"I knew Ronald Reagan," McCain said to the Washington Examiner. "They're no Ronald Reagan. OK? They're not."
Reagan, McCain said, actually reached across the aisle to work with Democrats on national security issues as well as domestic concerns.
"Ronald Reagan used to have drinks with Tip O'Neill," he said. "Ronald Reagan made an agreement on Social Security that raised taxes."
McCain said that Reagan fought with Congress on occasion, particularly over the Iran-Contra affair, which he described as one of the "bitterest fights" he had seen in Congress.
"That was Ronald Reagan vs. them," McCain recalled. "But where he could work together with them, he did."