Today, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher hit the campaign trail on behalf of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for the first time, joining former Bush OMB Director Rob Portman on a GOP bus tour through Ohio. Stopping at a flag store, Wurzelbacher twice agreed with a questioner who said that “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death to Israel.”
Fox News brought Wurzelbacher on to discuss his claims, but despite host Shepard Smith’s best efforts, Wurzelbacher refused to explain why he agreed with the nonsensical claim:
SMITH: Joe, do you know Barack Obama’s positions on Israel?
WURZELBACHER: Listen, I know you wanna really get some answers on this one, I’m just not gonna help you out here, Shepard. Let people go out and find, that’s what I’ve been telling people. […] Listen, you don’t want my opinion on foreign policy. I know just enough probably to be dangerous.
SMITH: Yeah, well that’s what I was kinda wondering.
Smith also read a statement from the McCain campaign standing firmly behind Wurzelbacher’s absurd claims:
While he’s clearly his own man, so far Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies. … [T]here is good reason to question the judgement that Obama would bring to the Oval Office.
Wurzelbacher’s unfounded claims — backed by McCain — were clearly too much even for a Fox News host. Smith grew increasingly exasperated during the interview, and forcefully clarified that Obama is committed to a strong friendship with Israel. At the end, Smith called the whole thing “frightening.”
Matt Duss explored how the Bush-McCain Iraq war has had profoundly negative consequences for Israel’s security. “Iran has been the single biggest beneficiary of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq,” Duss wrote. “Rather than weakening Iranian hard-liners, as the Iraq war’s advocates insisted it would, the American invasion only strengthened them” — and hurt Israel in the process.