Feel The Compassion!

Well, so much for Steve Schmidt bringing some much needed discipline to team McCain, eh? First came John McCain's comments on Social Security (which, credit where credit is due, was some actual straight talk, which is why he's now, like clockwork, "seeking to clarify" his comments.)

Now, there are these mind-numbingly out of touch and condescending comments from top McCain economic advisor, Phil Gramm about how the economic downturn is all in our heads:

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

"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.

And don't forget...it's the media's fault!

Mr. Gramm said the constant drubbing of the media on the economy's problems is one reason people have lost confidence.  [...]

"Misery sells newspapers," Mr. Gramm said. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

Now, Gramm is not saying anything that John McCain himself hasn't said before but that was back in April before the candidate was most likely reprimanded by his handlers for saying what he actually thinks because for McCain, the truth is politically toxic.

Now, a few months later, the McCain campaign realizes McCain can't be seen as out of touch on the economy (ummm, too late) so he's seeking to distance himself from Gramm's remarks with a pretty piece of fiction:

"Phil Gramm's comments are not representative of John McCain's views. John McCain travels the country every day talking to Americans who are hurting, feeling pain at the pump and worrying about how they'll pay their mortgage. That's why he has a realistic plan to deliver immediate relief at the gas pump, grow our economy and put Americans back to work."

So he's distancing himself from comments about the economy made by his own economic advisor? If you can't take Gramm's comments as a reflection of McCain's eceonomic policy, then whose can you take? Isn't that what a top economic advisor's job is?

The DNC is trying to make sure this story doesn't go away, with a statement titled Out of Touch Much, Phil?:

What John McCain, George Bush and Phil Gramm just don't understand is that the American people aren't whining about the state of the economy, they are suffering under the weight of it -- the weight of eight years of Bush-enomics that John McCain and Phil Gramm have vowed to continue. How dare John McCain and his advisers so callously dismiss the challenges the American people face. no wonder voters feel John McCain is out of touch, he and his campaign don't even understand the everyday issues Americans are dealing with."

But so far, in keeping with the double standard the media has for coverage of gaffes by Democrats versus gaffes by Republicans, this story is really not getting much play, although part of that may be because a Republican saying heartless shit about the economy isn't actually news, it's merely just a Republican saying what he really thinks.

Tags: Economy, John McCain, Phil Gramm (all tags)



Distancing himself from his top economic advisor?

Now there's a winning formula.

by Beren 2008-07-10 09:36AM | 0 recs

since McCain said he doesn't know any thing about the economy and presumably relies on gramm

by TarHeel 2008-07-10 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

the double standard the media has for coverage of gaffes by Democrats versus gaffes by Republicans

I wonder if it's because the GOP has learned how to work the press 24/7 and punishes reporters who report truthfully about them?

But it's probably just good old corporate bias for the corporate party.

by Beren 2008-07-10 09:40AM | 0 recs
what irks me

is mccain has said the exact same thing about the economy being "psychological" in his own words on  video and in print yet the media doesn't seem to realize it.

by TarHeel 2008-07-10 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: what irks me

After 30 years of life, i no longer expect the media to ever get the whole story right, pretty pathetic.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-10 09:46AM | 0 recs
yet the media doesn't seem to realize it.

I ask again....has the Obama campaign or any Democratic Party organization badgered the press with this?

Of course they should be fair and report McCain's gaffes and flips, but they seem to prefer having their stories handed to them wrapped with a ribbon, which is what the GOP propaganda machine does every day.

by Beren 2008-07-10 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

Horrible comments like this should hit McCain 100x harder considering that McCain has admitted that the economy isn't really his area.  That means that Schmidt's economic thoughts and ideas are going to most likely directly translate over into McCain's policies in the offchance that he actually wins the presidency.  Comments like this won't play very well in areas where the jobs are leaving at a rapid pace or are already gone.  

John McCain in 2008: Just because you can't find work doesn't mean the economy is doing poorly.  Stop whining!

by thatpurplestuff 2008-07-10 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

Correction: Gramm's economic thoughts and ideas, not Schmidt's.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-07-10 09:51AM | 0 recs
Gramm's economic thoughts and ideas

Which are, by definition, McSame's since Gramm would surely be his TSec.

by Beren 2008-07-10 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

Pretty interesting as it may be, especially because they aren't fully inaccurate in the broader sense of things. With the global economy set up currently, perception is reality. i will also point out one thing you can take or leave as evidence that things are bad. here are the share price comparisons of stock prices of the 4 largest U.S. banks where the vast majority of our money is held (names excluded because it is inconsequential): 48.90-34.98(best of the bunch. 51.30-16.77 (uh oh), 49.15-22.65 (um, that can't be good) and 51.60-13.73 (hmmmm). Could make it difficult to raise capital for people (or be a nightmare when these are bought out by international conglomerates, if it happens).

by Dog Chains 2008-07-10 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

Gorgot to add, these numbers are from july of last year to today: The 4 biggest banks in this country are worth 44% of what they were a year ago, think about that for a second. Now that's some bad psycology.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-10 10:11AM | 0 recs
Phil - go learn math

An economy that is growing at 1% based on the top 1% of people seeing 10% growth and everyone else shrinking is not a mental recession

by activatedbybush 2008-07-10 09:54AM | 0 recs
Obama: "We don't need another Dr. Phil'

to fix our economy.

by Geekesque 2008-07-10 09:57AM | 0 recs
Obama's response was CLASSIC

It was HILARIOUS!!!!

by puma 2008-07-10 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Feel The Compassion!

Wow, in two days McCain admits he considers social security a "disgrace", and his chief economic advisor tells Americans to STFU, b/c they've never had it so good.

And the media dutifully sweeps it under the rug.

by bosdcla14 2008-07-10 11:11AM | 0 recs
Double Standard

It's amazing how the msm ran away with the hot mike story by Jesse Jackson but when it comes to Phil Gramm's 'nation of whiners' a few hours later - silence...

Perhaps the significance of the story is merely political - technically the US isn't in a recession, but when has the media shyed away from sensationalizing remarks spoken by Obama surrogates.  Maybe it didn't fit into the idea news window for reporting...

by Mr DC 2008-07-10 03:41PM | 0 recs


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