Some economists noted that Gramm's comments, while insensitive to the struggles of working-class Americans, were made earlier this summer, after the collapse of Bear Stearns but before this weekend's crisis.
"Those comments were for another time, another place and just don't apply to the current situation," explains Allen Sinai, chief economist at consultancy Decision Economics, who predicted that the country faces its longest recession since World War II.
"I'm not whiner, but the financial system is in a crisis. And it's not just a financial system problem but a Main Street problem that affects many Americans."
Political pundits says that Gramm's comments hurt the McCain campaign and illustrated how the candidate seems to be more vulnerable than Obama on economic issues.
"There might be a grain of truth in what he says -- in terms of big macro-economic trends like unemployment and inflation, the economy is not so bad -- but from the perspective of those on the lower end, it's a very different-looking story and it doesn't play well politically," says Nolan McCarty, congressional and presidential scholar at Princeton University.
"It made McCain look insensitive and out of touch," he explains, comparing it to George Bush Sr.'s difficulties running against Bill Clinton in the 1992 campaign.
"Though he's not George Bush, [the crisis] presents more of a vulnerability to McCain, the fact that his power has been in power for eight years and it hurts him because Republicans tend to be associated as the party of finance."