Today on Fox News Sunday, McCain said that “Joe the Plumber” was just “the average citizen” asking Obama a question, and he had the right to an answer. (Apparently Obama’s six-minute exchange with Joe was not extensive enough for McCain.) Continuing to hitch his campaign to Joe, McCain claimed the Obama campaign was “savaging” the Ohio citizen. Watch it:
Of course, when an average citizen asked Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) a question about Pakistan just weeks ago, McCain decried it as someone engaging in “gotcha journalism,” and said the question was merely a “gotcha soundbite.”
The idea that Obama has been “savaging” Joe is ludicrous. It was McCain who brought up Joe the Plumber — 21 times — in the final presidential debate. In fact, Joe himself said after the debate, “To be honest with you, I’m sure Obama didn’t want my name mentioned. … I wish they had talked about, you know, more important issues.”
What’s more, McCain continues to insist that Joe would face a tax hike under Obama’s plan. The truth is that Joe the Plumber — as he himself finally admitted — would see his taxes cut. As the New York Times noted, “neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect.”
McCain cited Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) as someone who had “savaged” Joe. Biden merely pointed out that he didn’t know many plumbers who made $250,000 per year — a fair statement, considering that fewer than two percent of Americans make $250,000 or more.
Apparently to McCain, when a presidential candidate engages a voter in a 6-minute dialogue and when the media factchecks a claim about tax policy, that constitutes “savaging” a voter.
On ABC’s “This Week” today, Newt Gingrich repeated the claim that Joe had been “savaged by the elite media.”