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."

Full story

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. arc, Lugano CH

    When it was Senator Obama's turn to speak in the debate, McCain, on several occasions, stood up and wandered around the stage.

    1. Was this an attempt by McCain to somehow physically intimidate Senator Obama?
    2. Or did McCain just lose his focus and forget where he was and what he was doing and maybe who he was?
    3. A little bit of both?

    October 8, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. RW

    You could put John and Sarah on SNL, there a big joke, maybe even the
    2 most untrustworthy candidates in history, a couple of out and out

    October 8, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Amy

    McCain's age became THE issue when he chose Palin to be his running mate!

    Palin was the prettiest, folksiest, spunkiest person he could pick for the job-but she wasn't the most experienced, most knowledgeable, most qualified or most honorable.

    One heartbeat away, my friends, one heartbeat away.

    October 8, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Valerie - St. Louis, MO

    Why doesn't someone stop the McPalin people from slandering a college professor as being a terrorist. If that were so, he would be in jail, not teaching our children. If I were Bill Ayers I would sue them for defamation of character since I have never been convicted of any terrorist acts. Barack Obama was 8 years old when Ayers was accused of being a terrorist because he protested the Vietnam War. But remember during those times that Martin Luther King Jr was accused of being communist by J Edgar Hoover. That was also a BIG LIE. McPalin needs to stick to the facts otherwise they don't have a chance at the White House.

    October 8, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. New Day

    I love people saying Palin '12. Please oh please Republicans, make her your candidate. actually, if you guys could make her your candidate for the next 4 or 5 elections, it would be super. Can you ask Quayle to be her Veep?

    October 8, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Craig - Hastings, MN

    The idea that Palin "The Hockey Mom" could be in charge of the world's most extensive nuclear arsenal scares the living hell out of me. Same applies for Obama.

    Draft Perot/Ventura-08

    October 8, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Get Real

    Could McCain even sit on the stool last night. He look uncomfortable!

    October 8, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Sarah

    The debate winner is: "That One" – Mr. McCain needs to practice how to call “that one” Mr. President.

    This thing is over
    Good luck


    October 8, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Moose Poop

    I'm actually more concerned about this man's mental health.

    October 8, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. BJGT

    The American people, who have watched McCain in action for the last 26 years, are starting to understand that McCain's history renders his current plans and promises empty.

    October 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Bit

    Tucker Bounds is a joke. He needs to see a doctor.

    October 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Doug D

    Interesting that the "Full Story" doesn't allow comments but the blurb does. Also wonder how many read the full story.

    From it, "Dr. Wendy Epstein is a dermatologist who signed a petition calling on McCain to release all his records to the public. "Anybody running for the president gives up their right for personal privacy. Their health is my concern." "

    Funny, I thought all Americans, including public figures, had right to privacy guarateed way back in 1974. After all, the personal data on his medical records could be used for other purposes if one was trying to sabatoge him.

    October 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. reggie

    I'm a lifelong democrat. but, will vote for the republican this year. McCain is the only candidate fighting for the people. All Obama cares about is Obama and his career. No way, no how can this man be president.

    October 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |


    October 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Polin LOVES Palin!

    »VOTE with your Brain!:::»VOTE MCCAIN!...««

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Michael

    As an Obama supporter I think it is silly to focus on the soft issue of "McCain's age" instead of the more important issue of his health relative to his age. This is a man who has had multiple bouts of cancer which increases his chances facing it again in the future. While degenerative neurological concerns are a statistical possibility at this point there's no real evidence that it should be on the table. However if somewhere in the phonebook sized medical records there is information about his cancer or physical health we should have that information. Barack's "doctor's note" is acceptable given his lack of serious medical concerns.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    TOO OLD! Fuzzy on the facts, forgetful, and can't tell truth from lies!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 AND '12!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Jan

    I fear for all of you young college students who are using my money for your student loans. You will find, if Obama is elected, that you will be working at a low-paying fast food place when you graduate with all those expectations of making lots of money. I plan to close my business with the dem tax proposals and will live off the gov just like you. You will have no wealthy people left to pay his taxes! Best of luck with your socialist pres.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    I have previously commented to many blogs stating that this Presidental campaign would be about race, gender and age......and if I'm not mistaken, McCain/ Palin–Obama/Biden....apply the variables as appropriate.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. vic nashville,Tn

    I cancel my cable till Nov 5th
    Main stream media shame on you all
    The way you all handle the bail out and 2008 election !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! horrible
    I go to gym at 6 PM ct time to watch Lou Dobbs one and only show tell the truth to Americans
    From 1991 I watch CNN Now ?????????????????????????

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. Carl, Atlanta

    McCain's chronological age isn't the issue. There are many leaders older than him and they are quite effective. What is at issue is that McCain does not apppear to be healthy. He was stiff, nearly stumbing on stage last night. His mind doesn't seem clear and he has a difficult time artuclating complex thoughts. Quite frankly, McCain's mind has deteriorated significantly in the last four years. Obama should not have had the cakewalk he got last night and wouldn't have in the past. So can we afford to have McCain at the helm as we attempt to rebuild America? I think not.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. gpenn FL

    The guy is old and has had a cancer that almost always reoccurs and will eventually kill him. Will it be in the next 4 years? Probably not, but it could. I think the possibility of dementia is the more scary possibility.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. John, Fairfax, VA

    This is what scares me. I wouldn't say this is a reason not to support a ticket if that is your candidate; that wouldn't be fair. However, as an Obama supporter, I am scared of the idea that Sarah Palin may end up as president. Is she going to dodge major issues in office like she dodged questions that weren't on her little index card? You can't choose the problems that come your way as president. I am much more comfortable with the Constitutional law professors at the helm, than the journalist. That is a very real fear with McCain's health. Obama has his own issues with all the bigots in this country. He has a ton of secret service. But again, God forbid something happen to Obama, Biden is not going to be in over his head.

    October 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Michael

    I am voting for "that one".

    October 8, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Richard

    McCain has now lost two out of two debates to a man he calls "non-presidential". How awfully bad does that make McCain?

    October 8, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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