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. FEDUP

    Sage advice. Obama -bots are too young to listen to anyone but the yes we can, repetitively spoken speaker. Redundancy is their forte. The competitive, repetitive theory is in the school system. That is what is wrong with the eductional system. Tell someone the same thing over and over and over and over until they get it. Eliminate free thinking, just repeat and repeat, call it brainwashing.

    April 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Joycelyn

    I do not understand how McCain's age has anything to do with Obama. If anything, he should mention H. Clinton. IF am not mistaken HIllary's age is much more closer to McCain than Obama

    April 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Mike

    Obama is young enough and naive enough that powers and influences he never dreamed of would play him for a sucker as president.

    Hillary is the only real choice that can lead this country into prosperity.

    April 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Hanging Chad


    Does Murtha even know what day it is? This is the pot calling the kettle black!


    April 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Hicks, Fort Myers

    Easy comment for a political "has-been" who really has max'd out his own potential in life.

    Folks–there's a reason there is no maximum age for President. Wisdom, energy, vision, and new ideas–don't die out at any specific age. It's in the spirit. I agree, Murtha is too old...and too stupid, and too secular, and too much of a follower than a leader, and......

    Don't accept adivce about a winner from a loser!

    April 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Age does play a role... Alzheimers is more prevalent in older people... Have we forgotten what happended to Reagan?

    It's a sad thing but it does exist more in the older population. No one can say whether this will be the case for McCain but he does get his Iraqi factions all mixed up!

    April 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Vic

    he should know...

    April 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Jim Shimmer

    I agree. He is too old, hot headed and a democrat in disguise to vote for.

    If you want another 4 years of BUSH, elect MCSAME!

    Obama is the way to go.

    April 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Independent for Obama

    I think Murtha shouldn't attack Mccain's age and Mccain shouldn't have attacked Obama....He keeps saying people are tired of old politics...both attacks are wrong.

    April 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Juliet

    look who its coming from

    April 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    Rep. Murtha is right McCain is too old. When Mrs. Reagan walked out with Sen. McCain, when she endorsed him, it was hard to tell who was holding who up.

    Rep. Murtha is wrong on his endorsement. He should have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama.

    Another Republican voting for Barack Obama and proud of it.


    April 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Ralph Nader

    Why is everyone talking about McCain as if he's old? I don't get it.

    April 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Dan , TX

    Geez, look who's talking about age...
    It's not about age, it's about understanding the modern world and how technology has changed it, and how technology can be employed to reduce waste, fraud and abuse, and to use that technology to protect America. Obama gets it.

    April 16, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. seventhunter

    So McCain says that he appears on LATE night televsion and it shows that he can stay up late? But the late night shows are usually taped in teh afternoon and aired when McCain is already asleep.

    April 16, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Vince

    This post made me laugh and the replies are hillarious too.

    April 16, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Marilyn

    This is why his choice of a vice president is so important. His VP should be a moderate without ties to the Bust administration.

    April 16, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Joyce in Florida

    He is too old. His temper blows up pretty quick. Don't need another Bush administration. Done with that and I believe so is everyone else. Time for him to go rest. HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!

    April 16, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Mike, CA

    All of you seem to be misinterpreting what the man was saying. He's not being a hypocrite, he's saying the office of the President is too much for men of their age, himself included. He'd be a hypocrite if he was running, but he's not.

    April 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. I may be old, but...

    ... even I know that those 'late' shows by Letterman and Leno are taped earlier in the day...

    April 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. michael

    Mccain is too old for anything. Even to feed birds.

    April 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Dave

    I hope the Democrats take this approach and run with it since it always make sense to alienate a portion of the population that is the least likely to change their views and is the most likely to vote for the same consistently.

    April 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Concerned Voter

    When I look at the landscape of this, I see no way that Obama can win an election. The media does vote and CNN does not pick a president. He has divided the party and is arrogant. He has paved the way for a Republican win.

    Will you post this CNN ?

    April 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Obama is a GODSEND

    Next we'll see Hillary doing aerobics on the Tonight Show.

    April 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. R.N. NC

    McCain old but experienced. Obama young and inexperienced. Hillary, just right.

    April 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. NJ in FL

    Hey Justin, don't send him our way, we aleady have enough screw ups down here. Obama remember, you will need our vote in the general election, you didn't want us in the primary, so NO VOTE in November.
    GO HILLARY '08

    April 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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