Oct. 11, 2008
"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Barack Obama, defending his tax plan to Ohio resident Samuel Wurzelbacher, soon to be better known as "Joe the Plumber," who argued that Obama's policy hurts small-business owners like himself.
Though Wurzelbacher initially refused to disclose who he supports, especially after media scrutiny uncovered that he owed the state of Ohio back taxes, he later publicly campaigned for Republican John McCain, telling a crowd in in the battleground state, "If you look at spreading the wealth, that's honestly right out of Karl Marx's mouth." The Obama campaign continues to insist that Joe the Plumber would get a bigger tax cut under its economic plan than the McCain campaign's. Following the election, Wurzelbacher announced plans to write a book about his brief stint on the campaign trail, telling the BBC he had selected a small publisher to help "spread the wealth." While McCain's continued pushing of Joe the Plumber was widely derided and mocked, Obama's candid remark did give Republicans one last (albeit failed) shot to paint him as an old-fashioned tax-and-spend liberal (or socialist).