Tag Archives: joe wurzelbacher

Rally featuring Tito the Truck Driver

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Joe the Plumber has generated an honest-to-gawd sequel: Tito the Truck Driver, who introduced Sarah Palin at a McCain-Palin rally today.

Tito first burst onto the scene when he confronted Mother Jones columnist David Corn at an earlier rally, surrounded by a small crowd in high moral dudgeon. (Corn was there to demonstrate to the world what a savage bunch McCain-Palin supporters were.) Tito laced into Corn for the media’s shabby treatment of Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA Joe the Plumber, and their general, all-around in-the-tankitude regarding Barack Obama. Corn went through most of the exchange with the same deer-in-the-headlights look on his face that he and so many of his colleagues love to ascribe to Gov. Palin.

It got him noticed, and it eventually got his name out. He next turned up in the McCain-Palin campaign’s very effective ad released last week, “I Am Joe,” in which a succession of blue-collar workers and small-business owners vocally identified with Joe the Plumber and described what makes them like him. This was where the angry guy in the hardhat from David Corn’s ill-fated foray into Red-State America introduced himself formally as “Tito the Truck Driver.”

Now he appears to have joined the McCain-Palin ground team on a semi-permanent basis as a VIP, introducing Sarah Palin for her rally speeches. Not bad for a Colombian immigrant who came here with nothing.

I just hope, for Tito’s sake, that he has his taxes in order. Especially now that David Corn has a mad-on for him.

UPDATE: Thanks to Anchoress, who tells me Tito’s full name. Joe Wurzelbacher, meet Tito Muñoz.

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Joe the Plumber strikes back at media brickbats

Joe Wurzelbacher is joining the quixotic effort to remind the frenzied media army descending on him that all he did was ask a question. (Video from Fox News via Gateway Pundit.)

Allahpundit is less than impressed with the appearance on Fox News’s “Huckabee.”

Coverage from the Toledo Blade:

Already in the national spotlight, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher last night strode onto the set of Fox News Channel’s Huckabee program to thunderous applause…

“Hopefully they’ll have me to thank for it as far as telling people to get out and find their own answers,” Mr. Wurzelbacher said. “That’s where I hope they go with it.”

In the days since the debate, it became known Mr. Wurzelbacher is not a licensed plumber, is not buying a business that makes enough to be taxed more under Mr. Obama’s tax proposals, and has some tax liens against him.

On Friday, the East Valley/Scottsdale Tribune in Arizona reported that Mr. Wurzelbacher’s Arizona driver’s license was suspended in May, 2000, following nonpayment of a court-imposed fine for civil traffic violations. He lived in Arizona from 1997-2000.

Mr. Huckabee said that Mr. Wurzelbacher only asked a question when Mr. Obama happened to stop by his current neighborhood a week ago. Mr. Huckabee asked how Mr. Wurzelbacher felt about the scrutiny he’d received.

“It actually upsets me,” Mr. Wurzelbacher said. “I am a plumber, and just a plumber, and here Barack Obama or John McCain, I mean these guys are going to deal with some serious issues coming up shortly. The media’s worried about whether I paid my taxes, they’re worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America. They really don’t. I asked a question. When you can’t ask a question to your leaders anymore, that gets scary. That bothers me.”

Mr. Wurzelbacher confronted Mr. Obama over his tax proposals, asserting that the Democratic nominee’s plan would tax him more if Mr. Wurzelbacher bought a plumbing business.

In the course of their conversation, Mr. Obama said, “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success, too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

I loved that little jab about his driver’s license.  I mean, you know, as long as they’re ticking off the various personal hit jobs on Wurzelbacher since he dared make things mildly uncomfortable for Obama, might as well stick one more in there.

I pity the next poor soul who gets up the nerve to ask Obama a question that doesn’t begin with, “Senator, given your immense popularity, impending presidency, and rugged good looks…”

Killing the messenger: Out for Joe’s blood

Predictably enough, the Associated Press and similar outlets have declared war on Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA “Joe the Plumber,” AKA the guy who dared ask Barack Obama an uncomfortable question when people were watching.

Questions have been brought to light about Wurzelbacher’s status as a plumber, his tax returns, his income, his voting history, and the size of the business he wants to buy.  The New York Times had a whole medley of sinister tales from the underbelly of the Wurzelbacher household in yesterday’s edition.  Joe himself has come under more scrutiny in the last two or three days than the press has bothered to exercise on Sen. Obama for two years.  All the result of a question Joe had the temerity to ask Obama before the senator could set up his TelePrompTer and focus-group the potential answers.

The Associated Press and its cohorts have missed the story yet again; they can villainize “Joe the Plumber” to their hearts’ content, but Obama’s response to him in Ohio still has a life of its own.

Looking back, Obama’s off-the-cuff answer to Joe’s worry that his taxes would rise under Obama’s tax plan is one he would doubtless like to “revise and extend.”  The senator slipped smoothly into professor mode and lectured the t-shirt-wearing “average guy” archetype in front of him on the virtues of “spreading the wealth around” through hideously lopsided taxation.  If Obama didn’t know it then, he surely has learned now that a blue-collar worker trying to pull his way up the economic ladder by the sweat of his own brow is probably not the ideal audience for a high-flying ode to the virtues of redistributionism.

The aftermath of Obama’s gaffe was the last thing he needed in the last 24 hours before the final debate.  Joemania — and I don’t mean Obama’s running mate — was front and center at Hofstra University as each candidate fought to yank away the mantle of “Champion of Joe the Plumber” (the man does have a last name, guys, by the way).  John McCain seemed to wear that mantle much more comfortably, as Obama spent most of his Joe-wooing time trying to persuade the audience that he didn’t really tell Joe what the videocamera says he told him in Ohio.  The post-debate consensus that McCain came across as Joe’s better bet of the two was confirmed in the new effort to discredit Joe Wurzelbacher as…well, it’s hard to tell, but the point appears to be that Joe’s question doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t have been asked, or something.

Lost in all of this new personal infodumping about Evil Joe Barackbane is the substance of his original conversation with Obama.  Here’s the thing:  what hurt Obama about that conversation isn’t who Joe is; it’s what Obama told him. His “spreading the wealth around” comment provided a rare insight into Obama’s feelings about the role of government in directing the economy and the relationship of the government to private citizens who work for a living.  Overtaxing businesses and individuals for the purpose of passing on the proceeds to the less fortunate, executed on a governmental scale, is a recipe for economic disaster.  It’s been demonstrated in the past, and it’s part of long-established American conventional wisdom.

The ominous “spreading the wealth” rhetoric was the weapon McCain brought to the debate against Obama, not “Joe the Plumber,” which was no more than a pleasing marketing package.  Tearing down Joe Wurzelbacher doesn’t change a thing about that unscripted glimpse into Obama’s fascination with redistributionist economic doctrine.  In fact, the tarnishing of the “Joe the Plumber” brand will force McCain to rely more on the phrase “spreading the wealth around,” which goes more to the heart of why the home video of that exchange in Ohio went viral so quickly and led to so many second looks at Barack Obama.

It’s not about who likes “Joe the Plumber.”  It’s about who supports the government’s “spreading the wealth around.”

UPDATE: Captain Ed has more insight on the perils of questioning The Anointed.  Miz Michelle christens “Operation Destroy Joe the Plumber” (I’m a little disappointed…she couldn’t have come up with something better?  Operation Rip Out the Pipes?  Operation Plumbing New Depths?  Operation Kitchen Sink?  You’ve got gold here, Michelle, c’mon…)

UPDATE II: Oh, good gawd.  Daily Kos and other leftward blogs (none of whom I’ll dignify with a link) are soiling themselves over unconfirmed reports that some relative of Joe Wurzelbacher’s is Charles Keating’s son-in-law and a GOP donor.  (Joe’s reported response: “I don’t know anything about that.”)  So what would this mean?  That Obama worked his way along a rope line and picked himself a McCain plant for a question?