Guess Who's A Fan of Donald Trump?

by Seth Millstein

Here's a thing: Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known by the inaccurate nickname “Joe the Plumber,” is a fan of Donald Trump. In an interview with Reuters, Wurzelbacher praised Trump as “a winner,” and theorized that voters think “he can bring that kind of success to the White House.” Republicans also like Trump, Wurzelbacher noted, because “he’s dated beautiful women” and “his wife is a model.” So, there’s that. Really, Wurzelbacher’s embrace of Trump isn't a surprise, because the two are pretty well-aligned both ideologically and stylistically.

Trump kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and promising to build a border wall. Wurzelbacher, meanwhile, once said that America should “put troops on the [U.S.-Mexico] border and start shooting.” Trump says all manner of racist things and has throughout his career, while Wurzelbacher once proclaimed that “America needs a white Republican president” on his blog. They also strike similar tones: After the 2014 Isla Vista shootings, Wurzelbacher told the victims’ families that “your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights,” which I'm actually surprised Trump hasn't already said during this campaign.

Wurzelbacher rose to prominence during the 2008 presidential campaign, when he confronted Barack Obama during a campaign stop in Ohio. He asked the future president if it was true that his proposed tax plan would make Wurzelbacher’s proposed plumbing business more costly to run. After a back and forth, Obama defended redistributive tax policies in general, saying that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Shortly thereafter, Obama’s rival John McCain namedropped Wurzelbacher during a debate and brought him out on the campaign trail. He referred to him as “Joe the Plumber” — not accurate, as his first name isn’t Joe and he didn’t actually get that plumbing license — and used him as an example of how Obama would hurt small businesses. "Joe the Plumber" achieved fame and adoration in Republican circles as an example of the kind of "everyman" who would be hurt by Obama's tax policies.

McCain, of course, lost that election, but Wurzelbacher didn't disappear from the public eye entirely. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012 and now has a blog.

Really, Trump and Wurzelbacher are two peas in a pod. And yet Sam the Blogger, as I'll call him from now on, fell short of endorsing the casino magnate, noting that he also likes Ted Cruz. So, to any Republican candidates reading this, the Wurzelbacher vote is up for grabs.