October 30th, 2008
09:05 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Joe the No Show

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Where's Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber? He didn't show up at a McCain event today in Ohio.

It was a bit of an awkward moment for the GOP candidate. Today, Wurzelbacher was MIA when McCain called for him in the crowd in Defiance, Ohio. But he did show up later in the day at two other events.

Could the "Joe the Plumber" mantra backfire for the McCain camp? We'll dig into that tonight on 360.

We'll also take you on the trail to a live Obama rally at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

And, we're tracking the latest poll numbers. At one point today, the CNN poll-of-national polls showed Obama with just a 5 percentage points lead over McCain. Now we're back at a 7-point difference. Oh, what a difference a couple of hours makes in this campaign.

A lot of ground to cover tonight. We're two hours live.
Hope you can join us at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Gonzarelli

    He was to busy collecting money from all his plumbing jobs and maybe now he has a license! What a horrible example to our young children! McCain and Palin ought to be embarrassed!
    But I don't think they care, they are to dwarf in their twisted and demented minds to think about ethical issues. What is that say about their ability to govern with integrity?


    October 31, 2008 at 2:31 am |
  2. Darin McKinney

    I think the caliber of campaign that Senator Obama is running in comparison to McCain's, also gives us a glimpse of how the two will perform in the Presidency. Joe the plumber's "no show" is embarrassing for a campaign. Come on.. someone could have whispered in McCain's ear.. "fyi..Joe the plumber isn't here today John." I would be more confident with having Obama raising money to help shift our economy in the right direction, just based on how much he's raised for his campaign alone!

    October 31, 2008 at 2:09 am |
  3. Don, WA

    Joe was recruited to be someone you'd like to have a beer with, (worked last time), and Joe had a toilet to unclog on the way to the McCain Rally and the toilets owner wanted a beer with him...Joe's just do'in his job. But if he does'nt watch it he'll be Joe six-pack in no time.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:33 am |
  4. Dana

    "Joe" is another mistake and a joke. He appears to be uneducated and truly unaware of what he needs much less what America needs. This entire campaign has been a joke and now they have found a mascott.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  5. adam

    I think that if McCain has plans to run the white house the way he has run his campaign, I would have to say " thanks but no thanks"!! Using Joe or jack or whatever his real name is, as a stage prop is a sign of despair!!!!! I have yet to hear McCain say what he would do to solve the nations issues, I wonder what he's going to do if he wins the election, attacking obama be an option at that point. McCain is not focused on the problems that plague our citizens, he is focused on keeping the base happy and trying to fool the others into voting for him using fear and smear a tactic thats so lame and outdated, especially in these trying times when people are looking for leaders with solutions!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  6. rationalthinker

    The fact that "Joe The Plumber" is even speaking at rallies tells me that "a certain campaigne" is very deperate.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:37 am |
  7. Eric

    So, I'm seeing (and hearing) a bit about how this (seemingly) semi-fictional character "Joe the Plumber" is a bit of a sham... Earlier, McCain (while lamely trying to recover from the embarassment of Joe's "no-show") exclaimed something about all of us being "Joe the Plumber".... Well, "John the Millionaire Senator" -please refrain from having the audacity to lump me in with that. I am fully licensed in my occupation, I pay my taxes, and I DO NOT misrepresent myself to further my personal views. Rampant ignorance seems to be your greatest asset, and it is an insult to the citizens of this country for you to continue trying to work this to your advantage.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  8. Eunice del Rosario

    So Joe has a music deal. This is America folks, remember? The land where anything can happen. Problem is, people seem to be so negative these days that when it does happen they find a way to complain about it and when it doesn't, then ... bigger complaints are on their way even. The fact that we are free to express our opinion in this country is wonderful. How many of you and how often do you stop and think about that in this day and age? It's high time Americans realize it more than ever that this is STILL a great country and we are at an important time. Vote and vote wisely, that's all I can say.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  9. drumat5280

    It seems like Joe is being held to the same standard as those running. Does that seem fair?

    I am not sure, but I guess if he gets his 15 minutes of fame then he should take some heat.

    Dave Dugdale

    October 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Vicki Spencer

    Im not fallin for it. I think it was an act. McCan knew good ole Joe wasnt going to be there. They planned it that way to make it look like they dont keep track of him. Just another one of his stunts to make it look like he doesnt keep track of Joe the Plumber. Oh, but I think good ole Joe is on the payroll.

    October 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  11. Cy

    We have had Joe the Plumber, Joe six pack and Sarah the Hockey Mom.

    Is this an election or a skit from SNL?

    McCain was honorable until the past few weeks.

    What a shame.

    October 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  12. Kim PC Beach, Fla.

    How can anyone watch these rallies and not ask this question – John McCain can’t even keep up with who is supposed to be appearing at his own campaign rally, or has surrounded himself with people who don’t have enough sense to tell him “Joe the plumber” is not going to appear, that being the case how is he going to keep up with what is going on if he is the President and, is he going to surround himself with people who remember to tell him what is going on?

    October 30, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  13. chris

    the reason Mccains campaign is not as awesome as Obamas is because Mccain did not lie and signed the same agreement as Obama about fund raising, Obama then decided his word meant nothing and took funds from anyone and everyone. It isobvious isnt it ........Money

    October 30, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  14. Irma Miller

    The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. The world is laughing at us. How did the come up with such a team.
    Sarah, Joe, and John but Sarah is the BOSS...

    October 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm |
  15. Laurie, Northern California

    I, too, think that Joe the Plumber was a plant of McCain/Palin. He has been too chummy with them from the start. He approached Obama to argue with him. He had no intention of voting for Obama at all.

    It was McCain who made Joe the center of the debates. I don't think Obama would have even mentioned him if McCain had not. It is also obvious that "Joe the Plumber" was not vetted by the McCain camp ahead of time or they might have found out that he was not a licensed plumber and had not paid his taxes. It just shows the lack of strategy with camp McCain.

    October 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  16. Janice

    Maybe Joe the Plumber got held up applying for a plumber license....these things take time, you know!!

    October 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  17. valoreeo-Dominican Republic

    Does John McCain not realize that the whole world is watching this election process and Joe the plumber is making the US look embarrassing.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  18. John From Maryland

    Candy Crowley (Now there is a real diva). Obama has run one of the lowest campaign I have every seen. Haven't heard of any groups like Acorn being investigated on the McCain side.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  19. Gene Hansmeier

    Wanta be a plumber, Joe the plumber is a long shot from the symbol of a working class american. Joe is a schill for the Republican matra of being concerned for the working family, give me a break the GOP isn't concerned about the working class, they continue whining about tax breaks for blue collar workers, its more of the same Bush doctrine with no plan to bring help to the middle classes.
    If Joe was sharp enough to do the math as required to become a licensed plumber he would figure out that he would be better off as would be his workers if he were a real plumber or real plumbing contractor under the Obama plan.
    Joe citizen and Harry the real plumber and George the electrician deserve to have an educated person of integrity, honesty, and true American values, capable of articulation his thoughts and understand simple communication with others to lead this country we have had enough of the lies and deceit for the past eight years.
    The Mc Cain, Palin plan is worth to poor and middle class Americans the same as what goes down Joe the wanta be plumbers porcelain toilet on Sunday Morning after a night at Moe's Bar.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  20. Mary, in Ohio

    If McCain only knew what a circus he is running. And man the side shows, Palin and Joe the plumber. Do you people know that Joe owes the State of Ohio back taxes,maybe he is thinking he can get a bail out. Oh yes.

    Go Obama !

    October 30, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  21. Marylou SC

    "JOE" the plumber said he didn't show up because the CAMPAIGN didn't confirm his appearance with him. If they can't even run a campaign event, how will they ever run the country?

    October 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  22. Shiraz

    Joe the plumber in my opinion is a concoction of the McCain campaign, a farce. Obama told him that he will tax those earning over $250,000...how many plumbers do you know making over that amount? C'mon please, don't insult our intelligence.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  23. cliff

    This Joe the plumber guy is hurting the campaign even more now than ever. He wants to get paid for his services and publicity if he's not already. He is definitely on Mcsains payroll.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  24. Drew

    Here's the facts, folks. "Joe the Plumber" is a plumber. I have friend who know him personally. In the state of Ohio, you do not have to possess a plumbing license to work as a plumber. You only have to have 1 person who works for the company posess a license. Everyone else works under that license. That is how its done. I do hope that Obama does a little more homework when and if he becomes our president before he makes such comments and allows those who support him to degrade someone only to show their own ignorance.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  25. Fiona

    By the way – wasn't it plumbers that got the GOP into trouble with Watergate? Just wondering.....

    October 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Maureen / Newman, California

    Since McCain has no real ideas on how to fix America, he relies on this man to try to connect with the middle class. Any average Joe with half a brain can figure out that McCain does not care about anyone except the wealthy.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  27. sebastienesque

    How is this John McCain fellow supposed to manage a country when he cannot even manage his campaign?

    October 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  28. sebastienesque

    How is McCain supposed to run a country when he cannot even run a campaign?

    October 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Lex Blanton

    I'm so tired of Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder – I swear I just heard Candy Crowley saying 'the louder sound is Shirley the Ticking of the Clock' (surely the ticking of the clock)

    Superfunny! Love Candy's neckwear!

    October 30, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  30. Alaska101

    Lets see here....First we have Sarah the Hockey mom, now Joe the Plumber. John, who's next? Bozo the clown.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  31. Allan, Chicago, IL

    it seems that McCain's choices to, first, pick gov. palin as the VP for the GOP and now to use 'joe the plumber" as the symbol for his campaign is starting to backfire, maybe because it just makes him and the decisions he makes erratic and spontaneous. I think americans should start asking if that's the type of president they want to run the country.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  32. Pete - Missouri

    I think joe is an oppertunist. I may be wrong but he is trending that way. He is getting music deals now what is that about?
    Why is obama socialist. He is not giving people who don’t pay taxes money like sarah palin did in Alaska.He is giving tax breaks not wellfare.
    The McCain camp and the republicans are solely properganda based arguments.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  33. JamRyan

    Even Joe is sick and tired of Joe the plumber!!!

    October 30, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  34. Pamela - Louisiana

    Does "Joe The Plumber " represent every American? What symbolism is the McCain campaign trying to put forward with this guy? Is he representative of an all American guy ? What do they mean by a "Real American"?

    October 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  35. George

    If Joe the plumber as much as run a red light, he will be all over the news. This is what he wanted and i hope the media sticks it to him.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  36. Eunice

    Seriously, what's the big fuss? So he was late, or didn't show up, or whatever. Haven't any of you been late to an important event before? Your child's birth perhaps, how about your highschool kid's graduation, that big business meeting. Sometimes, something or another comes up and it doesn't mean you didn't try your darnest to get there.

    October 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  37. Eric B in St. Louis

    I can't recall anything like this in an election since Nixon gave his Checkers speech years ago. If Sen McCain wants to be taken seriously by anybody outside his inner circle of Palin groupies he needs to give this guy the old heave ho. The more we see of "Joe the Plumber" the more fake we find out that he is and now trying to make a name for himself, signing autographs, hiring an agent and the whole 9 yards. I thought he was supposed to represent the everyday average working stiff. I think Sen McCain should have let this deal go weeks ago. It looks like a big joke right now, an unfunny one at that.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  38. Cam, Connecticut

    Joe the plumber is not a credible prop. He's more of an example of those who cheat. Why does the McCain campaign continue to use this guy?

    October 30, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  39. lynn

    That McCain and Palin need a fraud like Joe the Plumber to speak at their rallies indicates the lack of support they have from people in their own party and people they will have to work with should Americans be so unfortunate to elect them.

    Joe seems to be doing well though having hired a publicist. Seems he may be playing them. Why isn't he at work???

    October 30, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  40. thomas from pa

    joe where did you go today .joe i had to go buy an outfit so i can be like you

    October 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  41. David Williams

    If John McCain is elected President, maybe he will appoint Joe, the Unlicensed Plumber Secretary of Labor.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  42. Jeri

    What is McCain's campaign doing???? Barack Obama has the endorsements of such heavy hitters as Bill and Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, and Colin Powell and the best voice that John McCain can pull out 6 days before election is that of Joe the Plumber. First John McCain gave us Sarah Palin now its Plumber Joe, this campaign lacks intelligence!

    October 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  43. George

    Joe didn't show because like Palin, he is going "Rogue" on McCain. John McCain is obviously not a good leader. If he can't run a campaign and keep it in order, how will he run the greatest nation known to man.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  44. Jay/AL

    Wouldn’t have believed McCain could have stooped so low. If I was ever gonna vote for him this Joe the plumber would’ve changed my mind, this is nothing but sleazy at its worse.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  45. Annie Kate

    Joe the Plumber is old and trite as a symbol. McCain needs to move on from Joe.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  46. Paul Hodge

    I agree with June, I think Joe was a plant, a setup that would make John McCain seem to carry about the common man. He should care about licensed contractors who have to pay: bonds, insurance, workman's compensation, office lease, etc. We have a large burden to meet before worrying about a profit.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  47. June

    What's the possibility that "Joe the (non)Plumber" was a setup from the beginning by McCain/Palin to orchestrate this whole fiasco. Was he a plant put there in the crowd by McCain? Maybe they promised to create a Department of Plumbing and he will be appointed Secretary. Oh wait, I guess he will have to go get a license first.

    October 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  48. Chuck, Pittsburgh PA

    "Will the real Joe the Plumber please stand up"... Joe hanging with the Palin instead of McCain. LOL

    October 30, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  49. Asma J K

    Joe was caught in traffic while shopping for new wardrobe to take office of secretary of States for foreign affairs

    October 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  50. Martie

    Doesn't speak too well for the McCain campaign's organizational and communication skills, does it?

    October 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm |
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