John McCain Dismisses Gingrich Criticism of Republican Presidential Field

John McCain on Tuesday brushed aside derogatory comments made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who compared the Republican presidential field to a "pathetic" bunch of "pygmies."

"I see the former member of the House of Representatives as a person who has many, many comments to make and he's made many, many comments critical of me in the past," McCain told reporters Tuesday after attending a fundraiser in Grand Rapids. "We had a fundamental disagreement about the role of money in politics."

Speaking at a Monday breakfast sponsored by The American Spectator, a conservative magazine, the Georgia Republican labeled the nine-man GOP presidential field as a "pathetic" bunch of "pygmies," The D.C. Examiner reported.

In an interview with the newspaper, Gingrich said he had "no interest in trying to figure out how I can go out and raise money under John McCain's insane censorship rules so I can show up to do seven minutes and twenty seconds at some debate."

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which McCain, a senator from Arizona, co-sponsored with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., places limits on how much money can be raised by candidates and campaigns, and on how much can be used. Christian broadcasters have said it restricts what they can tell voters before elections.

"If Mr. Gingrich decides he wants to get into the presidential campaign for the nomination of our party, then I would take some of his comments more seriously," said McCain, who campaigned in Michigan Monday night.