McCain, Gohmert spar over who's 'intelligent'
October 17th, 2013
03:37 PM ET
9 years 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. Lee

    I don't even think that McCain's intended meaning of the word "intelligence" was correctly interpreted.

    I think he meant "intelligence: factual reporting by operatives who are on the ground and in the area". Like the "Intelligence" in "Central Intelligence Agency". The Congressman has no intelligence on the Syrian rebels and is wildly speculating in his assertion that they are infested with Al Qaeda.

    I don't think he meant "intellignece: the ability to assimilate and digest information and draw conclusions" although Gomer Gohmert is profoundly deficient in that department as well.

    October 17, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Between them there might be an IQ of 60.

    October 17, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. rs


    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.
    Which is a whole lot less than what you'll get when you divide up the cost of the $26 billion Republican rebellion.

    October 17, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Thomas

    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.

    Keep it up, your going to create a third party , Democrat , Independent and Loony-tune party or former Republican party .

    Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is an idiot . The district he represents would elect an unripe water mellon if it had arms and legs and said it hated Obama .

    Ted Cruz / Louie Gohmert 2016
    We don't need no Education , we got Ted & Louie !

    October 17, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Goby Dillis

    What's really funny is they talk about intelligence like they have it. Now it all is all to clear why our government is doing such a great job. Now If we can just get a liberal idiot spouting stupidity like its the golden word we'll have a lucky pier between the twix bars.

    October 17, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. smith

    Louie G. is right on this one( for once). Funding the rebels in Syria is insane. As for the ACA goes if Scott`s stats are correct the ACA would not make its quota to function as expected. Meaning the american taxpayer pick up the tab. Not good.

    October 17, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    @Wake Up,

    " I don't know why they don't dig up Reagan's corpse and send it to Washington."

    Zombie Reagan is way smarter than McCain. Zombie Reagan wouldn't do photo-ops with murderers, for one thing.

    As for Gohmert, my niece is better informed and especially better behaved. My niece is 2 1/2 years old.

    October 17, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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