Menu

Joe the Plumber's Privacy Fight

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: some justice in the privacy violation against Joe the plumber. The governor of Ohio has suspended Helen Jones-Kelley for one month without pay for authorizing her state agency to snoop on Joe's personal files. Joe is now considering legal action against the state.

But privacy crusaders at the ACLU have not yet asked Joe if they could help. "Factor" producer Jesse Watters spoke to the head of the ACLU.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU: They have to protect Joe the plumber's privacy rates just the same way that people hacked into Sarah Palin's private e-mail accounts. Totally wrong. Civil liberties apply to everybody. Free speech rights even for people like O'Reilly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Joe Wurzelbacher joins us now from Dallas. His book, "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream," will be released next month. That's quick.

Hey, Joe. How are you?

Click here to watch the interview.

JOE WURZELBACHER, PLUMBER: I'm doing really great, Laura. How about yourself today?

INGRAHAM: I'm good. Now, Joe, look, the number of people who looked into your files seems to be growing. Everyday we read something, it seems, about how they were snooping on you. Were you surprised that this became something of a sport in your home state?

WURZELBACHER: I was surprised at how many times it happened. I wasn't quite surprised that it happened, but just as many times, and just the simple fact that it actually happened by my own state government. That kind of shocked me.

INGRAHAM: Now, do you have legal representation that's working with you on a possible legal action against the state, or the individual?

WURZELBACHER: I am dealing with one group of lawyers right now, but there's actually quite an outpour. There's a lot of them that have reached out to me that want in on this, so to say, you know, to fight this, and you know, to get a good resolution for the American people.

INGRAHAM: Now Joe, I had you on my radio show a few weeks back, and I said to you I know the ACLU is going to make good on its pledge to stand for all Americans' free speech rights and civil rights and that they were going to stand with you. So has your phone been ringing off the hook?

WURZELBACHER: No. No, I haven't gotten a call from the ACLU. I haven't gotten a call from Governor Strickland. I haven't gotten a call from Helen Jones-Kelley. No one. They pretty much just want to let this go away, but I don't intend to let that happen.

INGRAHAM: And Joe, you were also talking about the possibility of maybe running for Congress down the line. Have you thought any more about that? You've got a lot of people supporting you out there.

WURZELBACHER: No. There are a tremendous amount of people, and they talk to me and ask me about that on a regular basis. But if I do, that will be eight to ten years down the road.

Honestly, I'm hoping I have more — hopefully, the American people will have a bigger voice through my Web site, as opposed to one person in Congress. It almost seems like it's required to compromise your principles once you hit the Hill.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think you should consider maybe applying for a federal bailout, Joe, because pretty much everyone's applying now. And I think, you know, plumbers who have had their records snooped into could perhaps get in line behind Citigroup and the home builders and everyone else who's going to be there. I'm serious. I mean, this is getting crazy out here.

WURZELBACHER: It's absolutely nuts. I mean, you know, I have a lot of friends in my neighborhood that work for, you know, the Big Three, and they don't even want them — they want to keep their jobs. I don't want to say that wrongly. But at the same time they don't understand how, you know, they complain about how they showed up in their own, you know, jets. And it's like, you know, they're going out there with their hand up, but they're going to show up in their own private jets? I mean, they're just — they're not really going out for the worker. They're pretty disgruntled as well.

INGRAHAM: And Joe, what's the new celebrity like?

WURZELBACHER: I — you know, just still not used to it. I mean, honestly, everything hit me about six days ago over the last four weeks, because it's been such a whirlwind of activity.

INGRAHAM: Yes, wild.

WURZELBACHER: Emotions running the gamut.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

WURZELBACHER: So it's been interesting.

INGRAHAM: All right, Joe…

WURZELBACHER: Really haven't gotten to enjoy it too much yet.

INGRAHAM: All right. Well, you have a happy Thanksgiving, Joe. Thanks a lot.

Content and Programming Copyright 2008 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 ASC LLC (www.ascllc.net), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and ASC LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.