McCain Response To Gramm Flap: Exile Him To Belarus

From CBS News' John Bentley:

(BELLEVILLE, MICH.) "Phil Gramm does not speak for me," John McCain said today at a town hall meeting when asked about Gramm's comments that the U.S. had become "a nation of whiners."

"I strongly disagree," McCain said.

McCain added Gramm would play no role in his administration, other than being exiled to a former Soviet republic.

"I think Sen. Gramm would be in serious consideration for ambassador to Belarus, although I'm not sure the citizens of Minsk would welcome that."

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," Gramm, a McCain national co-chair, told the Washington Times. McCain repudiated the former Texas senator, saying America is experiencing "enormous" economic challenges.

"I believe that the person here in Michigan that just lost his job isn't suffering from a mental recession," McCain said. "I believe the mother here in Michigan or in America who's trying to get enough money to educate their children isn't whining."

At his own town hall meeting in Fairfax, Va., Barack Obama responded to Gramm's comments saying, "America already has one Dr. Phil. When it comes to the economy, we don't need another."