Rarely do the sideshows outlive the main campaign, but Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher from Ohio, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” who became a national celebrity during the 2008 presidential elections, is trying to defy the rule and reinvent himself as an independent politician.
Wurzelbacher became famous thanks to the question he posed to then presidential candidate, Barack Obama, during his campaign stop in Ohio. And thanks Obama’s answer: “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Wurzelbacher took part in the rallies of some Republican candidates, went on to report from the Gaza border, and is now running for Congress, trying to win Ohio’s ninth district from the Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur.
In the recent past, the Holocaust proved to be a troubling topic for some of the Republican candidates, but Wurzelbacher certainly had time to think about his message, which appears in his online campaign ad. In the video, the candidate is seen holding his gun, shooting vegetables and, in between, revealing his position that links gun control laws, the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide.
“In 1911, Turkey established gun control”, he says. “From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated. In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.”
At the end of the short video, he smiles lightly and concludes: “I love America.”
The National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David Harris demanded Wurzelbacher apologize. “Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances”, he said.
“For Ohio Republican House candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher to imply that these innocent lives were taken because of gun control laws is simply beyond the pale. Wurzelbacher, who is just the latest in a long line of Republicans who seem to think it is acceptable to use the Holocaust for political gain, must apologize and remove this offensive video immediately,” he added.