July 10th, 2008
10:00 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain adviser: Nation suffering from a 'mental recession'

Gramm is a top economic adviser to McCain.
Gramm is a top economic adviser to McCain.

(CNN) - Democrats blasted former Senator Phil Gramm, a top McCain economic adviser and campaign co-chairman, Thursday for saying Americans who have named the economy as a top concern this campaign cycle were “a nation of whiners.”

“Senator McCain said the economic problems facing Americans are psychological - now his top economic adviser and BFF, Phil Gramm said Americans facing tough economic are ‘whiners,’” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse in a statement sent to reporters.

McCain's campaign moved to distance itself from Gramm's comments. “Phil Gramm’s comments are not representative of John McCain’s views. John McCain travels the country every day talking to Americans who are hurting, feeling pain at the pump and worrying about how they’ll pay their mortgage," said a McCain official. "That’s why he has a realistic plan to deliver immediate relief at the gas pump, grow our economy and put Americans back to work.”

Gramm’s comments came in a Washington Times interview published Thursday. "We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," said the former Texas senator.

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession."

Gramm also said the media was responsible for fostering unnecessary anxiety over the state of the economy. "Misery sells newspapers,” he said. “Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

Democrats have been looking to portray John McCain as out-of-touch on the economy, as he and Democrat Barack Obama battle over working-class voters, who have named the economy as their biggest worry this year.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. Natasha Jackson

    Dig dat! I think Whitey is right. I still git my nails done, feed by kids no prob. Luv dat Obama, but McCains right fo shnizzle.

    July 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Loretta from California

    uh....I think Mr Graham should be reminded that it is the PEOPLES TAX dollars that he is earning......and that he is a SERVANT of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE for the PEOPLE.

    DID I NOT SAY IT?.................WAS I NOT RIGHT?

    GOP=ELITIST ELITIST ELITIST ELITIST ELITIST.............................

    July 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    No one is saying the economy is great right now. Yet, it is no where near as disasterous as it has been in many previous decades. It's a mild...MILD...recession. The media is over-hyping it to the tenth degree because they can't fill their pages with bad news from Iraq anymore. We all know the can't print good news.

    If congress would allow us to to increase domestic energy supply half of our problem would be solved. The mortgage crisis will solve itself overtime. Capitalism is self correcting and functions in waves...highs and lows, but don't expect most americans or congress to know this.

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Jacob

    The bigger question- why is McCain's economic advisor someone who worked with Enron?

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. not important

    LOL Phil Gramm. Is this the same Phil Gramm who was working for UBS?

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The newspapers exagerate to sell more papers? Say it ain't so.

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. 'whiner'

    they sure have nice suits!boy,what i wouldn't give for a nice suit like that...i'd pawn it,and buy some more rice,for my children,so we can eat this month.i'm sorry,am i 'whining',again?it's just frustrating that i was replaced at my work,by an empty spot.apparently my company moved without notice ,to china.then my house was foreclosed on a couple months ago,because i couldn't afford the higher interest rates,with NO JOB!my stimulus check was spent,moving my family to a weekly rental,and now i'm flipping burgers at two different fast food joints,just to get my babies some milk and rice.i'm sorry for whining,now,i'll just go away.....

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Yasriel

    They created this problems and now call us whinners for complaining...Can we be dumb again to put these fools back into the White house?

    July 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. VOTER WITH A BRAIN

    Well,that's comforting. I guess Mcbush wasn't lying (for once) when he admitted back in the primaries that the economy wasn't one of his strong points. That's understandable when you consider the fact that his campaign is now run by bush's 'hand-me-downs', including the lovely chap that suggested another "terrorist attack" would help usher Mcshame into the White House.
    GROW A BRAIN-DON'T VOTE MCCAIN
    Obama '08

    July 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Kristin

    Explain the mental recession to people whose homes are foreclosed on. That is absurd. Only the rich republicans would call this a mental recession. They should take a look at this not just from their point of view but from the view of others in this country. We all aren’t so fortunate to not be bothered by the state of our economy.

    July 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Hell......ooooooooooooooooooooo

    SET UP? SET UP? SET UP? SET UP?

    This is a new McCain SET UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is really telling it as it is!!!!!!!! John McCain is WELL KNOWN to PLANT his SUPPORTERS in his TOWN HALL ADDRESSES. No folks you CANNOT CALL IT A RALLY with only 100 to 300 present most of whom ARE McCain SUPPORTERS.

    Now John McCain has taken this one step further, he is now getting his STRATEGISTS to FLOAT THE QUESTIONS and YIPPPPPPPPY
    he now CAN ADDRESS that problem.

    Please folks, this is not the guy you want in YOUR WHITEHOUSE!
    Of course I have been forgetting those who reeeeeeeeelly loooove WARS! These folks reeeeeeeeeeeeelly want the WAR LOVER in the White House, so for every AMERICAN who CANNOT WAIT FOR WORLD WAR 111 Pleeeeeeeeeeease vote for John McCain!

    July 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Martha in Ohio

    So the little people are a nation of "whiners"....is that comment a modern day "Let them eat cake" ?

    July 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Matt: honestly

    Wow, so $4.50 gas is all in my head? I guess I will just subtract what it is actually worth and pay that.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Lauren

    So are all the layoffs psychotic delusions?

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Ray

    Of course someone from Boca Raton would agree with graham. This goes to show you how OUT OF TOUCH mcSAME is! Mental recession my butt!

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. 'whiner'

    i'll quit whining if one of you guys will let me have your suit.i could feed my family for a month,with one of those.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Candy West Virginia

    Elitist much? This shows us exactly what mccain thinks of americans struggling.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Elle

    This is outrageous. Maybe the recession is only psychological to those with millions of dollars at their fingertips, but to average Americans who can't afford gas or food for their families, the problems are very real. Had Obama said this, the media would be in a frenzy – however anything controversial that McCain says barely gets a mention. The public needs to realise that McCain and his party will NOT fix the economic problems this country is facing, because they simply don't care about us.

    July 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. The Truth

    Come on people, are we really suprised one of McCain's top advisors said this?
    This is going to be a historic election, if we blow it and elect Old Man Mac then this country deserves whatever happens to it. No reason to complain about unemployment rates, high food and gas prices, the war in Iraq. No complaints whatsoever.

    Intelligent and Educated Voters for Barack!
    Connecticut for Barack!

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Generation X

    @ Jan FL, lend me some money since you are wealthy like McCain. LOL

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Elle

    This is outrageous. Maybe the recession is only psychological to those with millions of dollars at their fingertips, but to average Americans who can't afford gas or food for their families, the problems are very real. Had Obama said this, the media would be in a frenzy – however anything controversial that McCain says barely gets a mention. The public needs to realise that McCain and his party will NOT fix the economic problems this country is facing, because they simply don't care about us!

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Robert in Seattle

    Insulting voters intelligence is a great way to get votes! Keep it up!

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. proud army and navy mom

    so let me get this straight, mcbush's top economic aide says that we are whining because of gas, food prices have skyrocketed, but mcbush says Gramm statements are not representative of his views?!? HUH?

    Is Phil(benefactor of the current housing crisis) mccain's representative? how could he not be speaking for mccain? that's exactly what he's paid to do! and that's exactly what mccain believes too.

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Charlie, CT

    Man, are these people out of touch. This is scarey. This is from one of the "whinners" who's fuel and gas bills are climbing by the day.......... with no end in site. Am sure the Texas oil people aren't whinners.

    July 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Obamacan

    WOW....how came someone is such dificult times call us whiners? This is not even the shadow of the Republican party I supported and voted for over 20 years.

    If these are the people we want running our country, I have no idea what Americans are thinking.

    I'm so glad I switched party.

    OBAMA 08.

    July 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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