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'Joe the Plumber' says he's qualified for Congress because he's a 'citizen'

Wurzelbacher, who gained fame in the 2008 presidential race when he publicly confronted then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on taxes, scoffed when a CNN host asked him to explain to viewers why his life experiences have prepared him to become a legislator.

"What qualifies me? One, I'm an American citizen. Two, I'm very much involved in the process of what's going on," Wurzelbacher said on CNN's "Early Start." "I guess my question would be, what qualifies the current politicians who are killing our country – Republicans and Democrats alike. I'm sorry, it just seems like a silly question."

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CNN's host pushed back saying that voters would want to know his "breadth of experience in order to lead."

"My breadth of experience is I've worked all my life. See these hands right here, there's callouses on them. I've worked for the last 25 years having to make results every day to feed my family, pay my bills," he said.

Wurzelbacher slammed longtime politicians, saying that "they live off the backs of broke tax payers" and "lose touch with reality."

He argued that members of Congress should come from the community to serve constituents and return to that community, rather than spend a professional career in politics.

The congressional hopeful told CNN that in addition to his professional work of building houses and plumbing, he has spent the past four years speaking at events around country to encourage citizens to make informed decisions and "exercise their civic responsibility."

Wurzelbacher was also pressed on whether he continues to stand by past comments he's made regarding gay people, including a statement that "queer means strange and unusual."

He responded to line of questioning by saying "so this is TMZ, this isn't CNN" and accused the anchor of a "gotcha moment."

When asked further to respond directly to the remarks, he said, "Listen, in my dictionary, in everyone's dictionary from the 1970s the word queer did mean strange and unusual, it was no slur to it. Do you challenge that?"

After going back and forth with the CNN host, Wurzelbacher pivoted his focus to job creation.

"I'm going to work towards all Americans — homosexual, straight. They want jobs. That's what it comes down to. I'm allowed to have my opinions as an American but it seems the left has become very intolerant when you have an opinion other than what they state."

Wurzelbacher won the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 9th district on Tuesday and will face off against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) this fall. He won the primary by 51 percent to 49 over Steven Kraus.

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