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The Democratic National Committee also condemned Mr. Gramm’s comments, saying he was “callously ignoring the realities Americans are enduring.

The DNC, which portrays the economy as mired in recession, took issue with Mr. Gramm’s take on the economy.

“What John McCain, George Bush, Phil Gramm just don’t understand is that the American people aren’t whining about the state of the economy, they are suffering under the weight of it the weight of eight years of Bush-enomics that John McCain and Phil Gramm have vowed to continue,” said Karen Finney, the DNC’s communications director.

“How dare John McCain and his advisers so callously dismiss the challenges the American people face? No wonder voters feel John McCain is out of touch. He and his campaign don’t even understand the everyday issues Americans are dealing with,” she said.

Mr. Salter said Mr. McCain has proposed a federal gas-tax holiday and a comprehensive economic growth plan for the nation to help Americans.

“That is why John McCain has a realistic plan to deliver immediate relief at the gas pump, grow our economy and put Americans back to work,” he said.

Reporter Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.