Joe, Dave Keep McCain Camp Visible
SCOTT HORSLEY: And I am Scott Horsley with John McCain, who spent Thursday plumbing for votes in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Joe the Plumber was McCain's invisible sidekick. McCain again told the story of Ohio plumber, Joe Wurzelbacher who'd questioned Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on families and small businesses making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.
Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona, Presidential Candidate): And you know what Senator Obama had to say to Joe? He wanted to spread his wealth around.
HORSLEY: McCain translates that as the government taking more of Joe's hard-earned dollar in order to give the money to somebody else.
Senator MCCAIN: America didn't become the greatest nation on earth by spreading the wealth. We became the greatest nation on earth by creating new wealth.
HORSLEY: McCain is hoping Joe the Plumber will be a potent symbol to help personalize his anti-tax platform and make up ground he's lost to Obama in recent weeks. McCain launched a new web video featuring Wurzelbacher yesterday. Meanwhile, news broke that the plumber is delinquent on his Ohio state income taxes and has a tax lean of nearly $1,200 against his house.
(Soundbite of TV Show "The Late Show with David Letterman")
Unidentified Man: From New York, the greatest city in the world. It's the Late Show with David Letterman.
HORSLEY: From Pennsylvania, McCain dashed back to New York City aboard a helicopter to avoid missing a scheduled appearance on the David Letterman Show. Letterman's been teasing McCain non-stop for the last three weeks. Ever since the candidate abruptly canceled on the talk show host when he temporarily suspended his campaign. The jokes continued last night even after McCain arrived on stage.
Mr. DAVID LETTERMAN (Host, "The Late Show with David Letterman"): Can you stay?
(Soundbite of laughter)
Senator MCCAIN: Yes, sir. Depends on how bad it gets.
HORSLEY: Letterman quizzed McCain about the economy, Sarah Palin and another famous plumber, G. Gordon Liddy. The Watergate break-in figure once hosted a fundraiser for McCain, who told Letterman, Liddy has paid his debt to society. As for Wurzelbacher, McCain said during the Late Show taping, Joe, if you're watching, I am sorry about all the unexpected attention. Scott Horsley, NPR News, New York.
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