Entries in Joe the Plumber (8)


Joe the Plumber: Build a ‘Damn Fence’ and ‘Start Shooting’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ohio Republican congressional candidate Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher told a crowd of about 125 supporters in Arizona that the government should “put a damn fence on the border going with Mexico and start shooting.”

“I’m running for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say,” Wurzelbacher said, as the Prescott eNews first reported. “You know what, that’s how I feel. I’m not going to hide it because I’m running for an office. I want my borders protected and I’m very, very adamant about that.”

Wurzelbacher’s remarks came during a Friday fundraising dinner for Arizona State Sen. Lori Klein. Last year Klein, an adamant gun rights activist, was criticized by gun control advocates after she pointed her raspberry-pink handgun at a reporter’s chest during an interview to show him the laser sighting.

“It’s just so cute,” she said of her .380 Ruger handgun, before assuring the Arizona Republic reporter that while the gun had no safety, she didn't have her finger "on the trigger.”

Wurzelbacher, also a firm supporter of the Second Amendment, went on to tell Arizonans on Friday that Republicans are reluctant to make jokes because they're “afraid it’s going to end up on the five o’clock news.”

“I’m not worried about being politically correct,” the U.S. House candidate said. “That’s one thing that’s really scared us and really hurt us as a country is everyone is afraid to open their mouths, to say a little something funny.”

It is this penchant to speak up and speak out that first propelled the northern Ohio plumber to national notoriety. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Wurzelbacher questioned then-candidate Barack Obama about whether his tax plan would increase taxes on small businesses. Obama’s rival John McCain seized on the moment and often cited “Joe the Plumber” as a small business owner who would be hurt by Obama’s policies.

During his own congressional campaign, Wurzelbacher has made a stir with his often unfiltered comments. In June, the House candidate released a campaign ad linking the Holocaust to a lack of gun control.

“In 1939 Germany established gun control; from 1939 to 1945, 6 million Jews, 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” he says in the video while pulverizing fruit with blasts from his shotgun.

Wurzelbacher insisted there was “nothing offensive” about the ad because he was just stating historical facts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Joe the Plumber: Obama ‘Should Be Embarrassed' to Come to Ohio

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The last time Samuel Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Ohio, attended an Obama campaign rally four years ago, he earned the nickname “Joe the Plumber” and became an icon of Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign when he questioned then-candidate Obama about his tax plan.

But as President Obama’s bus tour rolls through Wurzelbacher’s northern Ohio district on Thursday, Wurzelbacher said he’d steer clear of any Obama events and let his fellow Ohioans answer his questions in the 2012 race.

“As of right now, I don’t have any desire to go there,” Wurzelbacher, who is now running for Congress on the Republican ticket, told ABC News.  “His ideology and mine are completely different, and I have no real reason to listen to him speak.”

Wurzelbacher has staked much of his campaign on opposing Obama’s policies, which he claims have made life harder for middle-class residents in his district by placing more regulations on the private sector, raising taxes and kicking the can down the road on America’s big problems, such as the debt and deficit.

“If I was Obama, I would be embarrassed to come here,” Wurzelbacher said.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll in June showed Obama with a nearly 10-point lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio.

With Obama’s hefty lead in Ohio and Wurzelbacher’s district’s already-Democratic leanings, Wurzelbacher faces an uphill battle in his bid for a U.S. House seat.  He is facing 15-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Mary Kaptur in Ohio’s newly redrawn 9th district, which borders Lake Erie, extending from Cleveland to Toledo.

Wurzelbacher gained national notoriety as Joe the Plumber after he asked candidate Obama if his tax plan would raise taxes on his small plumbing business.  Obama’s GOP rival McCain seized on the encounter, often citing Wurzelbacher as an average American who would be adversely affected by Obama’s policies.

“He talks about transparency, and it hasn’t been.  He talks about making the rich stop getting richer and poor stop getting poorer,” Wurzelbacher said.  “He says one thing and does another, just like an average politician.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Joe the Plumber’ Blames the Holocaust on Gun Control

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is drawing scorn from far outside of the northern Ohio district where he’s running for Congress after posting a campaign video this week that seems to blame the Holocaust and Armenian genocide on gun control.

“In 1911 Turkey established gun control; from 1915 to 1917 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” Wurzelbacher, who is running for the U.S. House, says in the web video while pulverizing fruits and vegetables with blasts from his shotgun.

“In 1939 Germany established gun control; from 1939 to 1945 6 million Jews, 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” he continues, before turning to the camera and announcing “I love America.”

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The National Jewish Democratic Council quickly condemned the video and demanded Wurzelbacher apologize and remove the ad, which the group’s president and CEO David Harris said shows has a “tremendous lack of respect” for the millions who died  in the Holocaust and Armenian genocide.

“It is not acceptable ever to invoke the holocaust to make a political point,” he said. “To say it does a disservice to those who perished and the memory of the Holocaust is putting it mildly.”

Wurzelbacher took to Twitter Tuesday to defend the video, tweeting that “No one in the video said gun control CAUSED genocide” and aimed to justify the video, tweeting “Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that his agenda would not be possible unless the people were disarmed.”

The Ohio congressional candidate’s spokesman Phil Christofanelli stood by the video, telling The Politicker that “there’s nothing offensive about it.”

“Joe is a student of history,” Christofanelli said. “It’s a historical fact that Hitler implemented gun control before the Holocaust and that’s just a fact that was pointed out in the video.”

Wurzelbacher is no stranger to the national spotlight.

He gained nationwide notoriety as “Joe the Plumber” during the 2008 presidential race after Sen. John McCain’s campaign used Wurzelbacher as the poster child for the negative impacts of Barack Obama’s tax plan, which would have increased taxes on Wurzelbacher’s plumbing business.

Wurzelbacher is challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has served for 15 terms, for her seat in the U.S. House seat.

Wurzelbacher did not immediately return ABC News’ requests for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dennis Kucinich Will Not Compete Against 'Joe the Plumber' 

Chip Somodevill​a/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Former Democratic presidential candidate and progressive favorite Rep. Dennis Kucinich lost to Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Tuesday’s 9th District congressional primary.

Kaptur will now compete against Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, who found fame during the 2008 presidential election. Wurzelbacher won the district’s Republican primary by less than one thousand votes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Regains Focus on the Economy; 'Joe the Plumber' Appears

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- Hours after clinching primary night wins in Arizona and Michigan, Mitt Romney turned his attention to the battleground state of Ohio, appearing at a small grassroots rally where he continued to tout his business-heavy resume.

“Well it was a big night last night for me. I was very pleased. Very good news,” said Romney to a crowd of about 100 on the factory floor of American Posts, a steel manufacturer that specializes in creating U-shape posts that prop up highway signs. “Arizona and Michigan, right next door. And interestingly, the people who said the economy and jobs were their number one issue, they voted for me overwhelmingly. And that's one of the reasons I'm running.”

“For me this is all about more jobs, less debt, and smaller government,” Romney said. “The president's failed. He says - correctly - that he inherited a recession. And he did. He doesn't remind us by the way that he also inherited a democratic house and senate. And he was able to do whatever he wanted to do. And for two years, he put in place his plans and look at us, we're still 3 years later, in an economy that's bumping along the bottom."

While he did not name any of his GOP rivals by name, unlike last week when Sen. Rick Santorum was a staple in the majority of Romney’s speeches, the former Massachusetts governor alluded to the “couple of guys” who are still in the race.

“You are going to have a choice in Ohio about people running for president,” he said. “First, in our nomination process, do you want someone who has spent his life in the private sector, who understands where jobs come from?  Or do you want someone who has spent his career in Washington?  There are a couple of guys who spent their entire career in Washington and you can vote for them,  I just don’t think we are going to beat Barack Obama and get our country back on track if we have guys whose resume looks like his resume, who have never really run anything, don’t understand how the private sector works fundamentally,  in their bones having worked in it,  I do.”

“It is one of the reasons I am running because I know how to get America working again,” Romney continued.

Spotted standing quietly in the back of the crowd during Romney’s speech was Sam Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, the Ohio resident who famously questioned then-candidate Barack Obama about his tax policy in 2008.  On Tuesday, Wurzelbacher was seen at a Santorum event in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Talking to reporters after the event, Wurzelbacher said he would not be endorsing a candidate in the primary.

“He speaks well, he makes some sense, but I still haven’t made my choice,” he said.

Asked if he had any advice for Romney going forward, Wurzelbacher responded, “The guy’s made it most everywhere he’s ever tried, I don’t think he needs my advice.”

“Maybe hang out with some steelworkers, hang out with some plumbers and carpenters, you know, see what it’s like, these blue collar guys who do it every day in and out,” he continued.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Cain Train Gains A New Icon: Joe the Plumber

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's a match made in tax reform heaven. The diehard promoter of tax code simplicity has teamed up with the Main Street icon of small-business tax plans to promote what is perhaps the most well-known tax reform plan in history: 9-9-9.

Herman Cain announced Tuesday that he's partnered with Joe Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber" of 2008 election campaign fame, who is now running for the U.S. House in Ohio, to continue the fight for a tax code based on a 9-percent personal income tax, 9-percent corporate income tax and a 9-percent national sales tax.

"Joe the Plumber agrees that 'blowing up' the current federal tax code is paramount to the success of this nation," Cain said in a statement. "And we have seen firsthand he's not afraid to tell the president so."

Wurzelbacher reached national notoriety during the 2008 general election for asking then-candidate Obama during a campaign sweep through Ohio whether he would have to pay more taxes if he bought a plumbing business that made $250,000 to $280,000 a year.

Obama's general election rival John McCain seized the moment and often cited "Joe the Plumber" as an everyday American who would be adversely affected by his opponent's tax plan, even though analysts offered varying opinions as to whether Wurzelbacher would have received a tax increase or a tax cut under Obama's plan.

Four years and a heavy dose of frustration with elected officials later, Wurzelbacher is taking matters into his own hands and pledging to promote Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan if elected to Congress.

Wurzelbacher is hopping on the Cain Train, or rather the "Cain Revolution" bus, for a three-event swing through Ohio this week. The two will appear together at two rallies and a Lincoln Day dinner.

"Joe is an unconventional candidate, just like I was," Cain said. "He shows a true workingman's appreciation for what it is to be a good steward of the hard-earned money the government takes from us in the form of taxes."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Joe the Plumber' Throws Wrench into Congressional Ring

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- The man who came to be known as "Joe the Plumber" during the 2008 national election wants to be known as "Joe the Congressman."

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher officially announced Tuesday that he's running for the Republican nomination for Congress from Ohio's 9th District.

Wurzelbacher believes that voters will identify with him because he's not a politician by nature.  He complained that today's elected officials "keep on playing politics with our lives.  I’m tired of it.  That’s what it comes down to: I’m sick and tired of it."

If he gets the nod, Wurzelbacher would probably face either Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur or Dennis Kucinich, whose districts will be merged into one after 2012 because of a loss of population.

Wurzelbacher became famous as "Joe the Plumber" when he confronted President Obama while he was a candidate for the White House three years ago.

Obama's opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, quickly used Wurzelbacher as a symbol of how small businessmen would suffer under an Obama administration.

While that ploy didn't work out for McCain, it did for Wurzelbacher, who became a commentator, author and motivational speaker.  As it turned out, "Joe the Plumber" was a bit of a misnomer since it later came out that Wurzelbacher didn't hold a plumber's license.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


‘Joe the Plumber’ to Run for Congress

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- Samuel Wurzelbacher, more commonly known as “Joe the Plumber,” filed candidacy papers Friday to run in Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District, The New York Times reports.

The Joe for Congress 2012 campaign follows Wurzelbacher’s brief stint in the spotlight in 2008, when he objected to then-candidate Barack Obama’s plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire for those making $250,000 or more, leading Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to repeatedly cite “Joe the Plumber” as a symbol for his argument against Obama’s economic policies.

If Wurzelbacher secures the GOP nomination, he will run against either Rep. Marcy Kaptur or Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who will face off for the Democratic nomination in a 2012 primary.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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