Sen. John McCainJohn McCainBush biographer: Trump has moved the goalpost for civilized society White House to pressure McConnell on ObamaCare McCain: Trump needs to state difference between bigots and those fighting hate MORE (R-Ariz.) on Monday refused to apologize for calling Tea Party lawmakers hobbits in a speech last month.

I am sorry if it was misunderstood. I am not sorry for what I said, McCain said at a town hall meeting in Gilbert, Ariz.

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“Why should I when it’s the facts?” McCain said when asked to apologize, according to a video posted by Arizona’s local 3TV News.

At the end of July, during the debt-limit debate, McCain criticized some members of the Republican Party for not supporting House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIt's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him How Republicans can bring order out of the GOP's chaos Republican donor sues GOP for fraud over ObamaCare repeal failure MORE’s (R-Ohio) deficit plan by making a “Lord of the Rings” reference on the floor of the Senate.

At the time, McCain eviscerated some members of Congress as “foolish” and “deceiving” for believing that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would give Democrats no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment. McCain described that scenario as a fantasy, saying then “the Tea Party hobbits could return to Middle-earth having defeated Mordor.”


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McCain defended his past support of the balanced-budget amendment.

“I will match my record as a fiscal conservative against anyone in the House and Senate, including the new members,” McCain said, according to a report in the East Valley Tribune. “I have fought both the Republican and Democratic leaders on spending.”

He maintained, however, that the amendment could not pass the Senate because of its Democratic majority.

“What was wrong that I said?” he asked.

“There was no way that a balanced-budget amendment would have passed the Senate. If anyone said that it could, they were not being truthful,” McCain explained. “Hobbits are not real, and the point is that [the Tea Partiers’ idea] was not real. You should not deceive people and say that something like a balanced-budget amendment could happen [under those circumstances].”

Congress is expected to vote on a balanced-budget amendment again later this year, as part of the debt-limit legislation signed into law last week.

Mordor represents the home of the evil Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional universe of Middle-earth, the setting of the “Lord of the Rings” book trilogy.