July 10th, 2008
06:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama mocks Gramm comments: No more Dr. Phils


Watch Obama mock McCain's top economic adviser and former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm Thursday (Getty Images)

(CNN) - Barack Obama mocked a top economic adviser to John McCain Thursday for suggesting Americans are whining over to the country's economic woes, telling a Virginia crowd the nation doesn't need another Dr. Phil.

"I want all of you to know that America already has one Dr. Phil," Obama said, laughing as the crowd cheered. "We don’t need another one when it comes to the economy. We need somebody to actually solve the economy. It’s not just a figment of your imagination, it's not all in your head.”

Earlier: McCain adviser criticized for comments

Obama was responding to comments from Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator and a co-chair of McCain's presidential campaign who told the Washington Times that America has "become a nation of whiners" and the country is in the midst of a "mental recession."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," he said. “You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession."

Related: Gramm says comments misinterpreted

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."

Recognizing Gramm's comments may not sit well with many working class voters, a key voting bloc this election cycle, Obama said his administration would deliver more than 'psychological' relief.

"Let's be clear, when people are struggling with the rising costs of everything from gas to groceries, when we've lost 438,000 jobs over the past six months, when the typical family has lost a $1,000 of income in real terms since George Bush took office…this economic downturn is not in your head," he said. "When people are out there losing their homes and property values are declining, that's not a figment of your imagination and it isn't whining to ask government to step in and give families some relief."

Meanwhile, McCain quickly attempted to distance himself from the controversial comments, telling reporters that the former Texas senator does not speak for him.

“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.”

Related: McCain repudiates Gramm comments

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. What if?

    Belle....If McCain Economic Plan is so great to enlist 300 economists whom signed off on it, WHY didn't this ECONOMIC PLAN McCain has helped the HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEE"S that are losing their jobs at his wife company. I bet if he would have shared this with his wife, so the many hundreds of people who lose their jobs at her company would still be employed, what better way to have PROVE what he say is TRUE. Again, he did state he knows nothing about the economy...

    The commenter who said Obama, had a good sense of human forgot to also include McCains also has one, also......McCain vow to balance the budget by the end of his first term, his first term? unless he's speaking about his close side by side relationship he has with Bush for these past four years

    July 10, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Scott L

    Yawnnnn. Did he even propose a solution in this speech? So easy to criticize everyone else.

    July 10, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    Most of the people on here are reactionary idiots who haven't even read a SUMMARY of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (it can be found on Wikipedia).

    FISA was established in 1978. It has been a governmental spying act for 3 decades. This bill that Obama is supporting actually makes it HARDER for the executive branch to abuse FISA. It requires them to have more authorization and prohibits them from using "war powers" as an excuse for ignoring surveillance law.

    Also, those telecom companies were pressured by the NSA to help with surveillance. If *you* were pressured by a government agency to help them, wouldn't *you* want immunity from lawsuits?

    So all you idiots who are screaming and crying that Obama betrayed you need to shut up for a minute and read the actual summary of the bill. It actually gives MORE protection to your privacy, not LESS.

    What the hell is going on here? This is the world turned upside down. People don't want to think, read, and make informed judgements anymore. They just want to react. Well you are going to end up screwing youself out of the best presidential candidate since JFK with an attitude like that. Be like Obama! Actually THINK before you react!

    July 10, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9