03/22/2012 04:54 pm ET

John McCain: 'Shame On The Media' For Overemphasizing Mitt Romney Adviser's Etch A Sketch Comments

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized the media Thursday for its coverage of comments made by top Mitt Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom, who likened the candidate's positions to drawings on an Etch A Sketch.

McCain, who endorsed Romney in January, compared the intense coverage of the gaffe to scrutiny he received in 2008 during his own presidential campaign.

"I remember when I said the fundamentals of the American economy are strong," he said. "I was beaten up for weeks for saying what we all knew."

McCain's own gaffe, which came in the midst of 2008's financial meltdown, is now remembered as one of his campaign's major stumbles.

"So I get a little bit tired of this kind of exaggeration of what one aide said," McCain continued on Thursday. "Romney didn't say it. In fact, Romney's been saying the opposite. Shame on the media."

Fehrnstrom's comments came during a Wednesday interview with CNN while answering a question on whether the primary season would force Romney too far to the right to connect with moderate voters in the general election.

"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign," he said. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

The comment quickly went viral, and both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were spotted with Etch A Sketch toys within a few hours of the interview.

Romney addressed his aide's statement after a campaign event on Wednesday.

"Organizationally, a general election campaign takes on a different profile," he said. "The issues I'm running on will be exactly the same."