MIAMI – Republican John McCain told crowds in this battleground state Friday to “hold onto your wallet” because his Democratic presidential rival, Barack Obama, has talked of spreading the wealth around. McCain suggested voters could not rely on Obama’s promise of tax cuts while returning once more to the story of Joe the Plumber, a regular part of McCain’s speeches since the Arizona senator first mentioned the tax concerns of Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher in Wednesday’s presidential debate.
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. holds up a t-shirt that was handed to him at the end of a rally in Melbourne, Fla., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
Florida was McCain’s first stop on a two-day tour through states, including North Carolina and Virginia, where he has surrendered his lead in polls during the past month despite their history of supporting Republican presidential candidates.
Last Sunday as Obama walked through Wurzelbacher’s Holland, Ohio, neighborhood, Wurzelbacher asked him whether his plan to increase taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year would impede his ability to buy the plumbing company where he works. Obama replied that those making over $250,000 would be taxed more but that money would be returned to the middle-class through tax cuts. “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” Obama said.
The McCain campaign seized on that remark.
“When politicians talk about taking your money and spreading it around, you’d better hold onto your wallet,” McCain told a Miami rally crowd. “Sen. Obama claims that he want to give a tax break to the middle class, but not only did he vote for higher taxes for the middle class in the Senate, his plan gives away your tax dollars to those who don’t pay taxes. That’s not a tax cut; that’s welfare.”
McCain, who bestowed the nickname “Joe the Plumber” on Wurzelbacher during the debate, claimed Friday that “the response from Sen. Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe.”
In fact, Obama, his running mate Joe Biden and their campaign have barely mentioned Wurzelbacher. Obama and Biden both attacked McCain for portraying Wurzelbacher as representative of most blue-collar workers, asking how many plumbers make $250,000 a year.
“In fact, Obama, his running mate Joe Biden and their campaign have barely mentioned Wurzelbacher.”
THIS IS NOT A FACT, ASSOCIATED PRESS. SHAME ON YOU!