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John Kerry: 'This Is the Tea Party Downgrade

"Without question."

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) continued his attack on the Tea Party on Sunday, calling Standard & Poor's Friday downgrade of the U.S. credit rating "the Tea Party downgrade."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the former presidential candidate said the Tea Party was at fault after its members held up the negotiation process and refused to get on board with plans on the table.

"I believe this is without question the Tea Party downgrade," Kerry said. "This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion or $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and reforms in social security, Medicare, Medicaid, but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue."

Watch the full clip below:

Last week, Kerry blasted the Tea Party and said its members don't "deserve" equal time or balance in the media because their ideas are not "legitimate."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) responded to Kerry's comments, defending the Tea Party's refusal to sign on and blaming President Barack Obama for a "failure to lead" during the debt crisis.

"The fact is the president never came forward with a plan," McCain said "There was never a specific plan, there was as always the so-called leading from behind."

Still, the former Republican presidential candidate said "we could have reached an agreement a lot earlier," but Tea Party members elected last fall had an obligation to follow through on their campaign promises.

"Members of the House of Representatives had a mandate last November, it was jobs and the economy and it was spending," he said. "For them to agree to tax and spending increases was obviously a repudiation of the mandate they felt they have from last November."

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