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Kerry And McCain Swap Teddy Roosevelt-Themed Insults (VIDEO)

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

First, McCain blasted Kerry for taking what he considers tepid measures against Russia.

“My hero Teddy Roosevelt used to say talk softly and carry a big stick,” McCain said. “What you’re doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small sick. In fact, a twig.”

When it was his turn to speak, Kerry took issue with the Arizona senator's pessimistic outlook on negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

"We’re talking! The option is, you go to war," Kerry said. "A lot of people are ready to drop bombs all the time. We can do that. We have the ability.”

Later, it was Kerry's turn to offer his own T.R.-themed burn.

“Your friend Teddy Roosevelt also said the credit belongs to the people who are in the arena trying to get things done," Kerry told McCain. "And we're trying to get something done. That’s a Teddy Roosevelt maxim, and I abide by it.”

Video, via NBC News: