Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” McCain was asked to explain the poor reviews Obama garnered after the first of his three televised debates. “Four years inside the bubble with an adoring media,” McCain responded.

Polls taken after the debate showed a strong majority believed Romney won the encounter, with many liberal pundits also expressing disappointment with Obama’s performance.

“If it were a fight, they would have stopped it,” joked McCain about the debate, but he also warned Republicans that Obama would prove a tougher debater in the next contest and that his supporters would rally behind him.

“Do not underestimate President Obama. The guy is good — he’s smart, he gives a great speech,” said McCain, who himself debated Obama in the 2008 election as the GOP nominee.