McCain, Gohmert spar over who's 'intelligent'
October 17th, 2013
03:37 PM ET
10 months ago

McCain, Gohmert spar over who's 'intelligent'

(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.


Filed under: John McCain • Louie Gohmert
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Old man who yells at clouds gets into argument with howler monkey. Story at 10.

    October 17, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. rs

    McCain, that is to say the Maverick McCain is about the last Republican I'll ever get to cast a vote for. These other dudes from the Right are simply so insane that I cannot ever imagine throwing in with them. Especially those Texas ones.....

    October 17, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. jinx9to88

    Kee it up!!!

    October 17, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Borderless

    Gohmert. You're embarrassing yourself. Sit down and let the adults talk.

    October 17, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Scott

    So far the $600 million federal website (and counting), and the state run websites (for argument's sake let's say the state run websites cost $20 million each for a grand total of $1 Billion in websites, have produced 40,000 Obamacare enrollees.

    That comes to $25,000 overhead per enrollee so far. And, the enrollees expect to get healthcare.

    October 17, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    God, this is the most entertaining thing I've seen in ages, but even McCain knows its unfair to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponant. Seems as though the Bachmann Chair of Stupidity Studies at GOP University will have to be rotated between several dozen equally qualified candidates.

    October 17, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    Nah. Too easy. I'm not taking the bait, Ticker. I respond to challenges only.

    October 17, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. freedom

    McCain is losing control of any power he thinks he had in the Senate, and the sooner he comes to terms with that, the better. Someone needs to pull him aside and tell him to adjust to the changes around him. His unruly and arrogant mouthing off is not helping anyone, or anything.

    October 17, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Romy Monteyro

    It's time to retire John McCain. If he is as intelligent as he claims to be, he would immediately see that Cong. Gohmert is so right about those Muslim terrorists. How naive can one be in the face of reality? If Assad falls, al Qaida wins. The Egyptians saw that in Morsi and they took immediate action to save their country. Please John, go away,will you? And don't go away mad, just go away. Join up with Jimmy Carter because you are two of a kind. What a shame that both of you are products of the U.S. Naval Academy!

    October 17, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Two adult Congressmen acting like this?!?! Sheesh. I don't know why they don't dig up Reagan's corpse and send it to Washington. They are constantly talking about him. Though I doubt Reagan would even be welcome in this crazy party these days. He'd be called a RINO.

    October 17, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Dave Scoven

    I'm sure Senator McCain was holding back when he said he had no intelligence, and you have to admire him for that. But McCain's party invited all this "values voter" nonsense into their midst – so who was demonstrating lack of intelligence in that case? Sure – they were all about the Tea Party as long as they were underestimating them, thinking that they could control and manipulate simpleton voters. Now the Republican party elites have to eat at the table with the help. And they aren't liking it one bit.

    October 17, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Bruce

    Dumb and bumberer! McCain brought us Sarah and he has the nerve to call someone's intelligence into question. That's rich!!!

    October 17, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Bruce

    @Scott
    I'm not sure, but I'll bet my furloughed backpay that a large majority of those visitors were Ditto Heads (El Rushbo followers) who had no intentions of signing up for health care.

    October 17, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Scott

    So far the $600 million federal website (and counting), and the state run websites (for argument's sake let's say the state run websites cost $20 million each for a grand total of $1 Billion in websites, have produced 40,000 Obamacare enrollees.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Not bad considering the exchanges have only been available for two weeks!

    October 17, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    @Sniffit
    "Old man who yells at clouds gets into argument with howler monkey. Story at 10."

    I laughed out loud... thanks.

    October 17, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Why do I get the urge to giggle uncontrollably at the thought of two Republicans arguing over which one is intelligent?

    October 17, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    Gomer with an IQ of 10 vs McCain who gave us the screecher from AK.
    I still think, or thought, until 2008 that it would be the man who gave us the queen of the teatards but look where we are five years later thanks to the monster she unleashed.

    October 17, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -freedom

    McCain is losing control of any power he thinks he had in the Senate, and the sooner he comes to terms with that, the better. Someone needs to pull him aside and tell him to adjust to the changes around him. His unruly and arrogant mouthing off is not helping anyone, or anything.
    *********************************
    Who is he losing that power to? Cruz? Rubio? Lee? They were the ones that cost the GOP a great opportunity to focus on the rollout of the ACA, and instead the GOP lost credibility with the people who count the most,the people who hired them. Besides, do you really think that someone with McCain's life experience is the least bit intimidated by them? Its the wacko birds that need to adjust themselves to reality, not McCain. FYI, anyone who thinks that Louie Goehmert is a brain trust and a sage has demonstrated their lack of mental instability.

    October 17, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Gohmert is the adult in this exchange. McCain did exactly what he was accused of.

    October 17, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. wendel

    It is almost impossible to find an intelligent republican cruz and palin together do not make a full brain. Mc Cain at least has enough sense to realize his own party is in the toilet and full of crazy trolls.

    October 17, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. the hippies were right

    And to think how close McCain came to being "our" president. Scary! Can you imagine this type of behaviour between Obama and and ANY democratic rep.? Not in a million years.

    October 17, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Ben

    Funny, this reminds me of an argument I got into once. In the playground. When I was eight.

    October 17, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Jules

    HMMM – who to side with, the one who introduced us to Sarah Palin or the one with his head up his $$$. I think I can forgive MCCain for Palin since she is so over.

    October 17, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Gohmert is the adult in this exchange. McCain did exactly what he was accused of.
    ********************************
    An adult what? Certainly not the same species as McCain. I belive "Howler Monkey" was used earlier, that fits Goehmert to a Tee.

    October 17, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    The Real Tom Payne writes: FYI, anyone who thinks that Louie Goehmert is a brain trust and a sage has demonstrated their lack of mental instability.
    Immediately under it Rick McDaniel writes: Gohmert is the adult in this exchange.

    The Real Tom Payne has amazing psychic powers.

    October 17, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
1 2