Feel The Compassion!
by Todd Beeton, Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 09:32:00 AM EDT
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.