So we've all seen that today, John McCain's top financial advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, said:
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.
"We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today," he said. "We have benefited greatly" from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years. ...
"Misery sells newspapers," Mr. Gramm said. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."
It was a big, slow, juicy watermelon-sized fastball, and Obama smashed it out of the park.
We don't need another Dr. Phil! We need solutions! It's not just a figment of your imagination. It's not all in your head. When people are struggling to buy gas and groceries....When people are losing their homes...It's not a figment of your imagination. And it's not too much to ask for the government to step in and give you some relief. It's time to have a president who doesn't deny our problems or pretend they don't exist. It's time we had a president who takes responsibility.
Good one on the "Dr. Phil" line.
So the McCain camp reacted the way it always does -- a bit addled and confused. First, they agreed with Gramm.
[A]n initial statement published by Politico and then, seemingly, removed from its site, a McCain campaign aide actually stood by Gramm's remarks, saying the interview as a whole was merely meant as a preview of the Senator's economic agenda.
"Mr. Gramm was simply saying that we are laying out the economic plan this week," the piece quoted a "McCain official" as saying. "The plan is comprehensive, providing immediate near-term relief for Americans hurting today as well as longer-term solutions to get our economy back on track, secure our energy future and deliver jobs, prosperity and opportunity for the next generation. We're laying out that plan this week with an emphasis on the critical importance of job creation, and it's been a great success so far."
Then they realized that, oops, this wasn't looking so good. So then they decided to excommunicate Gramm (who will apparently be no longer be considered for Treasury). And not only did McCain attack his own top advisor for the comments, but is emailing reporters a YouTube clip of his stern response.
Poor Gramm. His good friend McCain has turned on him, and for saying the very same things that McCain himself had said!
On January 2008:
As far as putting additional money in taxpayers pocket, that's fine, because a lot of it is psychological. Because I agree the fundamentals of our economy is still strong.”
I’m very concerned about it, Neil. And obviously the way it’s been going up is just terrible. But I think psychologically — and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological — the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. This might give them a little psychological boost. Let’s have some straight talk, it’s not a huge amount of money.
Or June 2008:
So I don't see an immediate relief, but I do see that exploitation of existing reserves that may exist -- and in view of many experts that do exist off our coasts -- is also a way that we need to provide relief. Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial.
At one of the Republican debates:
On the issues of rebates, fine, part of this is psychological. Part of the problem we have of course in any recession is psychological.
Heck, he's said it again and again! Take a look:
When you use that word this much, it's not a gaffe.
It's a talking point.
All Phil Gramm did wrong was follow the lead set by John McCain.