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Nothing to whimper over: McCain and Gramm are reunited

July 18, 2008 | 12:06 pm

Phil Gramm, back in good graces with John McCain no matter what Carly Fiorina says It seems that a little whining won't spoil the relationship between John McCain and Phil Gramm.

Columnist Robert Novak reports that Gramm will stay on as a McCain adviser and surrogate. This comes after McCain repudiated his buddy for the former Texas senator's recent impolitic comments about America being "nation of whiners" and in a "mental recession."

The patch-up might come as a surprise to Carly Fiorina, the ex-Hewlett-Packard chairwoman who is a top advisor to McCain. In a damage-control effort, Fiorina on Sunday declared, "I don't think Sen. Gramm will any longer be speaking for John McCain, and I think John McCain was crystal clear about that."

And with McCain and Gramm making up, the Barack Obama campaign was handed another opportunity to go on the attack.

The Obama camp issued a statement that McCain's economic plan "gives nearly $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies but doesn't provide any tax relief to more than 100 million middle-class families. But that shouldn't come as a surprise since today we learned that Phil Gramm will continue to advise Senator McCain on economic policy despite calling Americans struggling in this economy 'whiners.' "

-- Stuart Silverstein

Credit: Karin Cooper / Associated Press

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