ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) – For the first time since removing himself from John McCain’s campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm publicly crossed paths with the presumptive Republican nominee at an event Thursday in Aspen.
Gramm stepped down from his role as co-chairman of McCain’s campaign in July after Democrats assailed him for telling a newspaper that the country was in a “mental recession” and describing the United States as “a nation of whiners.”
Gramm and his wife had front row seats for a conversation today between McCain and Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute. The event was put on by the Aspen Institute and not the McCain campaign.
Along with Gramm, other McCain allies in attendance included top campaign adviser Charlie Black, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and Lewis Eisenberg, national finance chairman for the Republican National Committee’s Victory '08 campaign.