want to mention.

    October 26, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    No, Joe, you never used duct tape: you also never use the truth, or hard work, or anything else in your life for that matter. However, it does make you very qualified to be a GOP member of Congress, where you will do absolutely nothing and get paid 175K for the opportunity.

    October 26, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. nathaniel lindsey

    Is this all Ohio has Joe the Plumber? I would hope that they don't give him a second thought. We need serious people in congress. We have had enough of Bohenner. Come on Ohio you cand do better.

    October 26, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  24. a in austin

    He's not even a plumber.

    October 26, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. Nope

    Wow. Who wrote this? His campaign manager? let's see... he is NOT named "Joe" and he is NOT a plumber (he is a contractor). He is just another right wing moron who has lied his way into the national spotlight. And "news" organizations like CNN just let him prattle on and lie with NO fact checking.

    October 26, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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