In his primary on Tuesday night, Samuel Wurzelbacher – aka Joe the Plumber – narrowly defeated Steven Kraus to become the Republican nominee to represent Ohio’s Ninth District. Wurzelbacher, who once said he wouldn’t run for office unless God asked him to, will face Marcy Kaptur in the race to represent the heavily Democratic district.
This morning, Wurzelbacher was interviewed on CNN’s “Early Start.” When program host Zoraida Sambolin asked him why he was qualified to serve in Congress, Wurzelbacher seemed to get agitated, saying he was “very much involved in the process of what’s going on.” When the discussion turned to his previous statements about gays and lesbians, like saying he would not let gays and lesbians near his children, the discussion got even more heated:
SAMBOLIN: Have you changed your position on this at all?
WURZELBACHER: So this is TMZ, this isn’t CNN, is what you’re saying?
SAMBOLIN: Of course it’s CNN. These are things that you said, that I would like to know if you still stand by them or if you changed your positions on them.
WURZELBACHER: Listen, in my dictionary, and everyone’s dictionary in 1970s, the word queer did mean strange and unusual. It was [sic] no slur to it. Do you challenge that?
SAMBOLIN: No, I’m just questioning whether or not you still stand on these positions on homosexuality.
WURZELBACHER: I’m trying to get where you’re coming from, what context are you using this in? Come on, you’re trying to do a ‘gotcha’ moment, it’s quite obvious.
It is unclear why Wurzelbacher thinks a reporter asking him about his own words constitutes a “gotcha” question. As far as his fear of gays and lesbians being around children, Wurzelbacher need not worry – groups that try to paint LGBT individuals as dangerous to children often misrepresent studies on the issue to make their case. What studies actually show is that children raised in same-sex households are just as well-adjusted as those raised by a mother and father.
Reached by phone after the interview, Wurzelbacher complained, “They want to paint someone as a bigot – I don’t hate people. I am working for everybody.” But as his comments indicate, he doesn’t seem to think all of his prospective constituents deserve equal respect.