GRAFTON, W.Va. — “Joe the Plumber” says he is getting “damn close” to ditching the Republican Party, the party that he said is supposed to be about fewer taxes, smaller government and more individual rights.

“The Republican platform hasn’t been followed in some time,” Joe Wurzelbacher said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”  “Both parties anymore seem to be more intent on getting more power and control.”

Wurzelbacher, who is from Holland, Ohio, gained national attention in 2008 as “Joe The Plumber” when he questioned then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama about his tax plan during a campaign stop in Ohio.

In his response, Obama said he wanted to spread the wealth among many people.

Those with the McCain-Palin campaign seized on the comments as proof of, what they called, Obama’s socialist view of the economy and started using Joe as a representative of all middle class Americans.

Since that time, Wurzelbacher has traveled the United States as a conservative activist, author and motivational speaker and made an unsuccessful run for Congress in Ohio’s Ninth District last year.

This Thursday, he is scheduled to be part of an Independence Day Town Hall in Grafton that will also include First District Congressman David McKinley and Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.  Both are Republicans.

Wurzelbacher said, above anything else, he classifies himself as an American.

“It’s difficult to sit there and say I’m a Republican or proud to be a Republican because, quite frankly, they haven’t been representing their constituents for some time.  They just represent a power base,” he said.

“I want what our Founding Fathers put forth and I want it followed which makes me, actually, not in the minority.”

The July 4th event with “Joe the Plumber” is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Grafton High School Auditorium.  A social hour will begin at 11:30 a.m.

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  • Jamie

    Joe is a better man the most of you,and what is sad some of you don't even get it ,we are losing our country.

  • billyed

    This one of idiots that the republicans use to rattle their crazies. Congressman David McKinley wants to use him as celebrity.
    What a shame!!
    Maybe, McKinley can help Joe the plumber strip his employees of their retirement and health care, fight to keep his employees under paid, send his jobs over seas, Offshore his profits from taxes, create tax loopholes for him to avoid taxes, weaken environmental laws to make a quick dollar.

  • sam

    Maybe he can be made an honorary west virginia and receive assistance and clothing vouchers for his kids. If he don't have kids he can do like the rest of the welfare rats and sell / trade them for drugs.....

  • Hop'sHip

    Joe the Plumber? I thought he became Joe the Country Singer. Probably should have been called Joe the Con Artist. Of course a con artist is only effective if their are fools to allow him to be. I'm sure he will find no shortage of fools at this event.

  • Civil Servant

    Whats wrong with you people? This is Joe the Plumber we're talking about. Dude rules on Ghost Hunters.

  • cb

    Yeah Joe keep it going....I mean you were used by a political candidate to further their agenda.

    Joe the plumber, dude sometimes you gotta cut and run. Your time is up................

  • Bobby M

    People will holler as much as you want but we need more Joe the plummers. Its a sad day in this country when people harrass a guy who believes that strong in the constituiton!

    Keep it going Joe! Get on the ticket in 2016!

  • Whatever

    Why is this a story anyway? Who cares..

  • CaptainQ

    Joe who?

  • cutty77

    Joe i thought you went down the Drain several years ago. Happy 4th

  • MrJ

    Good post, RHytonen.

    "Founding Fathers" gets bandied about too dadgum much. It's the standard, go-to phrase when one realizes that their bovine skatology is wearing thin and a bigger shovel is needed.

    Maybe, if we could get him to stay long enough to establish residency, he could become a honest-to-gosh West Virginian and then governor.

  • Magic Mike

    Joe is over. Just go back to your life Joe.

  • RHytonen

    Just when we had happily forgotten about "Joe, The Unlicensed, Illegal-hiring "Plumber."

    Why, again, remember him?
    Well, I guess he's a good lesson, for those few still believing in the right's Trickle-Down, "Job Creators," Meritocracy Myth, nonsense.

    • Rich

      I am no Joe the plumber fan. Do you honestly feel that Obama's plan is working?

  • thornton

    It's amazing how far 15 minutes can stretch.

    I heard the guy on Hoppy...if he is what passes for a "motivational speaker" these days then the term needs redefined.
    He is an agenda-feeder...they have them on both sides of every issue.

  • Jay

    It never ceases to amaze me what passes for "celebrity" in this nation.

    - Jay the Professor