THE BASIS POINT

Top McCain Economic Advisor: If You’re Not Republican, You’re “Economically Illiterate” and A “Whiner”

Up until July, former Texas senator and now vice chairman of UBS Securities, Phil Gramm was John McCain’s top economic advisor. Then he called America a “nation of whiners” facing “a mental recession” and was pushed behind the scenes. But he’s still actively supporting the campaign, like today at an event close to the GOP convention, Gramm attacked American citizens again, saying:

“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,” the former Texas senator told attendees at a Financial Services Roundtable event in Minneapolis on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

In reaction to today’s comments, Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “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.”

Gramm is still considered to be one of McCain’s top picks to run the Treasury department. He’s also considered by many to be a lead architect of the credit crisis, because he was a leader in repealing the Glass-Steagall Act which prevented commercial and investment banks from merging, and also because he was the leader in exempting energy and certain derivatives from regulation. Click tag below for more background on Gramm.