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'Joe the Plumber' Strikes Back At The Media

October 19, 2008 07:46 AM EST | AP

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Joe Wurzelbacher, right, or as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain dubbed him during Wednesday's presidential debate, "Joe The Pumber", chats with members of the news media outside of his home in Holland, Ohio, Thursday Oct. 16, 2008. Wurzelbacher was cited by the GOP presidential candidate as an example of someone who wants to buy a plumbing business but would be hurt by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's tax plans. In Toledo on Sunday, Wurzelbacher told Obama that he was preparing to buy the plumbing company, which earns more than $250,000 a year, and said: "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" Obama said that under his proposal taxes on any revenue from $250,000 on down would stay the same, but that amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax, instead of the current 36 percent rate. (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero)

NEW YORK — "Joe the Plumber" is lashing out at the media for analyzing his personal life since he suddenly became a focal point of the presidential race last week.

Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Holland, Ohio, told Mike Huckabee on his Fox News talk show Saturday that he is upset by the attention and has been unable to work with reporters crowded on his front lawn.

"The media's worried about whether I've paid my taxes, they're worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America," Wurzelbacher told the former Republican presidential hopeful on his show, "Huckabee."

Wurzelbacher said he felt terrible after reading some of the criticism of himself posted online.

"I felt about that small," he said. "I mean I really did."

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been portraying Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about Obama's tax plans.

Wurzelbacher became famous after he met Obama and said the Democrat's tax proposal could keep him from buying the two-man plumbing company where he works. However, reports of Wurzelbacher's annual earnings suggest he would receive a tax cut rather than an increase under Obama's plan.

"You know, I am a plumber," Wurzelbacher said. "Just a plumber."

Wurzelbacher said he agreed to appear on the show after he received phone calls from friends serving in the military who voiced their support.

"You know, when you can't ask a question of your leaders anymore, that gets scary," he said.

On Sunday, McCain was to travel to Ohio, where he might appear with Wurzelbacher.

Filed by Nick Sabloff  |  Report Corrections