July 18th, 2008
07:45 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain supporter Gramm steps down after 'whiners' comment

Former Sen. Phil Gramm looks on as Sen. McCain speaks at a campaign event in this file photo.

Former Sen. Phil Gramm looks on as Sen. McCain speaks at a campaign event in this file photo.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm said Friday he is stepping down as co-chairman of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign after comments in which he called Americans "a nation of whiners."

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Filed under: John McCain • Phil Gramm
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Thomas, Illinois

    I forgot to add this...This is off topic, but has anyone heard from Cheney? He's been pretty silent. Wonder what hes up to? Is he perhaps planning that October surprise thing, you know kinda like the 9/11 thing? Just thought I'd ask...

    July 18, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Phil Gramm was right to stepdown, There is only room enough for one whiner in McBushs campaign. McCain isn't happy unless he is whining, complaining or attacking Obama about something. He should be concentrating on what he thinks he has done, and will do for the country. Play up your accomplishments, John. There are so few of them.

    July 18, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Proud Papua New Guinean Obama Biggest Fan

    Shows how naive this whole thing turns out! Comeone USA choose the right president. Time for Change. I'm tired of reading and hearing what's coming out from McCains mouth and his so called delegates!

    July 18, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. J

    I honestly thought John McCain was gonna be the dude.
    GOP Games are just too obvious. "CLEARLY FALSE"
    Obama has been too genuiune. Voting McCain would be a lie.

    OBAMA 08

    Sorry for being blind!

    July 18, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. bern

    California Independent July 18th, 2008 7:57 pm ET

    It is disappointing to hear a surrogate make such negative, ignorant stereotypes of the American people. I'm glad he's gone. At least candidate McCain didn't do like Obama himself did and call the American people bitter, clingy and having antipathy towards those that don't look like them (racist.) At least candidate McCain's wife didn't do like Obama's wife and call the American people sloths, cynics and mean.


    Well I am bitter. In fact, nearly every normal person I know is bitter. Bitter that Bush / Cheney / McCain do the work for big oil, insurance companies and giant corporations. I am bitter that billions of dollars are being wasted everyday in a senseless war of occupation initiated by an idiot president. Bitter that thousands of young people have been killed or severely injured because of this insane war. Bitter because people like you would rather lie about Barack and Michelle than exercise your mind just a little to learn the truth. Bitter that in 2008 we still have more than a few racist dumb dumbs who would rather vote for a senile, psychotic warmonger than for an intelligent, thinking man simply because of the color of his skin. Yep. Darn right I'm bitter.

    But I won't be on November 5, 2008.

    July 18, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. Venus


    That Straight Talk Bus/Plane keeps losing parts!!!

    Come on Gramm... man up! No whining!

    July 18, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Matthew

    Uh....we ARE a nation of whiners. Look at the way we live. We're in a state of national panic because houses are expensive and gas is expensive. Now look at some of the other parts of the world. You think we're going to get any respect from any other country on the planet, when a lot of other countries don't even have food on a daily basis? We sit and moan about Bush, about how Obama said something in a speech and how we're not voting for him anymore, about how McCain is a bad guy because of this and that...LOOK AT ZIMBABWE. LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENING OVER THERE. LOOK AT DARFUR.

    "Ohh but I can't drive my Honda Civic as much as I like to. I can only drive my car when I need to go places! Oh life is so much harder now!"

    I was born and raised in America, and I can say firsthand that we are nothing but spoiled brats. We have no concern with any other country but our own, and then we expect other countries to be sympathetic to us. The oil companies, in large part, are foreign powers who despise us, absolutely positively. And while we tend to destroy anyone who does something we dislike as a nation (like Iraq), our country shuts down if you raise prices by $2.00.

    July 18, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  8. Indiana Bob

    Time for direct debates between the candidates instead of these surrogates. Obama can use the line "This is the best country in the world. Vote for me so I can change that."

    PUMA – Vote McCain

    July 18, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    He should take McCain with him...

    July 18, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Change NOW

    Is there any group of whiners that these s c u m b a g s hasn't intentionally insulted??? these cold war over the hill a holes don't even know when they have insulted people from hispanics to muslims to all of us whiners who just need to buck up!!!!!

    if somebody is ignorant enough to still vote for these neocon j e r k s, you get what you deserve......

    I realize we have fallen a long way in our collective intelligence quotient, but really....are these total slanders just the daily vernacular of this d o u c h e b a g??? is this still the price for freedom????? who is left to defend that he hasn't already insulted????? when mcbush attacks iran, who will be left to serve this i d i o t????

    even the troops and 81% of americans know we are going the wrong direction and fighting the wrong war....duh, people....you think?????

    July 18, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. McCain = War

    McCain is just tightening the strings on his bag of tricks he's saving for January 08.

    July 18, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. another one bites the dust

    mccain for president of panama!

    July 18, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Kurt Smith

    It pains me as a former Republican to witness the pitifull fall of Phil Gramm but he is a good representation of the Republican Party. He is a man without morals or scruples who would sell his soul for a dollar. His lot of Republican criminals have cast a great stain on the soul of my (boomer) generation.

    July 18, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. Crush Rush

    I see McCain stepping out of the race soon for unknown reasons.Just who would take his place is the question?

    July 18, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Kona

    Lisa in VA,

    I couldn't agree with you more!

    July 18, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. Hate to break it to you

    Fine by me!

    July 18, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  17. Woman for GOP VP

    The rabid dogs supporting Obama are getting worse. A story comes on the ticker and they start howling in unison: McSame, McBush, age jokes, now the vomit statements. I can only ask:


    You are a bunch of morons. Curiously, you resemble the cast of fools who show up day in and day out to support Oprah Winfrey's show. I am a socialist fan of the Democrats, but cannot stand Obama. For the sake of these frothing dogs who blog in his support, I hope he gets trounced in November and you all go to hell!

    July 18, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. The mentality remains

    Phil Gramm has resigned but his ideas and ways of looking at things still remain. It is very easy for rich people to not understand the trails of the poor and when they stick to ridiculous right wing economic theories that tout naked capitalism, they become completely tone deaf.

    There are hundreds, no thousands of other republicans who think like him who are behind McCain. Gramm merely gave voice to what is in these people's hearts. Their only hope now is to scare the American people and play upon their less noble qualities with code phrases like "who do you trust?" and paltitudes like "country first".

    Let's get read for it, it will only get worse from now on.

    July 18, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. Jan Illinois

    Mr. Gramm, I dont understand why you'd step down for simply telling the truth, we are whiners we complain about almost anything, not realizing just how lucky we are and lucky that we are from a country where you can whin about what you dont like. You left out the fact that some people are just plain lazy too and expect someone else to Give it to them and would not dream of helping someone else out. Sir, you should have stayed and not backed off this statement.

    July 18, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Q

    Sammy, regarding your post...."Maybe the next will say something stupid like "the only good Iranian is a dead Iranian" or "Saddam was merely misunderstood".

    Sorry to say, McBush has already said that the increased US export of cigarettes to Iran must be our way of killing them. But, he has yet to 'step down'....there goes your theory.

    Obama 08

    July 18, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  21. Don Colony14Author, Mt Prospect, IL

    What a shame that political correctness has forced a man to quit for having told the truth. Gramm is right, we have become a nation of whiners. Boo, hoo, you paid $400,000 for a house that was worth only $350,000 because you thought you'd be able to sell it to some other sucker a year later for $400,000. Too bad you happened to be the last sucker on the chain when it broke, but shut up and don't ask the rest of us to bail you out. Boo, hoo, you were too stupid to leave New Orleans when you were told a cartegory 5 hurricane was on the way and then you trashed the trailer that was loaned to you by the taxpayers. Boo, hoo, you're 22 years old and have five kids from five different fathers and can't afford groceries to feed them but you have an iPod and a tattoo. Boo, hoo, you didn't win American Idol even though you have a terrible voice and your friends and family were stupid enough to humor you and tell you that you actually had talent. Boo, hoo, you weigh 450 pounds and when your doctor told you that you need to lose weight if you want to live a few more years, instead of taking his advice you sued him for "damaging your self-esteem." Boo, hoo, you just figured out it's stupid for you to be spending $600 per month on a new hybrid car payment in order to save $150 per month on gas.

    Obama, of course, needs those whiners to get elected. "We want free stuff!" they demand, and he promises to provide it.

    All of you can eagerly vote for Saint Obama (not that McCain, a.k.a. "democrat-lite," is much of an alternative), but in a year or two America will consider wonder-boy the worst President in U.S. history. Why? Because you can't make things better by raising taxes, preventing oil exploration, standing in the way of needed power plants, buying into Al Gore's CO2 scare-mongering-for-socialism, and giving people free benefits which allow them to stay home and suck the rest of the nation dry.

    July 18, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. southern trucker

    Mcdumberer is responding late. Same old mcstupid taking action for political gains, hey johny boy it's too mclate

    July 18, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. leslie

    McCain can run all the negative ads he wants ...however his policies are horrible. The Phil Gramm thing was just one example of a whole long list.

    July 18, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. Weepy

    Gramm was absolutely right in his statement-this has become a nation of WHINERS. "Oh, my goodness, the government won't do enough for ME, ME, ME. I'm on the dole now, and me and my family always want to be on the dole." Yes, there really are a bunch of WHINERS. And when Obama gets to the White House-IF HE GETS TO THE WHITE HOUSE, we will hear more of the WHINING! That's what his friends do. "GOD D___ AMERICA", THEY SAY. What a bunch of WHINERS!!!

    July 18, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Tony, Miami

    McEnd flying in his wife airplane to New Mexico ask the pilot :"tell me if I start throwing by the window some $100.00 bills until I spend 10 millions of my wife's money, how many people would I make happy? the pilot answer "maybe 1.. 2 millions persons.
    What should I do to have a lot more people happy, the pilot answered :"you know if you want you can make 200 millions people happy" Really? what should I do to make these 200 people happy? the pilot answer "Just open the door and jump"

    July 18, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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