Phil Gramm : McCain Supporters 'Not Economically Illiterate' and Not Whiners

Bloomberg News reports that at a Financial Services Roundtable event in Minneapolis today, former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, revisited the comments that got him into trouble in July. "If you're sitting here today, you're not economically illiterate and you're not a whiner, so I'm not worried about who you're going to vote for,'' Gramm said.  Gramm resigned as a senior adviser to McCain after giving an interview to the Washington Times in which he said "You've heard of mental depression; this is 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...We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today...Misery sells newspapers. Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."The Obama campaign was quick to pounce -- not surprisingly since Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, mentions Gramm's comments in every speech. "Today, the man who wrote John McCain's economic plan further insulted struggling Americans by suggesting that if they are not attending the Republican Convention, they are not only whiners, but economically illiterate," said Obama's cub spokesman Tommy Vietor. "From the campaign whose candidate has said that we've made 'great progress' economically under George Bush and believes that the fundamentals of our economy are 'strong', that's pretty rich." Interestingly, Gramm used the first-person plural when describing the campaign's vetting of Gov. Sarah Palin."We went through a process of vetting all possible candidates,'' he said. Asked his role in the campaign, he said, "I'm a supporter.''-- jpt

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