Last night on CNBC I asked Steve Forbes about the McCain-Gramm breakup. Steve of course is a McCain economic advisor, and he had a positive spin on Phil Gramm’s continuing role in the campaign. Here’s what he said:
Kudlow: Steve Forbes, we just have a little bit of time. A lot of conservatives are very dispirited that Phil Gramm has left the McCain campaign, Steve. Has he in fact left? I know he resigned. Will Senator McCain, who has yet to speak about this, do you think Sen. McCain will ask him to come back?
Steve Forbes: Oh I think in terms of advice, Phil Gramm will be critical, which is good, because on things like trade he’s absolutely right. I think John McCain has a long friendship with Phil Gramm. So this was something, Phil Gramm said something that you’re not supposed to these days. And he paid a price for it. But in terms of the relationship, I think it’s as strong as ever. And in a McCain administration, I think Phil Gramm’s advice will be taken to heart.
Kudlow: Why won’t Sen. McCain say what you just said publicly? In other words, McCain can say, “I don’t want your resignation, you misspoke, let’s leave it be, we’re a large tent, a big family, we need you on this campaign.” Steve, do you think McCain will come out and say that?
Forbes: I think he will say good things about Phil Gramm. And Phil Gramm paid the price for it. Gramm’s been in presidential politics, as I have, and when these things happen somebody walks the plank. But I think in terms of the relationship, and the philosophy, that’s not going to change.
Kudlow: All right. Appreciate it, Steve Forbes. Very, very much.