Gramm Slammed By Economists

'Nation of Whiners' Comments Criticized by Finance Experts in Light of Current Crisis

By MARCUS BARAM

Sept. 19, 2008

Talk about words coming back to haunt you.

Phil Gramm, John McCain's former economic adviser, left the campaign in July when he tried to counter criticism of the Republican candidate's economic policies by asserting that the country "had become a nation of whiners" in a "mental recession."

Even McCain came forward to say that he disagreed with Gramm's remarks, adding that someone who'd lost their job "isn't suffering from a mental recession."

And Barack Obama is using Gramm's comments and his support of deregulation, which prompted some of the risky lending that caused the current financial crisis, in a new TV ad that questions McCain's ability to handle the economy.

"They think the economy's fundamentally strong," intones a voice-over in the ad. "We know they're fundamentally wrong."

Though Gramm, a former Texas senator, is no longer a member of McCain's close-knit team, he still seems to be assisting the campaign.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=5835269&page=1