June 15th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Analysis: Age an issue in the 2008 campaign?

Sen. John McCain, 71, has said his age is not a factor in the presidential race.

Sen. John McCain, 71, has said his age is not a factor in the presidential race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Is Sen. John McCain too old to be president?

Listen to some Democrats, and you'll think the 71-year-old Arizona senator is a man lost in a perpetual fog. He is "confused" and has "lost his bearings" or is "out of touch."

Listen to the McCain campaign, and you'll be convinced that Democrats are using those terms to exploit concerns that the presumptive Republican nominee is too old to effectively serve as president.

For his part, McCain tends to answer questions about his age with quips such as, "I'm older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein, but I've learned a few things along the way."

The first salvo of the general election's age war may have been launched in May, when Sen. Barack Obama argued in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that McCain had "lost his bearings" while pursuing the Republican nomination.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Peter Damoah-Afari

    The writer of this article is not trustworthy. Is the writer of this article going to be praised as a man of integrity one day? The world "out of his bearings" does not mean he is old. It simply means McCain cannot be consistent, and can easily forget things that he has said some few weeks or months ago. As a check you can listen to McCain's views on social security in 2004 and 2008.

    I think it is time for journalists to face facts and to write sensible articles than to create problems.

    June 15, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Jinny Lee

    Young or old...If you want the "abuse" and the "irrational behavior" from this administration to continue.....then vote for John McCain.

    June 15, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. nina

    well, rumors are very much alive. Obama set his site to find out who is making rumors of his wife – who is paying for this search? ...and everyone should have similar search for the roots of the rumors – or just brush them of, and go on.....

    June 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Susan

    It is not age. it is issues. The problem is McBush keeps getting his confused! OBAMA 08!!

    June 15, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Larry

    Age itself is not necessarily an obstacle to the Presidency

    But John MCcain, in his current capacity, is an obstacle, to properly running this country

    Landslide Obama

    June 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Way too old. He has had to go back to town hall meetings since he can't even read the teleprompter. He stumbles over words and contradicts himself left and right. His only shot was back in 2000. Republicans chose Bush over him then..........

    June 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. MIKE- P.A.

    i don't think age should be an issue, but the real issues itself. under a Mc Cain presidency we will keep with Bush,s policies and we have seen how well this has worked. Sen Mc cain now talks about changing washington, well he's had plenty of time there and has not done much to change washington. now Obama talks about change and he wants to jump in the bandwagon of hope and change. i will tell you especially women what he is going to change. you will see the end of ROE V WADE as he said he will point justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito. remember who appointed them? PRES BUSH DID. to all those women who fell strong about ROE V WADE you better think before you vote for Mc cain, he voted against EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN, and now he threatens one of your peronal rights. time to cool down from the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES and come together in a single cause behind OBAMA. i will support the democratic ticket with or without HILLARY on it not only for me but for the future of my children.

    June 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Desmond Sequeira

    AGE IN ITSELF SHOULD NEVER BE AN ISSUE

    June 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Sammy

    Being too old is just as much of an issue as being too young. It depends on which candidate you support.

    June 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Mary - Independent

    McCain's age is brought up a lot with politicians. As long as he can win over voters with what he plans to do if President, then his age won't be an issue.

    June 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. terry,va

    CNN you are so slanted you should be Russia's official media!!!!!!!!!!!!! You post every liberal comment there is. McCain will be our next president, even with all the media bias. Hillary was right about slanted coverage.
    McCain/Hillary 08

    June 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. AMW

    AGE IS A MAJOR ISSUE. McCAIN IS TOO OLD, OBAMA IS TOO YOUNG, BUT SENATOR HILLERY CLINTON IS JUST RIGHT.

    June 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Andrew

    John McCain is not to old to be president.

    Reagan was just as old and Obama called him a Champion.

    War Hero '08

    June 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Crush Rush

    I can see John and Liarman sitting in Rocking chairs somewhere in a Florida nursing home telling dirty jokes and playing bingo.

    June 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. David Goldman for OBAMA

    MCSAME IS A GERIATRIC VERSION OF BUSH.

    GOOD GOD. THE FACT THAT HE IS THE REPUBLICAN

    NOMINEE, SCARE THE PEAGIBIES OUT ME.

    June 15, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. YES WE WILL

    THE TRUTH HURTS – Everyone needs to go back and click on the links that The Truth Hurts 1205 p.m. has: I had never seen them before.

    The press should have printed this. I believe this is the true McCain. Chelsea Clinton was and is a beautiful young woman. McCain must be held accountable for his horrible comments about her and Janet Reno. Everyone female should hold McCain accountable. He is a mean dirty old man. He has no judgement at all.

    Hillary I mss you and Chelsea on the campaign trail. I fully support Barack Obama. Hurry back. There is no way I could ever vote for this crude person.

    June 15, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Coloradoan

    Mr. Senator McCain,

    Stay in the race, don't drop dead with some ailment.

    With you in the race for President, it is CLEAR that Mr. Obama will lead our country beginning in January 2009.

    The Republicans are in for a terrible November. Rush Limbaugh and his pals will need to order lots more valium!

    Colorado is going BLUE

    June 15, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. William

    OBAMA if elected will become the FIRST ANCHOR BABY PRESIDENT OF USA.

    June 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. John Carter

    I don't think age is an issue here. Health should be the issue, and if he's in fine health with no major issues for the near term future, I'm not concerned. Our society has gotten worse over the past 30-40 years in terms of disrespecting our elders, and looking at many comments from Obama supporters, you'll be shocked at the disdain they have for anyone not in their "generation". I'm 47 and consider myself VERY knowledgeable, but I'm also smart enough to know that others know more than me. Based on what many Obama supporters say, anyone over 40 should have no vote, should be led out to pasture, etc. If it weren't so pathetic it would be laughable.

    In any case, if McCain's health is okay, how about you guys shut up about it and focus instead on the issues?? I think most Americans would prefer to focus on the issues, but unfortunately the media keeps dragging up little things like this. I'm saddened to think that our nation cares more about the "Poorly Dressed" section of People than we do about Time or other "real" publications. You in the press and media could help turn this around.

    June 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jeff

    yes he is too old, and the factor that he walks around nonstop with his Senator Palpatine lookalike Liebermann doesn't help him either

    June 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. The Mid West Sends a Message

    No age is not a factor this year. I would rather have age and experience over youthful indiscretions.

    Obama reeks of lack of good judgement and he has no experience in anything except running his mouth off.

    June 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. lu

    Let's judge him when it comes down to debates or town hall meetings rather than just a figure of speech. The fact that McCain has a temper does not mean he would be a bad president. The fact that Obama seems to be "nicer" does not mean he would be a good president. At the end of day, a good president must have the analytical ability to make the best decisions for the country.

    June 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. James

    oh yeah its a big issue. =/

    June 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Dusacre

    Now just be honest. Imagine that you are sitting in a car with your whole family that you love dearly. All of the sudden, John McCain is the driver. The road is long and very dangerous. Will you not have second thoughts about McCain driving?

    Now if you cannot let a 71s old McCain drive your precious family, how can you let him "drive" the destiny of the whole nation and the world for the next 4 years?

    Have respect for McCain but vote Obama.

    June 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Sabrina

    How about some of the Obama mistakes, pushing the wrong button on bill, there are only two, he did this 5 times. He thinks there are 57 states, guess he can get more votes that way. Carolyn, McCain is a war hero and now you are going to use his 5 years in a prison camp..............You have no shame. McClinton voter.

    June 15, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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