Update - adding Wurzelbacher spokesman statement
Ohio Congressional candidate Joe Wurzelbacher advocated to "start shooting" as part of his response to illegal immigration at a political event over the weekend in Prescott, Ariz.
Wurzelbacher, of suburban Toledo, the Republican candidate known as "Joe the Plumber, is running against U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) in the 9th Congressional District. He spoke at a fundraiser for Arizona Senator Lori Klein Friday night. Klein is running for a statehouse seat.
According to a Prescott news outlet, Klein brought in Wurzelbacher and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is known as a fierce opponent of illegal immigration.
"For years I've said, 'Put a damn fence on that border going to Mexico and start shooting...' that's how I feel. I'm not going to hide it just because I'm running for office. I want the borders protected, and I'm very adamant about that," Wurzelbacher said.
The comment was one of several remarks made by Wurzelbacher and recorded and posted as a video on the Internet by PrescotteNews.com.
Wurzelbacher made the remark in the course of a 14-minute, off-the-cuff speech that touched on the importance of conservatives to elect representatives who share their views at the local level. He said too many conservatives are afraid to speak their minds.
Miss Kaptur issued a statement calling on Wurzelbacher to retract his statement which, she said, "advocating shooting immigrants from Mexico."
"Joe, the Plumber's comments have no place in a civil society," she said, according to a statement emailed to The Blade. "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."
Wurzelbacher said he lived in both Tucson and Mesa, Ariz.
In her own comments, Klein said she met Wurzelbacher when he was campaigning in favor of the Fair Tax several years ago.
Wurzelbacher is busy campaigning way outside his district. RealClearPolitics.com reported that Wurzelbacher campaigned today (Monday) in Wisconsin for former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson who is running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Wurzelbacher Wurzelbacher has not responded to a phone call from The Blade seeking additional comment.
Wurzelbacher spokesman Phil Christofanelli issued this statement:
"Joe understands why people want to come to the United States. It's the greatest country on Earth. He believes that in order for us to remain the greatest country on Earth, we need to enforce our laws, including those pertaining to immigration.
"As a Congressman, Joe would empower the federal government to do whatever it takes to secure our borders. He believes that border security agents, like every law enforcement officer, should be permitted to use force when necessary in order to protect themselves and to prevent American laws from being violated.
"We hope that Rep. Kaptur will join Joe in calling for a secure border. Given that her campaign is funded almost entirely by labor unions, you would think that she would care more about preserving American jobs."