Former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, said the United States was in a "mental recession" and complained America is "a nation of whiners," ABC News reported Thursday.
Obama told a town hall meeting in Fairfax, Va., that the nation already has one Dr. Phil, alluding to the television talk show host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw.
"I want all of you to know that America already has one Dr. Phil," Obama said. "We don't need another one when it comes to the economy. We need somebody to actually solve the economy."
Gramm was quoted in The Washington Times on Wednesday as saying: "You've heard of a mental depression; this is a mention recession." He also said America has become a nation of constant "whiners," the newspaper said.
For his part, McCain said he disagrees with Gramm's assessment.
"I believe that the person here in Michigan that just lost his job isn't suffering from a 'mental recession.' I believe that the mother here in Michigan or around America who is trying to get enough money here to educate her children isn't whining," McCain said.