'Joe the Plumber' praises Trump, cites his 'beautiful women'

On the Trail With Trump Supporters

HOLLAND, Ohio (Reuters) -- "Joe the Plumber," the Ohio workingman who came to symbolize U.S. taxpayer frustration in the 2008 presidential election, is still angry. And like many angry voters, he likes insurgent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — in part because the New York billionaire dated attractive women.

"He's a winner. He's made billions. He's dated beautiful women. His wife is a model. That's not to sniff at. And a lot of people believe he can bring that kind of success to the White House," said Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, 42, who shot to prominence during the 2008 campaign after then-Republican nominee John McCain seized on a confrontation Wurzelbacher had with then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

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Sitting in his Ohio house, a Ruger handgun on a table next to him, Wurzelbacher told Reuters he has yet to decide who to support but he likes the caustic Trump, a real-estate developer and former reality TV show host, and is unhappy with the Republican Party establishment lining up against him.

He also likes Ted Cruz, the conservative U.S. senator from Texas. He is scathing about Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida and the favorite of the Republican establishment to challenge Trump. And he dislikes John Kasich, the Ohio governor who narrowly trails Trump in his home state with less than two weeks until Ohio's primary on March 15.

Trump, 69, is the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election, but party leaders worry policies that include building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States will turn off voters and upset U.S. allies.


As a conservative, Wurzelbacher says he is willing to overlook Trump's previous heresies on issues such as gun control, abortion, gay marriage and even his past donations to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner. The Obama administration, he says, is a miserable failure.

In the 2008 campaign, Wurzelbacher made headlines when he asked Obama about his small business tax policy. During a videotaped exchange, Obama answered in part by saying, "when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." Wurzelbacher had told Obama he was interested in buying a plumbing business.

Two days later McCain, Obama's opponent, cited "Joe the Plumber" as the quintessential American everyman who had exposed Obama as having what McCain called a socialist, wealth-distributing economic world view. It mattered little that Wurzelbacher did not have a plumbing license or that "Joe" wasn't his first name.

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'Joe the Plumber' praises Trump, cites his 'beautiful women'

Stephen Baldwin

Baldwin, who was fired by Trump on two different seasons of "The Celebrity Apprentice," said during an interview with Don Lemon on an episode of "CNN Tonight" that Trump would make a "great" president "because he's not a politician, and he doesn't care what anybody thinks."  

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Gary Busey

The actor endorsed Trump back in 2011, even after being fired from season four of "The Celebrity Apprentice," and offered his praise for the presidential hopeful again recently. "He's a great guy. He's sharp. He's fast," he told Fox411. "He can change the country after the last eight years."  

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Dennis Rodman

The retired pro-basketball player tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016." He was fired from season two of "The Celebrity Apprentice." 

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Lou Ferrigno

When asked by TMZ for his thoughts on Trump, the actor and former bodybuilder said, "I hope Donald goes all the way." He was also fired from a season of "The Celebrity Apprentice." 

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Ted Nugent 

The musician wrote an article for WorldNetDaily in which he said, "[Trump] should be given the Medal of Freedom for speaking his mind in such a bold, honest, and straightforward manner."

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Tila Tequila 

The model and reality star posted a video on YouTube expressing her support for Trump.

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Wayne Newton

The Las Vegas entertainer announced his support on "Fox and Friends," “I love Donald, and he would make a great president,” he said. But he also voiced his support for other hopefuls, such as Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson. 

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Willie Robertson

The businessman and star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” supported Trump at a rally in Oklahoma last year, where he was invited up on stage. He officially announced his endorsement in January. 

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Jesse Ventura 

Jesse Ventura

The former pro wrestler, former Minnesota governor, and actor was speaking with previous Trump staffer Roger Stone for "Off the Grid," when Ventura said, "I shocked my staff today. I came in and said, ‘You know what, as far as the Republicans are concerned, I hope Trump wins.'" Though he also added, "Now I’m not a Republican — I’m not a Democrat either — so ultimately, I’d like somebody else to win overall.”

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Terrell Owens 

The retired NFL wide receiver told TMZ Sports, "This may be what the country needs and Trump... He’s a guy who won’t put up with B.S. and has what it takes to change how government is run." He appeared on the most recent season of "The Celebrity Apprentice."   

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Soon after, Wurzelbacher appeared at rallies with McCain and his running mate, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. He seemed enraged at Obama's economic policies.


Today, he is highly critical of Senator McCain, deriding his opposition to Trump as corrupt.

"They are not opposing Trump for the American people. They are doing it for their party, and I don't like that. It's control, power, greed. Trump scares them."

Wurzelbacher, who had assailed unions along with Obama's decision to use taxpayer money to rescue the car manufacturers Chrysler and General Motors from bankruptcy in 2009, drew much criticism when it emerged that he took a job at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, in 2014 - and joined a local union to get it.

"That was an experiment," Wurzelbacher said. He said he never intended to work at Chrysler full-time. He wanted to see inside a union factory so he could write about it, he said. He worked on the paint line for three months, and then left.

He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, winning the Republican primary for Ohio's 9th congressional district but lost to Democratic Marcy Kaptur by a landslide.

Wurzelbacher says his life has settled down since the madness of 2008. He got married five years ago. He has a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son, and a 20-year-old son living in Kentucky. He now spends his time running two websites, JoeforAmerica.com, and one his wife inspired, livingloving.com.

But he is disgusted by much of the debate in America.

"Political correctness is a huge issue. People are afraid to speak their minds. They are afraid of being labeled a racist or a homophobe."

On guns, Wurzelbacher says the more people who have guns, the safer they will be. Asked how many guns he has, Wurzelbacher replied, "not enough."

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