Sen. John McCain is planning to ride the “Joe the Plumber” wave all the way until Election Day. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, announced this week in an e-mail that the campaign would be launching an “I’m Joe the Plumber” video contest. So far there are 46 videos made by average Americans on McCain’s Website. Davis says that the contest will help people all across America recognize that they too are Joe the Plumber.
References to Joe were sparked when Sen. Barack Obama visited the neighborhood of Samuel “Joseph” Wurzelbacher two weeks ago while door-to-door campaigning in Toledo, Ohio.
Joe, who is not a licensed plumber, asked Obama a hypothetical question about how he would be taxed if he owned a plumbing company. Obama explained that his tax plan, which would increase taxes for individuals and working families who make more than $250,000, would “spread the wealth around.” Obama might want to use these taxes to fund government programs like, for example, the Small Business Administration, an agency where President Bush has cut staff and budget more than any other federal agency.
According to Boston.com while 68% of Ohio respondents said they recognized Joe the Plumber, only 6% said that Joe’s story will make them more likely to vote for McCain.
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, disagrees. He suggests that if McCain wins, he’ll have Wurzelbacher to thank for it, according to a Rasmussen report October 19, that found a plurality of voters (48%) believes that McCain or Joe the Plumber better understand their situation better than Obama does.
The McCain contest reads “Don’t tax me for working hard.” Taxation was the issue that vexed Joe enough to question Obama, but Obama says he wants to reduce taxes for working people including 95% of small businesses. McCain and his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin says that Obama wants to tax working people and give money to those who haven’t worked for it and they believe that this amounts to socialism. Today he called Obama’s plan “welfare.” Obama responded that McCain is fighting for “Joe the Hedge Fund Manager.” “John McCain likes to talk about Joe the Plumber, but he’s in cahoots with Joe the CEO,” said Obama at a rally in Richmond, Virginia.
Chris Gunn, a spokesperson for the American Small Business League says that given the nature of the turbulent economy today, either candidate will have to raise taxes if elected, but there are far more important issues that concern small businesses. The ASBL says that McCain has never objected to any of the Bush Administration’s anti-small business policies and although Obama has objected he hasn’t made the issue prominent during the general election. All