(CNN) – Sen. John McCain agrees that moss is bad - well, for the most part.
The Arizona Republican responded Monday to criticism lobbed by fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who argued the GOP was growing "stale and moss-covered."
Paul made his comments Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington, where thousands of conservatives gathered for three days to discuss the future of the GOP following big losses in the 2012 election.
Speaking on the Senate floor about the recent forced budget cuts - known as the sequester - and their impact on the military, McCain cited the intra-party critiques from last week's CPAC.
"References were made to people who were too old and moss-covered and that we need new, fresh individuals and ideas and thoughts. And I agree with all of those, every bit of those recommendations and comments," McCain said.
"But there is a little bit of benefit of being around for a while," the five-term senator added. "My friends, I'll tell you right now, I've seen this movie before."
McCain then resumed his topic of discussion, cautioning the government in a fiery speech against returning to its military levels following the Vietnam War.
Paul and McCain have been mired in a bit of tension recently. The 2008 GOP presidential nominee labeled Paul, and fellow freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, "wacko birds" earlier this month, not long after Paul's almost-13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor. Cruz had joined Paul in demanding that the Obama administration answer questions about its drone policies.
"I treat Sen. McCain with respect, I don't know if I always get the same in return," Paul said March 8 on Mike Huckabee's radio show.
A week later, McCain apologized.
"That was inappropriate and I apologize to them for saying that, and I respect them both. I respect what they stand for and what they believe in," McCain said Friday on Fox News.
– CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.