The Arizona Republican was himself held prisoner for more than five years during the Vietnam War.
He said Sunday that Carroll found herself in "a terrible, terrible position." And he urges Americans to view her taped statements critical of the U.S. military presence in Iraq in that context.
McCain made his remarks on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Carroll has disavowed the statements she made for a video posted by her captors on an Islamist Web site.
McCain said he wouldn't take seriously anything Carroll said while she was being held captive.