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If Senate Democrats Slam McCain, Will Anyone Hear?

Despite the media hubbub over former Sen. Phil Gramm’s (R-Texas) comments that the U.S. is in a “mental recession” and a “nation of whiners,” only a handful of reporters showed up Thursday to hear Senate Democrats blast the high-profile economic adviser to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Even so, Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) didn’t pull any punches when going after Gramm, who made the comments to an editorial board of the Washington Times.

The fact that Gramm is an adviser to the McCain campaign “ought to strike fear into the hearts of every hard-working person in America,” McCaskill said. “This is exhibit A of which candidate for president is not in touch.”

Stabenow said people should be doubly concerned considering Gramm has been mentioned as a candidate for Treasury secretary in a McCain administration.

“We do not accept this view of the world,” Stabenow said. “The reality is times are tough. The good news is so are we.”

According to the Washington Times, Gramm said, “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.” He added, “We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about the loss of competitiveness, America in decline.”

McCain repudiated Gramm’s comments at a press conference earlier today, according to reports, saying, he “strongly” disagreed with Gramm’s assessment of the economy and the nation. McCain also downplayed the prospect of Gramm playing a role in his administration should McCain win the presidency.

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