(The Hill) — Days after comparing its members to hobbits, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Monday credited the Tea Party for its role in pushing for a deficit deal.

“I don’t think without the Tea Party we would have had an agreement,” McCain said. “I think the Tea Partiers can claim a lot of credit.”

Just last week, McCain came under fire after he compared lawmakers pushing for passage of a balanced-budget amendment to “hobbits” who thought they were defeating the evil “Mordor” from the Lord of the Rings fantasy trilogy.

McCain stood by his criticism on Monday.

“I would say again for Tea Parties to think we can pass a balanced-budget amendment [with control of only one-third of the government] is unrealistic,” he said on “Fox and Friends.”