"Joe the Plumber" is lashing out at the media for analyzing his personal life since he suddenly became a focal point of the presidential race last week.
Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Holland, Ohio, told Mike Huckabee on his Fox News talk show Saturday that he is upset by the attention and has been unable to work with reporters crowded on his front lawn.
"The media's worried about whether I've paid my taxes, they're worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America," Wurzelbacher told the former Republican presidential hopeful on his show, "Huckabee."
Wurzelbacher said he felt terrible after reading some of the criticism of himself posted online.
"I felt about that small," he said. "I mean I really did."
Republican presidential candidatehas been portraying Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about tax plans.
Wurzelbacher became famous after he met Obama and said the Democrat's tax proposal could keep him from buying the two-man plumbing company where he works. However, reports of Wurzelbacher's annual earnings suggest he would receive a tax cut rather than an increase under Obama's plan.
"You know, I am a plumber," Wurzelbacher said. "Just a plumber."
Wurzelbacher said he agreed to appear on the show after he received phone calls from friends serving in the military who voiced their support.
"You know, when you can't ask a question of your leaders anymore, that gets scary," he said.
On Sunday, McCain traveled to Wurzelbacker's home state of Ohio, while the plumber was in New York making the media rounds with his family.