07/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Phil Gramm Says He Was Misquoted -- But Won't Retract Comments

In an interview, McCain adviser Phil Gramm stands by his controversial comments about the economy: calling the recession "mental" and America a "nation of whiners." But he also says he was misquoted, the Washington Post reports:

Former senator Phil Gramm -- under fire for saying the United States has "become a nation of whiners" -- said in an interview today that he meant the nation's leaders were whiners, not its citizens.

But the top adviser to Sen. John McCain repeated his assertion that the economy is not in recession, and he declined to retract the comments quoted yesterday in the Washington Times.

"I'm not going to retract any of it. Every word I said was true," Gramm said.


"When I said we've become a nation of whiners, I'm talking about our leaders. I'm not talking about our people," he said. "We've got every kind of excuse in the world about oil prices -- we've got speculators, the oil companies to blame -- but too many people don't have a program to get on with a job of producing."

Read more about Phil Gramm's economic commentary and the scandal it caused here.