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Informal Remarks to Reporters in Belleville, Michigan on Comments Made by Senator Phil Gramm About the Economy

July 10, 2008

John McCain: "I don't agree with Senator Gramm. I believe that the person here in Michigan that just lost his job isn't suffering from a mental recession. I believe the mother here in Michigan and around America that is trying to get enough money to educate their children isn't whining. America's in great difficulty and we are experiencing enormous economic challenges as well as others. Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me, so I strongly disagree, go ahead and follow-up."

Reporter: "In Senator Obama's response, his campaign has noted that previously you've said that part of the recession is psychological and some of your energy plan will have quote psychological benefits."

John McCain: "Well, first of all, if we will drill offshore, which Senator Obama is opposed to, as he's opposed to everything, whether it be offshore drilling, whether it be nuclear power, whether it be any of the efforts we need to make. You're talking about Dr. Phil, he's Dr. No. He's Dr. No on energy. He's against nuclear power. He's against the storing of spent nuclear fuel and he's against reprocessing. He's against offshore drilling. He's against offering a reward for the development of an electric car. He's against everything we need to do in order to make this nation energy independent. So, I believe that he doesn't understand our energy needs nor does he understand our national security needs and that is why he just wants to pursue more diplomacy as far as this latest Iranian missile test is concerned. I want meaningful, important, impactful sanctions, and I want a clear declaration that the United States of America will never allow a second Holocaust. So, my response is I speak for me. I've been speaking to the American people and I've been leading us forward with plans of action to address our economy and our need for energy independence. He's Dr. No."

Reporter: "Phil Gramm is often described, however, as one of your top economic advisers. How significant was his role in formulating your economic plan and is there any chance that Phil Gramm would be your Secretary of Treasury or play a significant economic policy making role in a McCain administration?"

John McCain: "I think that Senator Gramm would be in serious consideration for Ambassador to Belarus, although I'm not sure the citizens of Minsk would welcome that."

John McCain, Informal Remarks to Reporters in Belleville, Michigan on Comments Made by Senator Phil Gramm About the Economy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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