​Joe The Plumber McCain and Tea Party Movement

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February 15, 2010

Joe the Plumber is speaking loudly about his lack of support for Republican Sen. John McCain. In fact, it’s so loud, that he had joined the conservative “tea party” movement. He’s angry and feels as though McCain used him for political gain.

Sam Wurzelbacher, the real Joe the Plumber, doesn’t even support Sarah Palin anymore. He’s pulling no punches. Wurzelbacher said that the Republican senator used him as a ploy.

“McCain was trying to use me. I happened to be the face of middle-class Americans. It was a ploy,” Wurzelbacher said during an interview with Pennsylvania public radio correspondent Scott Detrow. “I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy.” Detrow pointed out that McCain had given Wurzelbacher a platform, but his response was direct, “I don’t owe him s****. He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it,”

Despite his criticism of McCain, “Joe the Plumber” didn’t offer any praise of President Obama either. “I think his ideology is un-American,” Wurzelbacher told Detrow, “but he’s one of the more honest politicians. At least he told us what he wanted to do.”

The Small Business Owner Dream

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher gained significant attention during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As an employee of a plumbing contractor, he was given the title “Joe the Plumber” after he was videotaped questioning then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama. The question to Obama was, “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year. Your new tax plan’s going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

Obama responded, “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too… My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off… if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

The videotape confession “spread the wealth” around sound like a socialist statement to most Republicans. John McCain and Sarah Palin applied “Joe the Plumber in their presidential campaign as a metaphor for middle-class Americans. He subsequently published a book about his experiences, and has appeared as a motivational speaker and commentator.