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'Joe the Plumber' No Longer a McCain Supporter

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: President Obama's most infamous misstep on the campaign trail was telling Ohio resident Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the plumber", that he was going to spread the wealth around. And within days "Joe the plumber" became one of the McCain campaign's deadliest weapons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, OCT. 30, 2008: "Joe the plumber" is more than an individual. He symbolizes America, free enterprise, small business and let us Americans do their best, that create wealth in American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, now Wurzelbacher himself traveled around the country with McCain on a "Joe the plumber" tour. He was outspoken on behalf of the Arizona senator.

Remember this? Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH WURZELBACHER, "JOE THE PLUMBER," OCT 30, 2008: All the politicians speak to the fire when they mess up. That's what we're out here to do, all right? Smaller government. You know, as far as everyone else here, you have lots of questions that asked, I'm going to vote for a real American, John McCain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, but recently Wurzelbacher is rumored to be harboring some resentment against McCain. He reportedly told Pennsylvania Public Radio, quote, "John McCain is no public servant. He really screwed my life up is how I look at this. McCain was trying to use me. I happen to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy."

So is it true? Joining me now to set the record straight is the man made famous in the 2008 campaign, "Joe the plumber" Joe Wurzelbacher.

• Watch Sean's interview

Joe, welcome back, sir.

WURZELBACHER: Hey, thanks, Sean. I really appreciate being here.

HANNITY: All right, let's go to these comments here. I mean, did he ruin your life? Did he mess us up? Did you say all these things?

WURZELBACHER: I tell you what, let me paint you a picture. As you know media likes to sit there and cut off what you're saying. They didn't go on with the full sentence. I actually said the rest of the sentence in a paragraph afterwards.

Let me paint you a picture here. You know it took nine years to get custody of my son. I got custody of my boy six months prior to me meeting Barack Obama. All I had in my thoughts were, man, I got custody of my son, I got a great job, I'm about to make payments to my boss to buy his company.

I mean I was living the American dream. So yes, John McCain and Barack Obama, in essence, screwed up that life. Now screwed up my life, you know, that's going overboard a little bit. They screwed up that life that I was very much looking forward to, but I definitely embrace what's come my way.

I've been able to get out there and encourage Americans to get involved and actually take responsibility for being an American because there is a responsibility being born in this country and you have to fulfill it. There's civic duty. It's not a punchline. It's a very real thing.

HANNITY: All right, but going back to this statement that you got out of Barack Obama, which I think turned out to be a pretty, I guess interesting moment, because it also was a preview of coming attractions in many ways because that revealed his philosophy.

But you stepped into that. You decided to ask him the question. You felt compelled to do it. You decided to go out on the campaign trail with John McCain. So I just want to make sure you don't think McCain ruined your life. You made these decisions freely on your own, right?

WURZELBACHER: Yes, I made these decisions freely on my own. I — you know, it's important that Americans get involved and go further. That means — there's no way I could have gone back to my life once I asked that question. Media wouldn't allow it. It just didn't happen.

In fact, it actually closed down my business for two months after that because media was following me around everywhere. The last thing a housewife wants is for me to show up with NBC on my butt and when she's sitting in her house robe, it doesn't work very well.

So that in itself closed down the business. Now like I said, it gave me the opportunity to get out there and ask Americans to get educated on the facts of what's going on. Get informed about the decisions they're making and the people that they're voting in and to elect them.

And you know, I went around with John McCain because it was the lesser of two evils, to be quite frank. You know I'm not afraid to say that. John McCain exactly doesn't represent true conservatism. He does represent the Republicans but not true conservatism.

HANNITY: Well, he certainly frustrates me. I've battled with him on campaign finance, on immigration reform, the gang of 12. We've had a number of issues. Do you now not support him? He's up for reelection for the Senate. Are you supporting him?

WURZELBACHER: Absolutely not. I mean that's what the Tea Party movement is against. You know John McCain is of Washington. He's a career politician. He's had plenty and ample opportunities to fix things and get things done and yet here we are.

I mean he's just the face of what's going on in Washington. And I'm not necessarily trying to pick on John McCain. I mean we need to get rid of most of those guys that are in there that are career politicians.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this.

WURZELBACHER: Your Barbara Boxers, your Nancy Pelosis, your — yes.

HANNITY: All right. But you supported him for president. I'm sure there are things you agree with him on. I mean he's been pretty strong and solid on the war. I do disagree with him about enhanced interrogations. But you don't disagree with that. He's been a pretty strong advocate against earmarks.

So is it just those issues that I mentioned earlier or you really think he and all the incumbents should go?

WURZELBACHER: Well, I think he and all the incumbents should go. But I mean, you know , he's — he's of Washington. He's disconnected from mainstream America. And it's — you know, our Founding Fathers didn't intend for people to get elected and then continue to stay there.

They intended them to serve a term or two, not pass laws that are going to affect them when they go back to the private sector. There's no checks and balances in the system right now because these guys make this a living. They discovered a gravy train and they've jumped on it. And you know, damn the taxpayers, is what it comes down.

HANNITY: All right, last question.

WURZELBACHER: That's the kind of stuff I see coming out.

HANNITY: Does that mean you'll run yourself?

WURZELBACHER: No. That means I'm encouraging Americans to get out there and do it.

HANNITY: All right. What about you? You are "Joe the plumber." Would you consider running?

(LAUGHTER)

WURZELBACHER: I would consider running. I've done a lot of praying about it, to be honest with you, Sean. Right now I just don't feel it laid upon my heart to do it. It seems like God wants me out around the country encouraging other people to step up, get educated, get out there and learn about the fair tax, learn about — learn about some things that can actually really fix our country and fix our economy, like the fair tax.

So I'm just — asking people to get educated.

HANNITY: All right. My buddy Neil Boortz wrote the definitive book on the fair tax. I'll get you an autographed copy.

Joe, always good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

WURZELBACHER: Ken Hoagland just wrote one, too, and it's pretty good.

HANNITY: OK. Thanks, Joe.

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