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Obama Camp Welcomes Return of Phil Gramm

Image has not been found. URL: http://www.washingtonindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/picture-3.pngSenators Gramm and McCain. (Photo credit: David Silver)

Phil Gramm is back — and Sen. Barack Obama’s aides are happy to have his gruff voice back in the debate. Breaking from Bloomberg news:

Gramm Says Supporters of McCain Aren’t ‘Whiners,’ Defends Palin

Sept. 2 — Former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, who stepped aside as John McCain’s campaign co-chairman in July after an uproar over comments that those worried about the U.S. economy are “whiners,” today revisited that sentiment. “If you’re sitting here today, you’re not economically illiterate and you’re not a whiner, so I’m not worried about who you’re going to vote for,” Gramm told supporters … [near] the Republican National Convention….

Democrat Barack Obama, in his nomination acceptance speech in Denver last week, referred to Gramm’s remarks, and pointed to “proud auto workers” in Michigan and military families shouldering the burden of family members deployed to war zones overseas. “These are not whiners,” Obama said. “They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint.”

The Obama campaign is circulating the article, which, if nothing else, shows Gramm, who has a Ph.D. in economics, can’t help letting old news stay old. Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor also sent reporters this reaction:

Today, the man who wrote John McCain’s economic plan further insulted struggling Americans by suggesting that if they are not attending the Republican Convention, they are not only whiners, but economically illiterate. From the campaign whose candidate has said that we’ve made ‘great progress’ economically under George Bush and believes that the fundamentals of our economy are ‘strong,’ that’s pretty rich.

From the article, it’s not even clear what Gramm was trying to say with the whining reference. I wasn’t there, but knowing Gramm’s style, it could have been an attempt at a joke — even a self-deprecating one. But given the week the McCain campaign is having, his surrogates might want to try avoiding bad memories entirely.

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