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. One Nation under God

    Why is it that for the Second stright debate McCain didn't wear a flag pin and Obama did and McCain is not being questioned at being unpatrotic??

    i think it is stupid but what is good for the goose should be good for the gander

    October 8, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. iyke in spain

    Age, health questions continue for McCain. Why? Because he decided to choose someone who is not experienced enough as his running-mate, especially at this trying times when America is faced with many challenges.

    October 8, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Lee

    Let's talk about Obama's parents. Both died when they were very young. Obama smokes cigs. Biden has had brain annurizms. Both could kick the bucket leaving Nasty Nancy as POTUS. Now that's scary!
    Mccain – Palin ROCKS!!!

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Ken

    The Drama Queen wants us to think that he is the steady hand we want on the tiller? You've got to be kidding me. He is the biggest whiner there is going. Not presidential.

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. viince

    It's NOT his age that is the problem. McCain wasn't fit to be president 8 years ago.

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. ephraim

    speaking of age and health, why isn't the media all over the fact that mccain literally said he could "fix social security" in a snap, that it was "easy", he said it multiple times. comments like these reinforce his shallowness, arrogance and limitless inflated self image as some uber fly-boy, it is ridiculous. social security is linked to the economy, and is one of the most complex and vexing problems we have before us. mccain has indeed lost a wheel and become the double talk express.

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Wendy

    McCain obviously has a problem with the truth, all the fact checking shows that he is lying. He continues to repeat the same lies over & over when they have been fact checked & proven false. What is the matter with him? Can he not come up with his own ideas? All he does is slam Obama, never gives any details about his plans (if he has any).

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. California Gold

    McCain looked like a crippled old man and sounded like his mental faculties are failing. No details or meaningful dialogue: just generalities and a lot of anger directed toward Obama. His "that one" remark to Obama was utterly reprehensible. On a scale of 1 to 10 McCain came in -45.

    October 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. OMG

    OMG in last night debate he was looking so old, am like no i dont want this old man to be my president. he is very very old. wink (like Palin)

    October 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |

    If we could forget the age and cancer factor, McCain still would not be my pick. After watching last night debate, he and Cindy left early. Not to mention that when McCain was shaking hands with the crowd, Cindy followed behind him like a lap doggy not engaging the people. I want a first lady who is friendly and doesn't mind mingling with the people. Which brings me to the question of how in the world Cindy is running a multibillion dollar beer giant if she is not engaging? This lets you know what type of executive she is. Very removed from the people and not easily approachable.

    October 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. pat C.

    mcain should be called out on his age because i think he is to old to make important decisions that effect our world. the ad he ran today is just pathetic in his tries to belittle the man that most of america wants now to be our next leader. mccain just can not accept that a young black man is winning the race. mccain should leave the race now before he damages what little reputation he has left in the world. his chioce of VP was the biggest sign that he was losing his grip on reality.
    he has become as harmful as palin in the last few weeks and america deserves better than this. we have moved on to a better way of life while mccain is stuck in the past and it is to late in his life at this point to make any differance for america.

    October 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. aashish

    mccain is playing a dirty politics....he got an ego on him that his driving him this far..mr mccain there is no way you gonna win this election

    October 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Joe

    Where are Obama's health records? I don't care if he's young that doesn't mean that he can't have helath problems. Afterall, his mother died of cancer at a young age and his father also died at a young age. CNN, get on the ball and demand his health records!

    October 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Rich

    Yeah, Mr. Bounds, why aren't they holding Senator Obama to the same standards as Senator McCain regarding health information? Could it be the almost 30 years that separates them, you think?

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Euphemia Lynch-Guevara

    One 'can't teach an old dog new tricks' – and most certainly 'THAT ONE'!

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. j

    In this case age and health do matter because McCain showed such poor judgement when he picked his VP candidate and I get shivers every time I think about the prospect of Palin becoming president. But it's not just that, McCain doesn't have a clear message. He's erratic and contradictory. He seems confused at times and one day he's saying one thing and the next day he's changed his position 180 degrees. I don't believe he'll be effective in addressing alternative energy and our need to get off foreign oil. I do believe he'll continued the same failed policies of Bush. He doesn't even have full support of his base.

    One commentator noted after the debate that McCain is a 20th century presidential candidate while Obama is a candidate for the 21st century. I think America needs to look forward toward the future and I believe Obama will deliver.

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Gifty

    ....Mccain looks strong than young Hussein Obama

    Age = Experience/Wisdom
    Young = Inexperience

    Go Mccain/Palin 08

    Obama 2024

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Independent Voter

    mcinsane has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel! if he is elected the stress will kill him and then we'll all be in trouble with that hick palin trying to lead us!!

    OBAMA – BIDEN 2008 & 2012

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Erica from GA

    Tuck Bounds needs to stop talking because he is makiong himself look bad.

    Mr. Bounds, because Sen. Obama is healthy and has no history of medical problems, then his records would not be as large as Sen. McCain's. Try to think before you comment.

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Brian, NJ

    Maybe the reason Obama has a one page summary is because he has no significant issues in his medical history. I'm 44 and my history can take up one page (knock wood).

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Millie Gee

    The real reason the polls show McCain losing - Sarah Palin. Its fine to rally the base, but they need more than the base to win. I know Republicans who will not be voting for McCain because of Palin.

    October 8, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Missy in Kentucky

    It seems to me that John McCain has aged since this campaign began. He may not be able to physically handle the stress of running the country. What scares me is if he is not physically "fit" and he wins and his health fails, then we will have Psycho Palin running the country–Yikes!

    October 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Pat

    Everybody is saying McCain left early without shaking hands because he couldn't stand the heat. McCain and Cindy were up past there bedtime. How would he manage today or for that matter in the white house? They keep quibbling about Senator Obama's health record is only three pages, well when you are young and in good health that is about all there is. Past age 50 your memory goes, every year another ache, another pain, another pill. Give Gramps a break. He is old. In a few weeks he can retire.

    October 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Peter of Oregon

    My friends, I'll be voting for "That One" come November, you know.

    Let me give you some straight talk.. I believe he'll get to fixin' for all of us Joe Six-Packs and Hockey Mom's out there, also.

    October 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. PA voter

    McCain doesn't seem to have the energy needed to be President. I honestly think it's possible he could take more vacations than his buddy George W. Bush. Instead of Texas, it'll be Arizona. And Sarah Palin will try to get more duties as VP than allowed in the Constitution. Sound familiar?

    October 8, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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