(CNN) – Rep. Darrell Issa's assertion Sunday that Jay Carney is a "paid liar" wasn't met with a chorus of agreement Monday from fellow Republicans, some of whom said the comment was misplaced amid real worries about government overreach.
Two outspoken senators – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – both disavowed the remark, saying Issa should focus instead on getting to the bottom of the scandals engulfing the Internal Revenue Service.
"You can go too far," Graham said on the Fox News Radio program "Kilmeade and Friends."
"Let's don't make it personal," continued the South Carolina Republican. "Jay Carney is not the issue here. He's the spokesman for the White House. Just keep doing what you're doing, Darrell."
He encouraged Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to "just plod through" the investigation into which levels of the IRS instigated the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Issa told Candy Crowley that Carney is a "paid liar" for repeating the IRS line that employees in Cincinnati were responsible for the IRS mess-up. He said interviews with IRS employees suggested otherwise.
"Their paid liar, their spokesperson, pictured behind, he's still making up things about what happens," he said, pointing to a photo of Carney on the set.
McCain, speaking on CBS "This Morning," said he uses the word "liar" sparingly when referring to fellow officials.
"I would never like to use that word," he said. "I think that we should let these investigations take their course, let the facts come out."