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Jolly Jack Murtha, who's 75, thinks John McCain, 71, is too old

Here's a good one. Rep. Jack Murtha, the 75-year-old Pennsylvania Democrat, thinks Sen. John McCain, the 71-year-old Republican, is too old.

How old, by the way, is too old to be in the House of Representatives? There is obviously no age lim75-year-old Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha says Arizona Republican John McCain is too old at 71, so he likes 60-year-old Hillary Clinton of New Yorkit on earmarks.

Murtha, you might be surprised to learn, is backing the 60-year-old Hillary Clinton for president.

Murtha has been stumping for the former Illinoisan, former Arkansan and current New Yorker in Pennsylvania, which holds its crucial Democratic primary Tuesday.

"I've served with seven presidents," Murtha told a union audience Wednesday. "When they come in, they all make mistakes. They all get older ... This one guy running is about as old as me," he said to laughter and applause. "Let me tell you something, it's no old man's job."

Later, McCain responded. "All I can tell you,'' the Arizona senator told CNN's John King, "is that I admire and respect Jack Murtha ... Speak for yourself, Jack. I’m doing fine, thanks.''

Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became president and left office just shy of his 78th birthday. Rep. Ron Paul, who remains a Republican candidate, is 72. Ralph Nader, who's also running again, is 74.

When asked about his age, McCain usually suggests that people take a look at his mother's longevity. She's 96. That, by the way, is more than twice as old as Barack Obama, who's a mere kid at 46.

-- Mark Silva and Andrew Malcolm

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau.                                                                  Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (7)

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never too young, never too old, to make a difference. RON PAUL (as astutely noted, the only legally remaining republican candidate) and his r3VOLutionary (common sense) return to the constitution with viable clear cut solutions to america's most urgent problems, clearly demonstrates that people can be not only physically, but even more importantly mentally healthy and have integrity, responsibility, intelligence, sound independent and incorruptible judgment and an enterprising spirit at the age of 72. unlike some spoiled 'kids' at 46, 60, or 71.

I thought the Democrats were all against things like age discrimination, which Murtha seems to be exhibiting in regard to McCain. What a sourpuss.

Murtha just pissed off about 85% of the older VOTING population. What an idiot.

I somewhat agree with Jack Murtha. I really think his running-mate would be very, very, important to deter this fact.

70 years of experience on the planet might also be a good thing if one has actually been observant... one has probably seen it all-- several times.

These attacks on older people are really unconscionable... democrats ought to know better... a vital older person is an asset. If Macain can hold up in the debates (which he has) and can run a competent age should not be an issue.

It is sad to see that the L.A Times has devolved into a right wing rag. It is not that McCain is too old, he will be controlled by the same neo con money whores who have run this country into the ground during the Bush administration.

McClane is doing well for a senior, Not all of us can still be an 'action heros', especially at his age.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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