John McCain brushed off Representative Louie Gohmert’s (R., Texas) comments from last week that the Arizona senator “supported al-Qaeda” in his advocacy for military intervention in Syria. Gohmert told an audience to ignore McCain’s opposition to the shutdown strategy because of his stance on Syria.
“On that particular issue, sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement,” McCain told NBC’s Brian Williams. “You can’t respond to that kind of thing.”
He said that he intends to maintain civility and respect within Congress, both towards Republicans and Democrats. McCain received some backlash earlier this year when he criticized his fellow Republican senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz by calling them “wacko birds”; he has since apologized for those comments.
UPDATE: Gohmert responded to McCain’s comments in a statement to the Daily Beast:
“Obviously, Senator McCain would be better off with ‘no intelligence’ since he does not know the Syrian opposition he met with is infested with al Qaeda and terrorist kidnappers. His ‘intelligence’ even caused him to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that burned churches and killed Christians, as the senator stood against the will of the massive majority of Egyptians including moderate Muslims, Christians, and secularists who demanded the Muslim Brotherhood extremist persecutions must end.”