Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gramm: I said 'whiners,' and I meant 'whiners!'

Phil Gramm, John McCain's Econ 101 tutor, is not backing away from his assertion that the recession is all in your head.

At the same time, he wants to pretend that he didn't call you a whiner when he called you a whiner.

"I'm not going to retract any of it. Every word I said was true," Gramm said.

Gramm stirred up controversy when he called the nation's economic malaise a "mental recession," then added, "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."


He said his staff had told him the Washington Times misquoted his "whiners" comment.

"When I said we've become a nation of whiners, I'm talking about our leaders. I'm not talking about our people," he said. "We've got every kind of excuse in the world about oil prices -- we've got speculators, the oil companies to blame -- but too many people don't have a program to get on with a job of producing."

"If you listen to our leaders, we can't compete against Mexico, for God's sake," Gramm continued. "If they don't think we can compete against Mexico who can we compete against?"
He was just "talking about our leaders"? Please.

If you're just talking about political leaders, you don't refer to a nation of whiners. That's not a misquote or a misinterpretation. "Nation of whiners" means everybody.

Nice try, Phil, but no sale.

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