October 8th, 2008
10:15 AM ET
14 years ago

Age, health questions continue for McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/HEALTH/10/08/ftl.mccain.health/art.ftl.mccain.health.jpg caption="Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and wife Cindy greet supporters Monday in New Mexico."]
(CNN) - Meghan McCain was on the talk-show couch, being grilled by the hosts of "The View." Does it bother her to hear jokes about her father's age? Megan, 23, started chuckling, and allowed, "He IS old!" Tension was replaced by laughter. But that was summer. These days, for Republican Sen. John McCain, age is no laughing matter.

Watch: Is McCain fit to be president?

Age as political issue has become a reality the McCain campaign does indeed have to face. McCain turned 72 in August, which would make him the oldest man to begin a first term as president - three years older than Ronald Reagan.

Clips of McCain making supposed age-related gaffes circulate on the Internet. Last month, Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and a supporter of Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama, said McCain's age and skin cancer history were fair game as a campaign issue. "We're talking about a reality here that we have to face."

All this skates over the fact that McCain already allowed reporters a peek at eight years worth of health records, dating back to 2000, while Obama has released a one-page summary from his doctor. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said it's a double standard. "The arbiters of this election are not demanding the same level of disclosure about Sen. Obama. He's essentially running on a doctor's note. I had a harder time getting out of high school math class."

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Mark

    His mud baths seem to be helping.

    October 8, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. FLewis

    MaOldMan is too old to be President.

    October 8, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Ronda

    I'm not sure who is running his campaign, but the format in last night's debate was wrong for McCain. He looked old, tired, awkward, and sounded out of breath.

    The town hall style may work well for him when he is alone on stage and only has partisan supporters in the audience. But last night he did not do well by the visual comparison.

    I also think campaigning with Palin highlights his age too. I have never seen him look so old and lost.

    October 8, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Greg, NY

    There's a big difference between ageism and racism. Everyone gets old, not everyone is black. Bringing up age and health should be very much on the table. The color of one's skin doesn't impact the way you make decisions, how old you are does.

    "That One" '08

    October 8, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    It's not so much his age, it's his attitude.

    He's snarky, petty, devious, sometimes just plain mean. He has no respect for anyone earning under $3 million a year, is a bully, and flat-out lies. Other than that, he's fast approaching old age.

    That One '08

    October 8, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Get Real

    McCain put age on the table when he selected Sarah "Not Prepared" Palin on his ticket.

    October 8, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Maggie from Virginia

    McCain is looking older and older. He seems to be having some difficulties. I hope he's OK.

    October 8, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Nic

    Um, Obama is 47 years old and has suffered no serious illnesses anyone is aware of. His medical records aren't going to be that extensive, comparatively. There probably *isn't* very much to disclose, Tucker.

    October 8, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Alison B

    McCain should be retired somewhere enjoying is 7 houses and 12 cars. Is it not the rule in 95% of companies when you reach the age of 65 it is time to retire so what makes him an exception to this rule.

    He has serious health issues and the stress from this job might too great a weight to place on his health. So he should retire after he loses this election November

    October 8, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Joyce, nj

    Look, Obama is 47, goes to the gym, takes good care of himself and it shows. He is sharp at debates, on the campaign trail. All signs point to a healthy body and mind.

    On the contrary, McCain's appearance, he looks 100 to be honest. His posture rather akward. I remember Reagan, he was able to stand straight and looked healthy. Plus McCain's gaffes, forgetting things, etc...all point to a not so good health condition.

    The worst is, he picked Palin as number 2. Anything happen to him, we know we can't trust that woman.
    If God forbid anything happens to Barrack, Biden is very capable of handling the task of a President.
    Big difference in judgement.

    Seriously, Barrack could be a poster boy for a health club.

    October 8, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Greg in MN

    It's a valid question because more people are worried about Palin accending to the presidency than if Biden did.

    More people think Biden would step in very well should something bad happen to Obama. People aren't on board with the idea of Palin suddenly becoming president. So, it's a question that is going to be asked like it or not Sen. McCain.

    October 8, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    This is an issue because Palin is so not ready. I still do not know where she stands on issues. She spent her entire VP debate time spinning her campaign stump rhetoric. DID NOT ANSWER a single question.

    October 8, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Bruce

    age and the way can effect your decision making and understanding of issues...so it is fair game...
    As for Obama's "dr. note" heis young and in shape..but yes it would be nice to see more.

    October 8, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Jeff Brown

    Is it true that Megan and Cindy flipped a coin to see who had to change Grandpa Munster's "Depends Undergarments" prior to the debate?

    October 8, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Joe Idaho

    He looked stiff last night at the debate, and those stools didnt help any either, as they made him look much smaller,

    October 8, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. SENATUS POPOLUSQUE ROMANUS

    Age is a problem, as proven by repeated bouts of grumpiness, erratic behaviour and, most importantly when the old person has not less than 1,600 pages of medical reports!!

    Further to this, McCLOWN age and health are important when instead of choosing a steady Vice President he chose the CLUELESS Sarah.....

    October 8, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. jim

    Obama's health record fits on one page because: 1. He's healthy, and 2. he's not as old as Moses. Tucker is a tool. Obama is fit LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY for office. McCain is a total gamble, ESPECIALLY now that you've got this dingbat Palin under his wing. She's so uniquely and supremely underqualified for the position (to paraphrase "The Ragin' Cajun" James Carville). VOTE OBAMA.

    October 8, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Joe Idaho

    actually he looked like 'Uncle Charlie" from my three sons

    October 8, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. mitch

    how long was the press allowed to review the numerous boxes of records?

    October 8, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. TyWebb

    Remember when Kitty Dukakis was skewered over her "addiction"...I guess the Democrats aren't going to stoop that low regarding Cindy McCain's old habit(s).

    October 8, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. THE WORLD IS WATCHING *HOPE IS COMING

    can I call ya John .......

    ok.................................................................................... JOHN YOUR OLD

    HE LOOKS OLD

    HIS IDEAS ARE OLD

    HIS REACTION TIME IS SLOW

    UNFORTUNATELY FOR HIM HE IS NOT PRESIDENTIAL AND NEITHER IS PITBULL PALIN.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 8, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Chris

    You can really notice McCain aging as the campaign goes on. At the beginning of the year he seemed much more energetic and younger than he does now. I think that Obama is wearing him out.

    October 8, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Republican Base Voting OBAMA

    He is OLD and needs to stop the maddness now and retire, We need a CEO in this country that is fit to lead on day one.

    Obama is my family's choice.

    October 8, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. THE 2008 REPTILIAN TICKET IS MCKEATING5 WHO TOOK 112K IN OFFICE AND AN ALASKAN GOV. THAT ABUSES THE POWER OF OFFICE. DOES AMERICA REALLY NEED TWO MORE CROOKED REPTILES IN THE HIGHEST OFFICES IN THE LAND? YOU DECIDE!

    McKeating5's health It increasing appears to be an irrelevant issue, according to the polls.

    His future contains a lot of down time allocated to napping!

    October 8, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Ted

    When Obama and McCain are standing together you see two things. One represents change and the future, the other represents the same and the past.

    October 8, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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