Gramm Out as McCain Co-Chair; Obama Reacts

Here is Phil Gramm's statement tonight on stepping down as co-chairman of John McCain's campaign.

"It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country. That kind of distraction hurts not only Senator McCain's ability to present concrete programs to deal with the country's problems, it hurts the country. To end this distraction and get on with the real debate, I hereby step down as Co-Chair of the McCain Campaign and join the growing number of rank-and-file McCain supporters."

And here is the Obama campaign's response:

“The question for John McCain isn’t whether Phil Gramm will continue as chairman of his campaign, but whether he will continue to keep the economic plan that Gramm authored and that represents a continuation of the polices that have failed American families for the last eight years,” said Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan.

The Gramm moves comes at an interesting moment for McCain. He's had an opportunity this week to push his economic message to shore up an obvious weakness while Obama has emphasized his national security and foreign policy message to shore up his obvious weakness.

Instead, McCain sought to challenge Obama. The skirmish probably didn't move the needle in national polls very much but key events will allow Obama in weeks hence to draw closer to McCain on national security. To see why, please read my next post.