COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Joe the Plumber endorsed Republican John McCain for president on Tuesday.
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher gained national attention when Obama told him during a campaign stop that he wanted to “spread the wealth around.” Their exchange about Obama’s tax plan aired countless times on cable news programs, and McCain repeatedly cited Joe the Plumber in their third and final debate and again at campaign events.
McCain points to Wurzelbacher as an example of the middle-class worker who would be hurt economically by an Obama presidency, However, Wurzelbacher likely would fare better under Obama’s tax plan because it calls for no tax increase for working couples earning less than $250,000 a year – Wurzelbacher himself earns far less – and provides for a middle-class tax cut.
In a McCain rally at a flag store, Wurzelbacher said he feared that Obama would turn the U.S. into a socialist nation.
When a McCain supporter asked him if he believed “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel,” Wurzelbacher replied, “I’ll go ahead and agree with you on that.” He didn’t elaborate on how Obama, who has said his commitment to Israeli security is “nonnegotiable,” would be caustic for the Jewish state.
Fame brought media scrutiny to Wurzelbacher, who turned out to be an unlicensed plumber with unpaid back taxes.