(CNN) - Sen. John McCain may be advising Republicans not to speak ill will of each other, but that's not stopping him from getting into a public exchange with fellow Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert.
Wednesday night, McCain charged that Gohmert had no intelligence, to which the Texas Republican fired back.
In an interview Wednesday with NBC News, McCain addressed the "polarization" in Congress. He was talking specifically about comments Gohmert made last week at the conservative Values Voter Summit accusing McCain of supporting al Qaeda by advocating for military aid to the rebels opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"Sometimes those are, 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 News. "You can't respond to that kind of thing."
Gohmert didn't hesitate to respond.
"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," the five-term congressman said in a statement released by his office.
"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."
This is not McCain's first time getting into a spat with members of his own party. The Arizona Republican famously referred to Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz as "wacko birds," a label Cruz has since proudly claimed as his own.
McCain has also been critical of the partisan brinksmanship that drove Congress into a partial shutdown and nudged the country towards a breach of its debt ceiling, calling out Republicans for pursuing a strategy to dismantle Obamacare.
On CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning, McCain urged the GOP to follow President Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment, saying Republicans shouldn't speak ill of each other.
"We've done way too much of that," McCain said.
–CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.