Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wave to the audience before the start of the townhall-style presidential debate at Belmont University. (AP)
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY, NY – Joe the Plumber was the star of the final presidential debate on Wednesday night. But who is he?
Last weekend, while Barack Obama was canvassing for support in the small town of Holland, Ohio, the Democratic nominee ran into a tall, bald man, since dubbed Joe the plumber. He asked Obama if he believed in the American Dream — he said he was about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year and was concerned that the Democratic nominee would tax him more because of it.
Obama explained his tax plan in depth, saying it’s better to lower taxes for Americans who make less money, so that they could afford to buy from his business. John McCain attacked Obama for this exchange, saying the Illinois senator is trying to “spread the wealth around.”
“We're going to take Joe's money, give it to Senator Obama, and let him spread the wealth around. I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around,” McCain said. He added, “Why would you want to increase anybody's taxes right now? Why would you want to do that to anyone, anyone in America, when we have such a tough time?”
Joe the plumber was mentioned 11 times at the beginning of the debate, nine times by McCain and twice by Obama.