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Joe the Plumber is back.
The hapless handyman from 2008 who became famous overnight for supposedly being the embodiment of the working class is now a Congressional candidate in Ohio, where, among other things, he has been blaming the Holocaust on German gun control.
Last Friday he was speaking at a fundraiser in Arizona held by Republican state senator Lori Klein (and attended by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio), when he dropped this on the audience, apparently sensing a friendly crowd:
“You know, for years, I’ve said, you know, ‘Put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting.’ I’m running for Congress, and that should be a bad thing to say. 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. I’m very, very adamant about that.”
Are you serious, Joe the Plumber? You made a casual comment about shooting people days after a mass shooting incident (and days before another mass shooting incident), relative to a border that people—real human beings, including children—cross mainly so they can find a better life for themselves, when similar Minuteman-like mentalities have already led to the murder of a nine-year-old girl? And you think this is an appropriate attitude for a U.S. Congressman to have?
Not to mention the fact that unauthorized migration across the border has dramatically decreased, that the border is safer than ever, that the size of the Border Patrol has roughly doubled since 2004, and that border cities on average are statistically safer than other cities in their states. And oh, by the way, isn’t the Congressional district you’re running for in northern Ohio? Bordering Canada? So what are you doing in Arizona, talking casually about shooting would-be immigrants in Mexico?
Luckily, Joe the Plumber’s bid for Congress is unlikely to get very far. His Democratic opponent, Marcy Kaptur—a Congresswoman who has recently come around on immigration and cosponsored the DREAM Act—is heavily favored to win. She condemned Joe the Plumber’s comments in a statement:
Joe the Plumber’s comments have no place in a civil society. A Member of Congress is sworn to uphold the Constitution, not to take the law into his own hands. He should take back his words and apologize to everyone who respects life, the Constitution and the rule of law.