April 16th, 2008
03:39 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton backer says McCain is too old for Oval Office


Rep. John Murtha is three years older than Sen. John McCain. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) - Rep. Jack Murtha, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, introduced the New York senator at a Washington appearance Wednesday with the observation that Sen. John McCain is too old to be president. “It’s no old man’s job,” said Murtha.

McCain is 71, three years younger than Murtha, a powerful Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania. Murtha said the demands of the office were too much for men of their age.

If he were elected, McCain would be the oldest first-term U.S. president in history.

"...[T]his one guy running is about as old as me," said Murtha. "And let me tell you something, it's not [an] old man's job. I mean the campaign, the stress, so forth."

McCain’s campaign immediately condemned Murtha’s remarks, saying trail activities like his late-night talk show appearances should eliminate any voter doubt about the Arizona senator’s stamina for the office, in a statement that did not mention Clinton, taking aim instead at Barack Obama.

"I think people will evaluate John McCain through the type of campaign he is running, whether it is through appearances on shows like Letterman and Leno, whether its through the fifteen hour days on the campaign trail,” McCain's senior advisor Steve Schmidt. “He’s a person who’s in great physical shape, who has outworked every other campaign on the Republican side, and you know, has a much tougher and demanding schedule than Senator Obama."

McCain himself laughed at Murtha’s remarks, telling CNN’s John King that the congressman is a friend, but should speak for himself - he feels great.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. RickytheGriff

    Wow, so the Clinton camp is not only racist, but also ageist!

    To imagine all the great things our elders bring to the table and to have it bashed really shows what type of people are supporting Hillary!

    April 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Michelle

    Nothing John McCain can do, short of wild plastic surgery will ever make people vote for him. Ive seen 72 year olds seem fine, and then 8 months later they are in the worst health of their lives. Once you get that old, rapid decay can hit at any time.

    April 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Justin

    mccain should just retire in florida with his buddy charlie crist and just go ruin that state

    April 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Angus McDugan

    Well... if we need an expert on old...

    April 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    Murtha is too fat be a senator and can't find his mouth because he has so many layers of fat on his fat face he has to find the wed spot to feed his face. He needs to have surgery to lift his eye brows to see also. Who rerally cares what this commie left wing idiot says.

    April 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. kp

    It doen't matter how old McCain is, the religious right will still elect him president. They don't vote for the man they vote for power and control over people's lives.

    April 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Ken, CA

    I'm 78 and I say ditto, he is too old.

    Obama 08

    April 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |


    April 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Now for Obama

    LOL! No one is even mentioning Clinton! LOL! She is not a factor is the race for the White House!

    Bye Bye Clinton

    April 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Jon, PA

    Um...doesn't he have cancer or something? He's 72. No matter who you are, at 72 you're not "in great physical shape". I don't care who you are.

    My guess is, the only reason his schedule is "much tougher and demanding...than Senator Obama['s]" is because of the fact that he's 72. Any person who is 72 can't do "stuff" as fast as someone who's under 50. Whatever the "stuff" is- tennis, filling out papers, making decisions, talking politics, thinking, driving...etc.

    Point is, it might take him working 15 hour days in order for him to accomplish what Sen. Obama can accomplish in, say, a 12-hour day.

    April 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Alex H

    Wait... a 75 year old calling a 72 year old... too old?


    Almost as funny as a Yale lawyer calling a Harvard lawyer an elitist.

    April 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Bushwacked

    All the more reason to be really concerned about who he picks as his running mate - and VOTE DEMOCRAT in November

    Eugene, OR

    April 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. kelly WI

    Well, what would you expect from some one who lost their marbles years ago. Murtha is an embarrasment like Carter.
    McCain 08

    April 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Mary, NV

    He is too old to take on Al Quaeda.

    America 08

    April 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Alonzo Demetrius

    Just because Murtha is too old to think straight, that doesn't mean all seniors are too old at that age. How old was Einstein when he completed his theory - no young man for sure. Don't throw out the lifetime of statesmanlike service when the man McCain is still full of life and intellect. Take advantage of all that experience through being involved with this country's business; he is far better trained and educated through his living the government life than the upstarts.

    April 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. AJ, IL

    HA! HA! HA! HEH! HEH! HEH!

    Wow! McCain's campaign responded by "taking aim instead at Barack Obama". A Clinton superdelegate surrogate talks about McCain, and McCain's campaign responds by ignoring Hillary (and the fact that Murtha is a Hillary supporter).

    Too funny!

    What a contrast in a general election? 5-foot 7-inch 71 year old Old Man McCain standing next to 6-foot 2-inch 46 year old Barack Obama.

    The past vs the future.

    Obama in 08!

    April 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. cinco

    he's right. He's too old. I respect his ordeal in life and his contributions to America, but he is too old. We don't need the extra worries of all the aiments that old age can bring.

    April 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Sharon Minnesota

    Maybe so but still better than Obama.

    Hillary 08

    April 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    The new GI bill (Post 9/11 Veterans Act) which is being co-sponsored by 53 Senators, including 9 Republicans, and the three other than McCain Vietnam Vets in the Senate, plus the chickenhawks are threatning to veto it.

    Guess what McCain said:

    "I haven't had time to read it, and even if I did I'm not sure I would vote for it"

    Bush people have said:

    "If we offer college to returning veterans, they might not re-enlist"

    Are you paying attention you proud American Republicans, are you paying attention?

    April 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |



    WHY? WHY? WHY?


    April 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Jarred

    Murtha looks like he's about to run his pants in this picture! LMAO!!!

    April 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Peter from Oregon

    That's typical of many of Hillary's supporters. John Mccain is not too old to be president, neither was Ronald Reagan, or Pope Benedict XVI who's 81 and leading the Catholic church.

    Hillary's too dishonest to be President of the United States. Lets discuss that.

    Obama '08

    April 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Newman

    Since his birthday is 8/29/36 that would make McCain 71, wouldn't it? Seems Murtha mis-spoke. It's not anyone's call to say he is too old, he got the votes to get where he is. If age was an issue, then why didn't Huckabee or Romney beat him? Murtha is laughable, just like the candidate he supports.

    April 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Dee

    Anyone with an aging grandparent has seen how QUICKLY the elderly deteriorate...

    2 years ago I played frisbee with my 75-year-old grandfather, but this year he had to have 2 operations and I barely recognize him.

    we need somebody with energy and enthusiasm, this is a difficult time for our country and we can't put failing health on our list of things that could go wrong.

    April 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Bayou Joe

    How old is Jack Murtha. Looks pretty old to me. Better a proven old patriot than a young whipper snaper with no experience.

    April 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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