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. frustrated in PA

    Amen, Carol. I wish we could start this whole process again. I say re-vote for everybody!!!

    April 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Paul

    Ummm, aren't the huge majority of late night talk shows filmed at 4 in the afternoon?

    April 16, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. DJ

    Murtha is wrong on this. Maybe his age limitation should be imposed on senators, too?

    April 16, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Bill

    I thought Bill said the us old folks were wiser. Camp chaos continues. And they wonder why I switched to Obama.

    April 16, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. janice

    cheap shot mcbush. hillary backer insults you and you are going after obama? you are pathetic – and btw some talk shows and a college hardball show doesnt DO JACK to prove you are not too old to be president.


    Senator Obama you have my vote. I hope America does not allow itself to be hoodwinked again by the lying Clintons and the republican rogues

    April 16, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. John, Pittsbugrh

    Just one old guy making fun of another old guys age for fun. Don't take it so seriously.

    April 16, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    With all the bickering going on amongst Democrats – Hilliary supporters saying they will vote for McCain if Obama wins, and not as many Obama supports saying they will cross over and vote Republican. We all have to be concerned with McCain's age – his medical records have not been releasted, but his people say he is clear of cancer. The reality of it is that some people do suffer some memory loss as they age. No disrespect, but remember Ronald Reagan.

    April 16, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Alimi

    That's so unfair, McCane has been nothing but respectful to the both democratic candidates, even when he disagree with them. Hillary should denounce and reject the statement.

    April 16, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Uncle Sam

    Why are racism and sexism wrong, but it's acceptable to insult someone because of their age? We are living longer and in better health and John McCain and his mother are good examples.

    April 16, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Jeff

    it's the truth. murtha should know.

    April 16, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Women 4 Obama

    A Clinton supporter attacks McBush and McBush campaign attacks Obama? That is as hilarious as McBush stealing somebody else's recipe!

    But yeah, McCain is old. No wonder everybody wants to be his VP running mate! Just think Anna Nicole Smith.

    April 16, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Ed K.

    We need to face reality. McCain is not in his prime or at the top of his game. This is just one of life's facts, not disrespect.

    April 16, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. ***AMERICAN***

    Thank you Uncle Sam. That just sounded good.

    April 16, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Mighty Earth

    Attacking yet another veteran

    April 16, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Al Ware

    The way Rep. Murtha comes across is funny. I can't take him seriously about anything he says. I respect him, but I just can't take him seriously at this point. This election has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

    Vote "Obama"!

    April 16, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Cowboy Jack

    As a Hillary supporter, I'd rather vote for an old guy w/ a lot of experience than a young guy w/o any

    April 16, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. obamican


    April 16, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. yea, baby!

    Tell it like it is!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. kathleen

    Jack Murtha should have supported Obama.

    April 16, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Ross in MD

    HOLD ON!
    Murtha can talk?!!!

    No problem, McCain probably didn't hear him anyway.

    April 16, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Bukky

    So will the call for Clinton to personally apologize for her backers opinions...?

    April 16, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Anna, IL

    I thought Hillary is the one who is too old to remember what happened in Bosnia.

    April 16, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Abe Schenck

    I always knew Murtha was a self-hating old person.

    April 16, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. wally

    Jack is an idiot. Isn't it illegal to age discriminate in this country?

    April 16, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Rock

    You're right Uncle Sam. We have ageism, sexism and racism. In other countries, they respect their elders, here people laugh at them.

    April 16, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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