NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Joe Wurzelbacher, best known as “Joe the Plumber” after questioning then-Sen. Barack Obama on camera during a 2008 campaign stop, said he will view President Trump’s presidency as a win if he follows through on his promises in three main areas.
“Since 2008, I’ve really focused on state’s rights and Second Amendment issues, and so I go on Fox and go on a lot of different places, but I talk mostly about those things because that’s really where the power is supposed to be – with the states. The federal government has essentially three jobs and I think President Trump is going to be able to do that – one, create a good environment for business, two, secure American borders and three, make our military strong,” Wurzelbacher told PJM during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend.
“As long as he does those three things, I’ll see it as a win. All those social issues and everything else gets pushed back to the state level because there’s no reason a centralized federal government should be passing laws for the rest of the land; that’s where the states comes in,” he added.
Wurzelbacher said he is most concerned about the effect of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and regulations on small businesses.
“I think the states can run that themselves. There’s so many Erin Brockoviches just running around these days that big business isn’t going to get away with a whole lot of anything. And so I really don’t think we need EPA looking for things to keep themselves relevant, and I think that would save a lot of Americans money and a lot of American jobs out there because, I mean, really they are just looking for things to screw us with these days and a lot of it makes no sense, especially when it comes to the working man,” he said.
Wurzelbacher said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) silica rule is going to hurt small businesses.
“If you are a masonry and you are drilling through a concrete wall – that puff of smoke coming out, it’s just fine sand – well, they are making it illegal now for small businessmen to be able to do that. And they haven’t produced the kind of machinery to help keep that cyclical down. And that’s going to hurt a lot of small businesses – they are going to get fined and that money is just going to go in the coffers of OSHA, if you will,” he said. “It serves no purpose and, I mean, so there’s a lot of things out there, you know, just we can sit here all day and talk about the different things that the federal government needs to keep their nose out of.”
Actor and singer Robert Davi, who also attended CPAC, expressed frustration with the Republican Party over the lack of an Affordable Care Act replacement. Wurzelbacher told PJM he is not frustrated with the repeal and replacement process of the ACA.
“There is a lot of things to unscrew up via President Barack Obama. So far he did take away the penalty, which is a good thing, so a lot of people aren’t going to be paying a penalty for not having healthcare, which I think is great. And Trump took care of that just a month ago and within the first week or two of his presidency, so I was really happy to see that so that helps a lot of people out,” he said.
“But ultimately, no, I think it’s going to take a lot of time to bring something together that is going to work for the most people. You are still going to have a majority of people that are going to hate it. They are going to scream and moan and groan and find a safe place but for the most part, you know, I’m in agreement with President Donald Trump – you’ve got to let the private market actually handle this as far as letting insurance go across state lines, it only makes sense,” he added. “I mean, you hinder competition by keeping these people in just one place so I think there is a lot of things that are going to come about that’s ultimately going to work for the benefit of most Americans.”
Wurzelbacher was asked if he is concerned that the Republican message on healthcare reform is not getting through to the electorate, given the controversy that some GOP members of Congress faced at their recent town hall meetings.
“I’m concerned there are a lot of paid protesters out there at some of these town halls creating problems and issues that aren’t really interested in an answer or in a solution, they’re just interested in creating chaos and they are good at it. So I believe there is more of that,” he said.
“As far as some of the conservatives that have real issues with it, I think it just comes down to patience, you know, you don’t turn a Titanic on a dime and you’ve got America and you’re talking about replacing the entire healthcare system that never really should have came about in the first place, that should have always went to the private market,” he added. “And now you’re dancing around with socialized medicine; it’s very scary because it is a slope you don’t really want to get on.”
Wurzelbacher continued, “The world is not a very nice place sometimes and people have to take that into consideration. And it’s not the federal government’s job to make everything fair and make it a nice place, you know, they provide an atmosphere and then they give you opportunity. It’s yours to seize or yours to lose, end of story.”