(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used remarks at a women's leadership conference in Boston to urge more female participation and, in a new comment for the former first lady, pushed to end age discrimination of women.
The push from Clinton, which came largely unprovoked and in the last question of the Wednesday event, is especially interesting considering a chorus of Republicans who are charging that Clinton will be too old to run for president in 2016.
"The other thing is to end age discrimination," Clinton said at the Simmons Leadership Conference. "You know, a lot of women who drop out of the workforce in their late 20s and their 30s, they raise their children, you know their brains have not atrophied. They still have great abilities, great talents, great opportunities to participate."
She added: "There’s an army and frankly a very large group of older women who could make a difference to America’s corporations, America’s business, academia, politics, you name it. So I think we have to be supporting these different life choices and breaking down, which often go hand-in-hand with the stereotypes we’re talking about."
Since Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, announced last week that she was having a baby later this year, a number of Republicans have said the former secretary of state would be "old" if she ran in 2016.
The influential conservative site Drudge Report posted a black-and-white photo of an older looking Hillary Clinton atop shortly after the announcement. While the banner headline underneath read "Grandma Hillary," the subtext was obvious: Hillary Clinton is old.
Filling in for Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, Erick Erickson, the editor of Red State, said, "She’s going to be old. I don’t know how far back they can pull her face!"
He further explained his comments in a Red State post on Wednesday morning, stating that "Any objective fact about Hillary Clinton will be declared racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, heterophobic, agoraphobic, xenophobic, and everything else you can think of."
If Clinton, 66, is elected president in 2016, she will be 69 years old, just a few months younger than the United States' oldest elected president: Ronald Reagan. While Clinton has acknowledged she is thinking about running for president, she has yet to announce a decision despite being the Democrats’ prohibitive favorite for the nomination.
Clinton's remarks at Simmons came in front of 3,500 businesswomen from around the world, according to organizers. Clinton delivered prepared remarks for the first half of the appearance and then took questions from Simmons College President Helen G. Drinan, some of which came from students.
The former first lady, who has long been a champion for women and children and regularly uses remarks to push for female participation, urged the women in attendance to get more involved.
"That is the only way we can open the doors to full participation for every girl and every women, to open the doors to equality and opportunity for all," she said.
Clinton also urged for raising the minimum wage as something that doesn't just help women, but instead "helps us all."
"Too many women trying to build a life and a family in our country, don't just face ceilings," she said. "They feel that the floor is shaky, even collapsing beneath them. Again, that is not only their problem, that is our problem."