In Case You Missed It: Average "Joe?"

Talk about 15 minutes of fame. A professional handyman from Toledo, Ohio, was thrust into the national spotlight during last night's final presidential debate ... repeatedly. According to the New York Times, candidates Barack Obama and John McCain mentioned or spoke directly to Joe Wurzelbacher – immortalized as "Joe the Plumber" – more than 20 times during their primetime discussion with Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer.

And as the debate ended, so did Joe's anonymity. By the time he was contacted by a producer at the CBS Evening News, Wurzelbacher said three news trucks were already parked outside his home. But he made time to speak with Katie during both the primetime debate analysis and our online-only Webcast.

See what he had to say - or watch the video - below.
Katie Couric: We want to go to Joe the plumber, Joe Wurzelbacher from Toledo, Ohio, because Joe is telling me that he's got three live trucks parked outside his house - actually from Holland, Ohio, let me correct that, Joe. Was this a bit of a surreal experience, hearing your name mentioned not once, but twice, but almost half a dozen times during the course of this debate, Joe?

Joseph Wurzelbacher: Yeah, actually, surreal's a good word to use for it. It was - you know, I was glad I was able to act as some type of point, you know, to where they could sit there and hammer out what they both think, what they want to say. But ultimately, you know, the important part was the debate.


Couric: And again, why don't you just reiterate quickly for us, Joe, because I want you to get back, get to your local news station where you are, how you felt about the statements made by the candidates vs. the statements you heard when they were out on the campaign trail talking to you.

Wurzelbacher: One thing I noticed that seemed like Obama changed his mind on offshore drilling, which I thought was a good move. I don't know how much he wants to do of it, I'd like to talk to - hear more about that. McCain I - made a solid - you know, McCain was solid in his performance.

Obama speaks well, but the one thing that's really important, that everyone in America really need to know is, you know, talk is talk. You know, he can speak pretty, but, you know, there's got to be action behind it. We've seen McCain, we know his actions. Even if you disagree with him, at least you know where he stands. McCain - or Obama, we're not sure where he stands yet, even after his debates. Like I said, he speaks eloquently, better than I do, but I honestly, I still don't know where he stands. He's said a lot, but none of his experience has backed it up. You know, the only experience I've seen or his actions are raising our taxes, so, you know, I'm middle class. I can't have my taxes raised anymore.

Couric: Well, he supposedly will raise taxes only on people who make over $250,000 a year. Would you be in that category?

Wurzelbacher: Not right now at presently, but, you know, question, so he's going to do that now for people who make $250,000 a year. When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. You vote on somebody who decides that $250,000 and you're rich? And $100,000 and you're rich? I mean, where does it end? You know, that's - people got to ask that question.

Couric: Could you just, Joe, explain quickly, and then we'll let you go, how you met both of the candidates?

Wurzelbacher: I've yet to meet John McCain. Obama came to my neighborhood and my son and I were outside tossing the football, and all of a sudden he showed up, and there went our football tossing for a while. And, you know, neighbors were outside asking him questions, and I didn't think they were asking him tough enough questions, so I thought, you know, I'll go over there. You know, I've always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question of--for once instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question but I still got a tap dance. Do you - almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.

Couric: Joe Wurzelbacher, I mispronounced your last name earlier, Joe. Maybe you should fill in on "Meet the Press," Joe. Or "Face the Nation," I should add. I know they're looking for someone on "Meet the Press," that's why I said that. Joe, hey...

Wurzelbacher: Great. I've got opinions and I, you know, and that's it. But I - you know, everyone has opinions.

Couric: Yeah, that's for darn sure. Well, Joe, thanks so much for talking with us. I'll let you get outside to your local news reporters. And really, I really appreciate your spending some time with us tonight. And now everybody knows your name, at least, right?

Wurzelbacher:I don't know if that's good or bad, but we'll see how, you know, the future brings.

Couric: All right, Joe, thanks very much.
  • Christine Lagorio

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