McCain is truly a stupid person.
US election: Who is 'Joe the Plumber' - aka Joe Wurzelbacher?
Toledo man was star of third and final debate between Barack Obama and John McCain at Hofstra University
- Thursday October 16 2008 05.04 BST
Forget John McCain, or Barack Obama. Joe the Plumber - also known as Joe Wurzelbacher - was the real star of Wednesday night's presidential debate.
McCain raised the plumber from Toledo, Ohio, early on in the debate as an example of the kind of people who would suffer under Obama's tax plans. From that point on, it seemed as if the two opponents could barely get enough of him.
Joe's name came up 25 times during the 90-minute debate. The word "economy" got 16 mentions. Iraq came up once, and Afghanistan not at all.
He was even more popular among the Republican spin doctors talking to reporters after the debate. Charlie Black, a senior adviser to McCain, said Joe the plumber was one of the highlights of the encounter. Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, could barely utter two consecutive sentences without mentioning the plumber.
It was clear from the outset that he was part of McCain's secret arsenal on this the last debate encounter before election day.
But Obama quickly got into the spirit of things. When he talked about his healthcare plan, the Democrat made a point of saying there would be coverage for Joe the plumber too. When it transpired that Joe the plumber had fears about Obama's tax plans, the Democrat speculated that was because he was watching McCain's ads.
Joe began as a walk-on part in McCain's story of how Obama's taxes would hurt small business owners.
"Joe wants to buy the business that he has been in for all of these years, worked 10, 12 hours a day. And he wanted to buy the business but he looked at your tax plan and he saw that he was going to pay much higher taxes," McCain started off. "Joe was trying to realise the American dream."
Obama responded that the tax rises would only hit those earning more than $250,000 a year. McCain said this would include Joe Wurzelbacher, whom Obama had met in Ohio, and would prevent him a planned expansion of his business that included taking on two workers.
McCain's team said afterwards the US public will be hearing a lot more about Joe the Plumber in the remaining days of the campaign.
One hiccup for McCain is that the plumbers' union has endorsed Obama. The union said Obama was its choice because "he has always fought for working people throughout his career".
Wurzelbacher, in an interview with FamilySecurityMatters website earlier this year, described his encounter with Obama. He said: "Initially, I started off asking him if he believed in the American dream and he said yes, he does - and then I proceeded to ask him then why he's penalising me for trying to fulfill it"
He defined his American dream as "a house, a dog, a couple rifles, a bass boat".
Wurzelbacher told him he wanted to buy his business: "It's not like I would be rich; I would still just be a working plumber. I work hard for my money, and the fact that he thinks I make a little too much that he just wants to redistribute it to other people." He feared Obama was heading down the socialist road.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.