"Joe the Plumber" to remain McCain campaign's battering ram

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Washington, Oct 24 : Just 12 days before the US presidential election, Republican White House nominee John McCain continues to keep "Joe the Plumber," as well as his concerns about how rival Barack Obama's tax policies would affect him, at the center of the campaign.

The economy is hands-down the top issue for voters, and the candidates are escalating their battle over whose tax plans would do the most for cash-strapped Americans.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio plumber who caused waves on the campaign trail after Obama told him he wants to "spread the wealth around," is more than a talking point.

McCain is making "Joe the Plumber" his battering ram, FOX News reported.

The Republican nominee even named Thursday's trip through the swing state of Florida after the plumber. He was making six stops in 12 hours under the banner of the "Joe the Plumber Keep Your Wealth Tour."

McCain hammers the argument that Joe's exchange with Obama was a candid snapshot of his opponent's economic philosophy.

"Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans," McCain said on Thursday morning in Ormond Beach, Fla.

"Senator Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of the pie than he is in growing the pie. You have the same dream that Joe the Plumber has. ... Obama wants to spread the wealth around ... That means fewer jobs."

The Arizona senator also accused his Democratic rival of saying "anything to get elected," specifically referencing his economic policies.

He said Obama had added a work requirement to his proposal to grant a 10 percent universal mortgage credit.

A top Obama aide said the campaign made the change two weeks ago to avoid charges that the proposal provided welfare to non-working Americans.

"Thirteen days to go, and he changed his tax plan because the American people had learned the truth about it and they didn't like it," McCain told the Ormond Beach crowd. "It's another example that he'll say anything to get elected."

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