McCain and Obama on the campaign trail in September 2008. (Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in a new interview with Time magazine, says that President Obama made a good impression on GOP senators when he sat down to dinner with them last year.

Part of the reason? "Because he was smarter than the rest of us."

Here's McCain's full quote, from Time:

"I thought when he had a couple of dinners with Republican senators, we really had a good environment there. Because he is a very very articulate and attractive guy in a setting with eight or nine senators and him. Because he was smarter than the rest of us. ... But I don't see that now. I don't see any of that.”

McCain's hot-and-cold relationship with Obama has been well-documented — including by us.

Interestingly, McCain also refers to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) use those same two A-words — "articulate" and "attractive."

"I think that Marco Rubio is a very bright and very articulate young senator and has a great deal of attractiveness to him," McCain says while discussing the 2016 GOP presidential field.

Here's the rest of the interview, from Time's Jay Newton-Small.