Wurzelbacher (Amy Sancetta/AP)It may have been years since you last gave a thought to Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio man whose question about taxes to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 became a viral sensation, but now the man known as "Joe the Plumber" is back, and may run for Congress.
Local Republican leaders in Ohio are encouraging Wurzelbacher to run against Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has represented the state's 9th congressional district for almost three decades, according to a report in The Toledo Blade.
"I'm not ruling anything out," Wurzelbacher told The Ticket in an interview Thursday. He added that he thought it was an "interesting idea" and that people have been asking him to run for office since he confronted Obama three years ago. He's spent much of his time since then on the speaker's circuit, he said, encouraging others to run for office.
"I like the idea of it -- just regular Americans running. If a regular guy runs, right away the media's going to attack him," Wurzelbacher said. "What kind of education does he have? What does he know about this? My answer to that is, regular Americans aren't experts, but dammit, look where the experts have gotten us. Maybe we need some regular guys in there. That's what I've been doing the past two and a half years, just encouraging regular Americans to run. Tell the liberal media to go to hell and I don't care what you guys say about me, I'm going to try to fix this country."
Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, told the Blade he's hoping Wurzelbacher jumps in.
"He would make a fantastic candidate," Stainbrook said.
Wurzelbacher said he gets calls to run for office every year, and this cycle could be his best opportunity. Kaptur won nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2008, but her seat could become vulnerable when the Ohio legislature redraws the state's districts next year.
In the three years since Wurzelbacher became a household name after Obama told him that he wanted to "spread the wealth around," he has written a book, spent time as a correspondent for the conservative website Pajamas Media and started a non-profit group for veterans in Alaska.