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October 16th, 2008
08:14 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Joe the Plumber

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Good morning everyone! Talk about getting your 15 minutes of fame. Joe Wurzelbacher (he’s actually a real person) got 90 minutes of it last night, as John McCain and Barack Obama referred to him no less than 26 times in last night’s 3rd and final debate. Joe the plumber had met Obama on the campaign trail last weekend and told him he was not impressed with his tax plan.

Joe talked to our affiliate already following the debate, further explaining his position: “Quite honestly you're taxing someone for being successful, that's wrong, because you're successful you have to pay more than everyone else – that's what it comes down to, Obama says he'll do that, it's a very socialist view, and it's incredibly wrong. If it's 250,000 dollars now, what if he decides, well, 150,000 dollars you're pretty rich too, let's go ahead and lower it again, you know it's a slippery slope, when's it going to stop.”

John McCain attacked Obama’s tax plan using Joe’s weigh in, and also brought up his relationship with Ayers. Obama pushed back, saying when it comes to the economy, John McCain=George Bush. The two candidates continued a feisty back and forth on all issues related to health care, education and other topics, and our CNN opinion research poll shows that 58% of debate watchers though that Obama won, and 31% felt McCain came out on top.

With 19 days to go till Election Day, it’s a race to the finish as both candidates will make final pushes in key states. John McCain will attend a rally in Pennsylvania today, Obama attends a rally in New Hampshire. Palin will also be in New Hampshire, then Maine and North Carolina, and Biden conducts a couple of interviews later this evening. Candy Crowley and Dana Bash will be following all of the above for us tonight.

Our second topic du jour outside of politics is of course the economy. Asian markets plunged overnight, and European markets traded in negative territory. Our own markets had a 733 point drop yesterday, so Ali Velshi will be keeping a close eye on all of this for us tonight and we’ll see how our markets fare today.

Last but not least, you may notice tonight that we will drop the ’10’ from our aforementioned series: 10 Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse. Fact is, we felt there should be more than 10 folks on this list, it didn’t feel right to cut out a couple in order to hit exactly 10, so we are going to continue with the series based on who we feel should be on the list instead of sticking to an artificial number.

Make sure you tune in at 10pet, see you then!


Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Bill McIntosh

    A number of internet stories on Joe the Plumber say that Obama's tax plan would tax revenue of over $250,000. Without all the details of this tax plan I think we can assume it would tax profit, not revenue, over $250,000. Does Joe the Plumber, without a business plan or license, know the difference between revenue and profit? Do the candidates? Does Joe the Plumber know how much gross revenue he would need to earn to generate $250,000 of profit after cost of labor, materials, office expenses, auto/truck expenses, and three beer lunches with clients? McCain could have selected a much better example to defend his tax philosophy.. Obama, if he understood his tax proposal better, could have mounted a stronger defense.

    October 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Susan

    Joe the Plumber is a sham. If this guy is thinking of buying a quarter million dollar business (without a license or a union card as it appears), then he is clearly NOT in the same category of those truly hurting in this economic downturn. The idea that he would decide NOT to do better financially just to avoid paying more in taxes is ridiculous – people just don't do that. Ironically, it's Obama's plan that would benefit him most, but just like a lot of other dumb "Joes" out there, he's a registered Republican. Never underestimate Americans' ability to vote against their better interest.

    October 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  3. Stacey Greene

    Joe the Plumber is ridiculous. I wouldn't let Joe clean out a port-a-john. Anyone going into business knows that taxes are not major deciding factors in opening up a business. Most start ups are thinking about whether they can get a loan and if they are going to get enough business to be profitable.

    October 16, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Kent, Illinois

    Joe the Plummer ...............hmmmmm

    Just another ploy from the GOP to try to show that the average Joe is a Republican.............when he is not. Whoever this guy is, his 15 minutes is up and the GOP has used yet another willing innocent person for their gain. This Independent isn't fooled.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  5. Wendell

    I hope other sober minded Americans are smart enough to see through the "Joe Plumber" scenario as just another desperate attempt by John McCain to try to pump some life into his sadly out-of-touch campaign. Joe Plumber is clearly a plant!!

    October 16, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  6. Linda/Michigan

    There are so many people who can connect with Joe. A regular guy who is trying to make his way in the world. He may not be a Buffet but that is what we call the American dream. That is why we can identify with Sarah Palin. She didn't come from money or Harvard. She started the business of politics at the city council level and worked her way up.
    Determination and hardwork is what the people of America are about.
    To punish this, to take away our incentive to attain this goal is not what this country represents.

    October 16, 2008 at 9:38 am |
  7. Laurie

    I was pleased with this debates format . It seemed to get them off their "talking points" . As for "Joe" , I could have done with a little less of that , it did seem to sound like a gimick after a while .
    In response to the negative ads , I thought McCains answers were very telling . It seems to me he has great distain for Obama , after being snobbed on the town halls . He wore his heart on his sleeve there .
    Anderson the reports on the "culprits" is great ! I wish more media coverage was putting the spot light on these people . I believe it's important for people to put some real perspective on what has happened to our economy and how we got here ....
    Thank you for all your hard work.
    L . Manchester NH

    October 16, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  8. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    The bottom line is that Joe the Plumber is in business only if Middle Income America on the job. When Middle Class America is in the toilet (sorry for the pun) Joe is out of Work.

    Good High paying Middle Income home grown manufacturing and professional jobs will do a lot more to grow Joe's business and help him hire more people than any of John McCains tax cuts will. Those good HIGH paying American jobs will also help to reduce our Federal and Trade Deficits through taxes generated by those high wages and goods that are actually produced here in America, as well which will in turn help generate greater finanacial stability for everyone (Joe included) in general. The McCain/Bush tax cuts for the already well off have clearly done littel or nothing to promote domestic job growth over the last eight years. In fact These cuts have helped greatly increased our national debt at the expense of those same people the ole Joe needs to actually grow his business.

    October 16, 2008 at 9:33 am |
  9. Okey Moronu, FortWorth, TX.

    The truth is that the real Joe will not be impacted. The question he posed to Obama is hypothetical it turns out.
    McCain using Joe the plumber to represent the average American was off-putting.

    By the way Joe, If your business can afford to pay you $250.000.00 annually, then you are doing pretty well. Remember if all it pays you is $250,000.00 then it is wash. You pay the same tax as you now pay. If you pay yourself more, then you get to pay more tax and I feel for you, if you pay yourself less than $150.000, then you come off better under Obama's plan.

    As it turns out, you do not make anything near the claims made, so you do benefit more under the Obama plan.

    By the way, since McCain never spoke to Joe, how did he get the details of the exchange between Obama and Joe?

    October 16, 2008 at 9:23 am |
  10. Kay in WV

    I am disappointed in CNN. Following the debate in your 'facts' graphics you had "Obama says..." and "McCain complains..." about each other's heralth care plans. Could you at least TRY to be real, journalists and leave your bias at home during working hours?

    October 16, 2008 at 9:09 am |
  11. Cindy

    Just like John King said last night I think that your polls are too slanted on the dem side to even take seriously. If one of your own people can say that then something is wrong! Maybe you all need to look into changing how you conduct them and be more even in who you call if you want to be fair as you claim.

    I think that McCain did awesome and really had Obama on the defensive! He was hem hawing and stuttering a lot trying to make up stuff. And I loved that John didn't let him lie or side step an issue which he always tends to do. In my opinion John did what he needed and he won the debate.

    I am glad that you all are dropping the 10 from the ten most wanted list. There are WAY more than ten and really no way to narrow them down to just that many. Can't wait to see some more names. Hopefully you all will get into the meat and potatoes soon by naming the politicians who all had their hands in the cookie jar yet did nothing to stop this mess when it was evident it was getting bad. I know a lot of dems were in on it.

    Cindy...Ga.

    October 16, 2008 at 8:59 am |
  12. Sam the Butcher.

    If you noticed, Joe the Plummer would not say who he was voting for.
    Also, Joe is not in the 250,000 Tax bracket, which would give his small
    business a tax break. Obama's plan is clearly better for Joe. I'm willing to bet that Joe gave it some serious thought, and rather than reveal that he is now supporting Obama, prefers to keep his choice a
    secret. (wink, wink)

    October 16, 2008 at 8:45 am |