(WASHINGTON) — Ohio Republican congressional candidate Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher told a crowd of about 125 supporters in Arizona that the government should “put a damn fence on the border going with Mexico and start shooting.”
“I’m running for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say,” Wurzelbacher said, as the Prescott eNews first reported. “You know what, that’s how I feel. I’m not going to hide it because I’m running for an office. I want my borders protected and I’m very, very adamant about that.”
Wurzelbacher’s remarks came during a Friday fundraising dinner for Arizona State Sen. Lori Klein. Last year Klein, an adamant gun rights activist, was criticized by gun control advocates after she pointed her raspberry-pink handgun at a reporter’s chest during an interview to show him the laser sighting.
“It’s just so cute,” she said of her .380 Ruger handgun, before assuring the Arizona Republic reporter that while the gun had no safety, she didn’t have her finger “on the trigger.”
Wurzelbacher, also a firm supporter of the Second Amendment, went on to tell Arizonans on Friday that Republicans are reluctant to make jokes because they’re “afraid it’s going to end up on the five o’clock news.”
“I’m not worried about being politically correct,” the U.S. House candidate said. “That’s one thing that’s really scared us and really hurt us as a country is everyone is afraid to open their mouths, to say a little something funny.”
It is this penchant to speak up and speak out that first propelled the northern Ohio plumber to national notoriety. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Wurzelbacher questioned then-candidate Barack Obama about whether his tax plan would increase taxes on small businesses. Obama’s rival John McCain seized on the moment and often cited “Joe the Plumber” as a small business owner who would be hurt by Obama’s policies.
During his own congressional campaign, Wurzelbacher has made a stir with his often unfiltered comments. In June, the House candidate released a campaign ad linking the Holocaust to a lack of gun control.
“In 1939 Germany established gun control; from 1939 to 1945, 6 million Jews, 7 million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” he says in the video while pulverizing fruit with blasts from his shotgun.
Wurzelbacher insisted there was “nothing offensive” about the ad because he was just stating historical facts.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ruth Brown, Idaho Press-Tribune
AJ Willingham, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN