An adviser to Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has resigned after saying the US had become a "nation of whiners" over the state of the economy.
Phil Gramm said attacks against him had become a "distraction" for Mr McCain ahead of November's presidential poll.
Mr Gramm - who co-chaired Mr McCain's campaign - last week also said that Americans were in a "mental recession" over US economic woes.
Democrats have seized on the comments to launch attacks on Mr McCain.
They have tried to portray the Arizona senator as being out of touch at a time when many voters are concerned about their livelihoods and rising prices.
McCain quickly rebuffed Mr Gramm's comments, saying he did not speak for him.
Mr Gramm, a former Texas senator, said in a statement: "To end this distraction and get on with the real debate, I hereby step down as co-chair of the McCain campaign."
He added that he was now joining "the growing number of rank-and-file McCain supporters".
Mr Gramm also said that in last week's interview he was referring to the country's political leaders, not Americans in general.
Published: 2008/07/19 06:22:51 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
Gramm gets tossed under the bus. Fun for all.