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. Army Guy

    I have to say, as a Republican, I am not impressed with my candidate. Obama represents what I believe in when it comes down to facts and figures. I am not sure I will change parties but this is one Republican who is definitely voting Obama in. I am tired of the same old stuff, it's time for change, starting with my vote.

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. LL

    His age and health are definitely fair game especially since McCain picked Palin as his VP. I think that pick first of all shows that he has lost it and second, it shows that he is willing to endanger this country by putting a completely incompetent person on his ticket. So yeah since he picked Palin and I think we can all agree that she should be nowhere near the White House, his age and health are an issue. And the fact of the matter is he is 72 and that should worry everyone who does not want Palin to run this country. Can you imagine her as president...awful pick by McCain. Shows he lacks judgment and is willing to sell-out to win.

    Obama/McCain '08

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. AZ Dem for McCain

    Does Obama have any friends who are not Anti-America?

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Let's be clear, it is not age discrimination at work here. I do question his judgment. The rigors of the Presidency are tough. Is he physically ready? If not, is his second ready? Sarah Palin has demonstrated to me that she lacks experience in all aspects of national politics. If he had picked someone more capable, then age would not be such a talking point, but Sarah Palin made it one you betchya.

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. inat

    double standards. Ageism and sexism is OK to use against MacCain / Palin but anything and everything is RACISM! against this fool running on the NeoDem ticket

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Bald ex-warrior

    It is time for McCain to step aside and let the next generation step up and lead.
    He is just too old at this point in the game. I am not dismissing him as a worthwhile person; I am just saying that it is time for him to advise the next generation, not try to lead it.

    He just doesn't understand the new world and all the changes. The world has radically changed and we need someone young enough and with the flexibility to change with it.

    October 8, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. DR

    That is sooo misleading. Obama was found to be in "perfect health", so that's why there was only one page. McCain had something like 8000 pages of medical reports that he let reporters look at for 1 hour, and copies were allowed to be made. And Obama is the one hiding something???

    October 8, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Bruce

    STOP AND THINK!!! What hapapens IF McCain can't serve out his term?

    Do you REALLY THINK Palin could lead this country? REALLY?

    she can't even give cohearent answers to simple questions. And the way she gives answers shows she does not understand the question.

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. John, FL

    He has a 2-4 year life expectancy. His candidacy's sole function is to make Palin president.

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. mayah

    suppressed anger, plus age 72 equals disaster...

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. ltd1974

    McCain is Keating 5!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Jason

    I'm a big time Obama supporter, but I gotta say, that doctors note comment by Tucker Bounds was hilarious!

    But seriously, I'm more concerned with his choice of VP when we start talking candidate health. She's more dangerous than Bush and Cheney combinded!

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Tony

    You betcha Obama won the debate last night. Golly, Mccain looked sickly, old and frail, doggone it!

    He also walked around the stage also like he was also in a daze at times also.

    He looked confused much of the evening and also you also could tell that he also was confused, it's all about job creation also, that he really wanted to get out of their and back out to town hall meet with the Joe Six-PaCkers adn the also you know the hockey moms.

    October 8, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Student in NY

    Watching the debate last night he did look sickly. Even Keith Olberman said it. He reminded me of a creepy grandpa with that crooked snarly grin.

    I feel bad for him b/c he's honestly going down in flames right before our eyes.

    Oh well. If you hadn't started lying everyday since after you said you'd run honorably maybe you wouldn't be in this position. You deserve it.

    October 8, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Joe M

    Mc Cain looked especially tired and wooden last night. I realize that due to his POW injuries he has lost some body movement. His hasty departure afterwards speaks volumes as well. We really need a complete examination of his medical records by an IMPARTIAL medical team. 72 is not old, but McCain's medical history raises a lot of question.

    Tucker Bounds, as ususal, tries to make a non-issue into one. Obama's health is obviously good. Regular exercise, trim and fit, he;s obviously up to the physical demands of the job.

    October 8, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Retired Veteran from New York City, NY

    Yes indeed, Age and Health should be a great concern for the real American Voters, not just a Republican or Democrat thing.

    The United States of America is the world leader, and in a time of great challenge, we need somebody with great vision and leadership. We don't need a Moose girl, Hockey Mom, Joe Six-pack to be in charge of a country of over 300 million people.

    Sarah Palin is so uneducated, she has no diction and better yet, cannot even put a real phrase together. America deserves better!

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Ryan Kr

    McCain is too old, has ill temper and bad judgment, and he always got confused all the time. McCain age and health 're very important in this election because Miss Alaska is not ready and she is clueless on all issues.

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. well yeah questions continue...

    ....because he is really really old...

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Doug R.

    McCain has over 1,200 pages of medical records (that's what was released, maybe there's more). What does that tell you??
    He looks old, tired, lost, miserable, unhappy,...he's also very disrespectful.

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Call it what it is.

    Hey John, you want to borrow my fork? Because you are done, my friend!

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. NoMcSame

    Hey John, Go fish.

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Annette

    McCain's health is more important then age, but also of some concern.. McCain's health history is much more of a risk if he was to become president, the added pressure of running a government and the increasing economic recovery problems is issue # 1 right now, and for a while to come. We can't afford either candidate coming into office with major health problems that may hinder their ability to stay focus.

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. JD

    Dis anyone else feel that Brokaw was in McCain's corner?

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. AJ

    Okay, what is the debate about? Obama comes across as an arrogant blow-hard with no clear cut sensible plan and no record (except for a record of evading issues that would actually give him a record.) John McCain comes across as a senile old dinosaur with no new or fresh ideas and the Washington DC mentality (the constituency knows nothing, those is DC know best.) In short, it's amazing that either man is the nominee for his respective Party. It seems like exactly what it is: the Democrats are more interested in electing the first African American president than they are in doing what is best for the nation; the Republicans are so old a stale they couldn’t come up with anyone better. This is really a sad commentary on our democracy and raises the question: Are Americans too stupid for Democracy?

    October 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Cindy Nelson

    John McCain put up his white surrender flag when he picked Palin to be his VP
    That is on everyone's mind, and she is the noose around his neck.
    Because of that terrible choice for VP–he is going to lose this election. Sarah Palins hate envoked comments along her campaign trail are what is doing this Campaign in.

    October 8, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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