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. Rob Johnson

    It may not be fair, and it has nothing to do with the issues, but the single biggest contrast in last night's debate was age.

    Obama looked young, strong and confident. He looked like he has the energy, intellect and ability to lead this country.

    McCain seemed old, feeble and crotchety. He looked like a frail old man, and I weep at the prospect of him facing down someone like Putin.

    Again, it may not be fair, but on a purely physical level, Obama is much more impressive than McCain.

    October 8, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Don

    Whenever I see McCain somewhere wandering around lost, having to write down Tom Brokaw's question about priorities, hunched over, he just looks more and more like an angry dispirited old man.

    October 8, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Proud to be American

    One thing is for certain, last night McCain look old, tired and just down right mean spirted. It appeared he lost his train of thought it was almost sad. If he was able mind and healthy his age will not draw any attention from me but considering he is not I am afraid simply because he has Palin as his 2nd in command. This woman can't speak intelligently to America media let alone run the country.... just sad that McCain was the best that the Republicans had to offer and now they are bitter. SAD day when our ecconomy is in the pits ..... and there is only one American party that has clear answers...

    Obama and Biden 2008

    October 8, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. ANGIE

    Mccain you are 72 years old, Wealthy beyond wealthy why would you want to be potus and why did you pick that unqualified airhead to be vp so mccain if you win and godforbid something happens to you WE ARE STUCK WITH HER BRAINLESS CLUELESS mccain why would you do that to us please retire your time is up enjoy the rest of your life dont walk into the stress of presidency its to much for one to handle at your age!

    October 8, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Willy

    to this date, John McCain is the oldest he's ever been.

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Tired of Obama

    John is warming up the stage for our first FEMALE PRESIDENT! It's about time to put some estrogen in the White House!

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Dutch-VA

    Old out of touch man

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. John in Ohio

    Dude's old. And I really don't want 4 years of random tangential rambling anecdotes and stories like we've been getting in the debate. I'm 26 years old (and an Iraq vet), I don't fricking care what Reagan and Tip O'Neil did together. I wouldnt even know who Tip O'Neil was if it wasn't for all the old Bloom Country cartoon books I grew up reading.

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. S. Boatman

    Mccain Looked As Though He Could Hardly Pick Up His Feet When He Was Walking Around The Stage Last Night!

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. vperry

    I'm done. I've made calls, wrote letters, put up signs, and work hard so that my daughter would have the freedom of choice, independence, and basically living the American dream. Most of all, I wanted her to be safe. I too do not want to live in a socialistic country. I too think that it is scary that the American people would love to have the government control us. Is this what the founding fathers imagined?

    "This country was founded on freedom. Many men and women have died for this country. Democrats have always wanted something for nothing. Didn’t people come to this country for what we have. They left other countries to get away from the socialistic views of their governments. They wanted the same freedoms Americans have. The right to choose and the right to own their own businesses [without government interference]."

    No more calls for me, no more letters, signs, etc. I have too many strong emotions to particpate in this fight. Most of all, I feel like I've failed my daughter, and for that, I'm very sad.

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. NC Mom

    John McCain...young "maverick" he's not...old "loose cannon," he is.

    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Tony



    October 8, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. michael in MO

    This media manipulation is absolutely sickening. Constant McCain/Palin bashing with no credibility, while ignoring and suppressing questionable and concerning aspects of Obama. It certainly is in the media's best interests to "market" their boy – lots of $ to made in this product, to be sure. What a joke our "democracy" has become.

    October 8, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Bald ex-warrior

    Republicans are stuck with an old guy with failing judgement and his irrational pick of an extremely under qualified VP to replace him. I hope that McCain enjoys many more years of energic life. I also hope I win the lottery and I hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.
    But I know all of those probably won't happen.

    And I am NOT willing to gamble the future of our Union on his ability to stay razor sharp for the next four years. If I have to gamble, I will bet on the guy who is young, healthy, visionary, and willing to look BEFORE he leaps.

    October 8, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. gEnie

    Mccain said "That One" Because he can't remember he's debating with Senator Obama, he thought he's in the playground with kids around him. He looked like he's ready to go to bed last night.

    October 8, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Carole

    I bet some of you that are calling McCain old are "old" yourself and not in the best of health either. Obama is younger, but unfortunately his past is bad. He is not the person we would want in office no matter how healthy or young he is.

    By the way, where do you get your polls from CNN – last night after the debate people texted their votes in and the last I saw McCain had 86% to Obama's 12%. You people are such liars.

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

    you young people are being misled into thinking this blog includes everyone. I have posted many times just to irritate the moderator–not one pro-0McCain posted–many pro-obam of mine posted!

    October 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Voter of Youth

    If anyone wants four more(4) years of hard nonsense then vote for McSame and Palin and when that day come. Guest what you will be saying I wish I woulda shoulda voted for the one and only one him Obama.

    October 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. SKF

    McCain was out of breath several times last night. He seemed old and tired. The campaign trail has been hard on him as he has gained a lot of weight.

    Town hall formats do not give him an advantage...just make him look unhealthy.

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Darrel from Denver

    Tucker Bounds is simply spinning. His comments have no credibility here.

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Dylan

    ...Which is why is totally unacceptable to have Sarah Palin as VP

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. sophia nyc

    The President of the U.S. represents us as a nation. McCain is old, grumpy, not charming, with no gift of speech.

    That One '08

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Peter of Oregon

    Sarah Palin is just a heartbeat away.... "She's Bush in a skirt," but she's missing some of Bush's common sense, and has just a little more charm in her smile and her wink.

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Unshrub

    We had Reagan Democrats, now there are going to be Obama Republicans.

    October 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. Chicken Little's Hardhat Company

    John McCain probably couldn't get health coverage under his own health plan. For his sake, I hope he never loses his federal coverage.

    October 8, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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