July 10th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: 'Phil Gramm does not speak for me'

BELLEVILLE, Michigan (CNN) –- John McCain forcefully repudiated comments by his national campaign co-chair Phil Gramm Thursday, telling reporters, “Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me.”

Gramm had said in a newspaper interview that the country is merely in a “mental recession,” and called America a “nation of whiners” when it comes to the slumping economy.

Campaigning in the economically lagging state of Michigan – which suffers from has the highest unemployment rate in the nation – McCain held a press conference and quickly disavowed Gramm’s remarks.

“I don’t agree with Sen. Gramm,” McCain said. “I believe that the person here in Michigan that just lost his job isn’t suffering a mental recession. I believe the mother here in Michigan and around America who is trying to get enough money to educate their children isn’t whining.”

“Phil Gramm does not speak for me,” he said. “I speak for me.”

Democrats immediately seized on Gramm’s comments. Barack Obama, attacked both McCain and Gramm at a campaign event in Virginia, saying: “America already has one Dr. Phil. We don’t need another one when it comes to the economy.”

McCain responded to those comments with another pop culture reference which has become one of his favorite lines on the stump.

“He is Dr. No,” McCain said of Obama, before listing a series of energy policy proposals, such as expanding nuclear energy and offshore drilling, that the Illinois senator has opposed.


Filed under: John McCain • Phil Gramm
soundoff (384 Responses)
  1. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    hey mccain, payback is a m.............isn't it?
    But tomorrow you will not remember any of this happened. Some one will have to tell you.

    This is sad

    July 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. California Gold

    Ok McCain, explain this to me. Phil Gramm is hired by you for his expertise. So how can you claim he doesn't speak for you? He is responsible for your policy you nit. And your "professional" expert has called everyone struggling to meet bills and feed themselves "whiners" who suffer from mental recession. Ok, so who does he speak for? He's your hand picked pro Johnnie Boy.

    July 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. becky

    the remarks and comments must be coming from people who love obama well i don't love him or mccain ,the best candate was snubbed by her own group and shame on them she earned her way there he did not and the democrates disappoint me and othe dems,this is a boggas campainge and i am sick everytime i turn on my tv its a disgrace to the american people,know wonder the other countries think we;re nuts ,our people that we hire to run our country are trying to backs us into corners we don't want to be in like buying cars we don;t want putting someone in as our president that we don;t want ,making us take the jobs that want us to have and giving our good jobs to other countries who do they think they are ,americans unless you stand your ground and just say no! no more you people are fired

    July 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. sophia schmitz

    In all the years I have been watching CNN, and it goes back a long time, I have never seen so much advertising for one probram, Black In America. Is CNN paying for the advertising or it it being paid by someone else. I probably will not get an answer, but I was just curious. It's just unbelievable.

    July 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. Tim

    I agree that Gramm doesn't speak for McCain. Just like Wright didn't speak for Obama. Guess who got off the hook easier.

    July 10, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. David Goldman

    GRAMM ABSOLUTELY DOES SPEAK FOR MCMORON.

    HE GAVE HIM THE TITLE & POSITION DO SO, AS

    HE DID TO THAT FELLOW BLACK, THAT SAID A TERRORIST

    ATTACK WOULD HELP MCMORO. & THAT OTHER FELLOW

    CONTINUES TO WORK FOR MCMORON.

    July 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. subprimedisaster

    This is a nation of whiners. Problem is nobody likes to hear the truth when its not appealing. But more importantly, I'm tired of hearing this is not a "mental" recession. Indeed, it is a "mental" recession because it was mental FEAR that drove away the capital markets pulling out of mortgage backed securities and causing illiquitidy in the market. It is a real recession with real problems brought on by "mental" FEAR and that is the message, FEAR. The message is not that this recession is all in our head. It's real no doubt, brought on by mental FEAR.

    July 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. TonyinKentucky

    Come on land of the free and home of the brave don't let these Republican nutcases continue to destroy our country and sell it off to fatcat foreigners.

    Maybe you don't like or trust Obama for whatever reason but when is enough enough?

    Totally pandering and selling out to the neocon wing to get the nomination.

    "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" sung to the Beach Boy's Barbra Ann.

    Daily flip/flops particularly on the stances that made his "maverick" reputation.

    A bunch of gimmicky ideas to supposedly address real problems.

    The "Smokin' out the Iranians program", which expressed a desire to kill the citizens under an evil regime, rather than seeing their government as the enemy.

    and now

    The economic issues are mental. AKA "There's nothing to see here, move along".

    WE CANNOT AFFORD TO ELECT MCCAIN NOR CAN WE ALLOW THESE INGRATES TO CONTINUE TO SCUTTLE THE NATION!!!

    If Obama does absolutely nothing, it will be a marked improvement over what we've seen the last 7-8 years or can possibly dream of under Pander B. McSame.

    I never thought it could be true but is McCain actually potentially even worse than Dubbya? I'm shocked and disgusted at the possibility.

    July 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. The T

    30mins on Jesses Jackson and 2mins on Phil Gramm...What happen too CNN fair and un-bias I don't thinh so anymore

    July 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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