The Russian prime minister called the former presidential candidate “nuts” in response to Twitter comment about Russia’s parliamentary elections that drew allegations of fraud and triggered large protests.
Mr McCain’s tweet read: "Dear Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you."
Mr Putin turned stony faced when asked about the tweet on his annual televised phone-in.
"Mr McCain fought in Vietnam. I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore.