'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. evelyn

    Hi, I'm Joe the Plumber. I'm not really a plumber and I'm not really buying a business.

    But I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express.

    It's Joe the Doofus. I approved this message.

    October 26, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Brian

    Great, just what we need. Another undereducated Republican roaming the halls of Congress. Nothing about government is simple. The Founding Fathers – whom the GOP love so much – knew this to be a fact. Virtually all the founding fathers were college educated and many had a law license. Joe the Plumber did not attend college, and doesn't even have his plumber's license. Personally, I want my elected representatives to be smarter than me. Simple is great for locker combinations. It is not so great for our Congressmen.

    October 26, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. okos

    Leadership is not 4 every body. Joe the plumber should take dis home. What matters most in the congress is to stand up for what is good for american people and their coming generation and not standing againts legacy for the sake of parties.
    Arrogant people like Samuel Wurzelbacher cant lead well. They will only lead to confusion.Americans should mind who they vote 4 bc of the little youger generation.The reckless mistakes of the GOP'S takes many years to over come.

    October 26, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  4. carlos

    Please give me a break, what makes this guy capable of representing us? just because the short minded & opportunistic aproach of S. Palin/McCain using this incident 5 years ago over and over in their very poor campaingn?, since they didn't have a real plan and ideas on their own, lost the elction, please tell me we in America are smarter than that to give this free rider so called plumber any position of power.

    October 26, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. ST

    What qualifications does this plumber has to be a congressman. No wonder the House is dysfunctional!

    October 26, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. Wes B.

    We definitely know you'll be able to keep it simple. You're very simple.

    October 26, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Ian in Ohio

    It appears that this loser (is he actually a plumber now, becasue he wasn't back in 2008 – and it didn't matter what tax bracket he was in since he DIDN'T PAY HIS TAXES!) doesn't realize that people who are famous for 15 minutes go on DWTS, they do not run for office.
    Did he think he was filling out an application for Jersey Shore? It seems he has more in common with Snookie and her ilk than with an elected official!

    October 26, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Terrell

    You cannot be serious. What happened to the "REAL REPUBLICANS" that we had decades ago? This crop of republicans are somekind of mutation from hell; not goos for the country or it's citizens. They are very mean spirited and conceded, liars, selfish crooks. This just a very "BAD" group of people.

    October 26, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. DocDoc

    Simple. Remember he said it, not us.

    October 26, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. RKN

    I thought at one time we had higher expectations of our representatives.
    Has he demonstrated any understanding of issues we are faced with?
    Is this one more thing to do because he cannot get a job as a plumber?

    October 26, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  11. Phil in KC

    So what are this guy's qualifications? The fact that he was Palin's stooge? This guy's 15 minutes of fame are over.

    October 26, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    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.
    John McCain......"let's bring out Joe the Plumber........Joe?.........Joe?" What a "tool" This fake has about as much chance of winning as I have of becoming POTUS. I see he is well schooled in the Simple Sarah philosophy of "me me me" and "I can actually do something and people like me so I'll blather on endlessly"

    October 26, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. newsy97

    Just what this country needs, another tea party no nothing with obstinate views that are anchored in in 19th century wisdom.

    October 26, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Indy

    He is 10 times smarter than Michele Bachmann so he has a chance ? If Bachmann can get into congress anyone can.

    October 26, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. david mann

    Bachmann, Palin & Wernerschnitzle "DUMB, DUMBER N DUMBERER"

    October 26, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Eric

    If Joe "The Plummer" becomes a Senator...I am running for President in 2016 with no experience....

    October 26, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. Zach

    Bahahahaha. Lets be serious, "Joe." The real reason you plan on keeping it simple is because the complexity of issues facing this nation will befuddle you.

    October 26, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Yeah. You go, Joe. Just another one of our "mainstreet" anti-government, anti-establishment GOPers that we've seen cropping up all across America these past 3 years wanting nothing more than to cash in by becoming a paid government employee.

    October 26, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  19. sick of republican phonies

    "I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape." As I recall, you weren't even working as a plumber, liar.

    October 26, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. brian

    Well he should get elected as he already knows how to lie like a politician

    October 26, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. ChinaisRepublicToo

    We, as a people, have reached a new level of immaturity when it comes to the electoral process of candidates in higher offices. Seriously, you wonder why things don't get accomplished? Because we view important jobs as jokes and entertain these ridiculous ideas of letting unqualified & uneducated morons apply for them!

    October 26, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Enough is Enough

    Clearly unclogging a toilet is better experience for public office than being a community organizer.

    October 26, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. diridi

    Then, I will bid for POTUS....

    October 26, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. swolfson929

    This guy has to be kidding!!! He was a jerk when they found him in the crowd and he is still running around? Is there anyone in this country who would cast a vote for this clown?

    October 26, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    Joe has done more for the Democratic party then just about any one. Joe...keep up the good wook!

    October 26, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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