Jun 27, 2012
One Week Later: Congressman Benishek Refuses to Address Support for Joe the Plumber
For a week now Congressman Dan Benishek has remained staunchly silent regarding his support for Samuel Wurzelbacher or “Joe The Plumber” even as Jewish organizations condemned Joe the Plumber’s inflammatory assertion that gun control caused the Holocaust. The Detroit Free Press reported that Congressman Benishek refused to answer requests for comment on the matter.
Benishek is the only member of Congress to support the controversial Ohio Tea Party candidate, donating $500 to him in March. In 2010, Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-01) welcomed Joe the Plumber to campaign with him across Northern Michigan.
“How can Congressman Benishek refuse to address the extreme, irresponsible rhetoric of a Tea Party candidate he supports?” asked Haley Morris of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It is deeply disturbing that Congressman Dan Benishek would think he can stay silent for a week on his reckless support for a fellow Tea Party candidate who has no regard for victims of the Holocaust. Michigan families deserve answers and Congressman Dan Benishek should make clear whether he stands by Joe the Plumber and believes that gun control caused the Holocaust.”
Joe the Plumber blamed gun control for the Holocaust. In a June 2012 web video, Joe the Plumber blamed gun control laws for the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide. “In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917 one-point-five million Armenians, unable to defend themselves were exterminated,” Wurzelbacher says in the clip. “In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.” [Politicker, 6/19/12]
The National Jewish Democratic Council and the Anti-Defamation League condemned Joe the Plumber’s Comments. “Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances,” said David A. Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “The video is just the latest in a rising number of offensive incidents in which the Holocaust is invoked for political gain,” said Deborah Lauter, director of civil rights at the Anti-Defamation League. [Washington Post, 6/20/12; The Telegraph, 6/21/12]
Congressman Dan Benishek donated $500 to Joe the Plumber. In March 2012, Benishek donated $500 to Joe the Plumber’s campaign, the only Member of Congress to do so. [Joe for Congress 2012 FEC Report, filed 4/15/12]
Congressman Dan Benishek campaigned with Joe the Plumber. During the 2010 election cycle, Joe the Plumber campaigned with Benishek throughout Michigan’s 1st District. [TV6, 7/31/10]