It may not have been "huge" when CNBC's Joe Kernen said it but the dude has been on practically every news station by now.
Kernen told chief Washington correspondent John Harwood that the "Joe the plumber" story "would be huge" and even a "bombshell," in any other election year. Kernen said voters "don't care" because they are buying into Sen. Obama's assertion that the Bush tax policies have led to the financial crisis.
"Obviously not everyone out there knows how to connect the dots between the [financial crisis] and tax policy. For some reason the Bush tax policies are being cited by Obama as the reason that we're in this position right now, again and again and again," said "Squawk Box" co-host Kernen Oct. 16.
ABC's "View" co-host Joy Behar dismissively called Joe Wurzelbacher's [Joe the Plumber] dream of owning a plumbing company a "fantasy" on the October 16 program. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called her out on it (audio available here):
JOY BEHAR, co-host: Joe the Plumber doesn't have a business yet, he's fantasizing about a business he's going to have.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, co-host: Fantasizing?! This is a man who's trying to realize his hard work.
BEHAR: Excuse me! Fantasizing is a very legitimate term to describe somebody who's predicting the future for themselves. Creative visualization, okay.
HASSELBECK: Fantasizing is a dangerous thing to say because it assumes that it is not attainable.
Joe the Plumber, the ordinary guy who audaciously asked Obama a question about taxes, is caught in the fierce spotlight of media disapproval.
The New York Times Politics Blog "The Caucus" shined a bright, interrogation light into the background of Samuel J.Wurzelbacher (Joe the Plumber) on Oct. 16.
The post by Larry Rohter and Liz Robbins rushed to point out that Joe "is not a licensed plumber." Armed with the statement from Local 50 plumber's union, Rohter and Robbins attacked Joe for "playing games with the world."
But the bloggers were playing games by burying one easy explanation for that fact.
"Unlike some other states, Ohio does not have a formal statewide licensing system for plumbers. But the city of Toledo and other municipalities do," the blog post said 10 paragraphs later.
The Times bloggers also dismissed Joe's question about Obama's tax plan saying, "The premise of his question to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts."
Wurzelbacher has become the focal point of the presidential election because of his objections to Obama's plan to boost taxes on people who earn more than $250,000. Ironically, the plumber currently has an income level that would make him eligible for Obama's proposed tax cut rather than the tax increase.
But that doesn't address what impact Obama's tax hikes might have on Wurzelbacher's boss and how new taxes might adversely impact the plumbing company's payroll under an Obama administration.
After noting that Wurzelbacher admitted the company he's hoping to buy doesn't cross the quarter-million threshold, Ibanga seemed perplexed at his anger at the notion of taxing "rich" people for their success:
Joe the Plumber (Joe Wurzelbacher) seems to have committed a Thought Crime in the eyes of the leftwing Blogosphere by daring to question the Lightworker. As a result, and because his name was brought up several times by John McCain at the debate last night, Joe the Plumber has been the subject of a lot of rage at both the Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos. The title of the DU thread alone tells you just how angry the left is:"Hey, Joe 'The Dumbass' Plumber. Listen up!" And the Daily Kos thread is flat out incorrect: "'Joe the Plumber'" Not a Registered Voter." Sorry, Kossacks, but Joe the Plumber is registered to vote. He just prefers to use his middle name but you were too eager to smear him to consider that fact when poring through the Ohio voting records.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez claimed that Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio plumber who criticized Obama’s tax policy, was upset that McCain mentioned him in Wednesday’s debate: "This is the small businessman first mentioned by John McCain, but then referenced repeatedly by both candidates. I had a chance to speak with Joe after the debate and he told me he did not like being mentioned, he feels like he is being used by the Republican Party as a pawn to make their point..." Despite that assertion, Rodriguez never offered any audio, video, or even a direct quote of Wurzelbacher saying any such thing.
However, in the same sentence, Rodriguez did admit: "...at the same time, he said since he has been thrust into this, he wants America to know that he absolutely disagrees with Senator Obama's tax plan. He says it punishes him for making more money and he even called it Marxist." In the report by correspondent Jeff Glor that followed, such criticism of Obama was backed up as audio of Wurzelbacher talking to Evening News anchor Katie Couric was played: "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 for once, instead of tap dancing around it. And unfortunately I asked the question but I still got a tap dance. He [Barack Obama] was almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr."
Joe the Plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher the Ohio man that has suddenly become the face of the presidential campaign, told ABC's Diane Sawyer Thursday that Barack Obama's tax plan to spread the wealth is "a very socialist view, and it's incredibly wrong."
Predictably, Sawyer defended Obama's position by saying it's only a three percent tax increase that people making over $250,000 would be required to pay.
Deliciously, the "Good Morning America" guest wasn't backing down (partial video embedded right):