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July 9, 2008
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession...We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."
McCain economic adviser and former Sen. Phil Gramm, in an interview with the Washington Times on Americans' perception of the economy. Gramm stood by his comments in follow-up interviews, though he claimed he was talking about the country's political leaders and pundits, not average citizens. McCain later repudiated Gramm, saying the aide doesn't speak for him and joking that Gramm would be considered for Ambassador to Belarus in a potential administration. Gramm has since stepped down from his post.