Obama Surrogate Attacks McCain for Age, Cancer

By Arnab Datta

Sep 14, 2008 11:05am

On "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" this morning, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a surrogate for the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., raised the age and health of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., when discussing the qualifications, or lack thereof, of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

McCaskill said she stood by her remarks that she’s "uncomfortable with anyone, regardless of gender, that is going to be vice president to one of the oldest presidents we’ve ever had, that has never met a world leader."

When Stephanopoulos asked her if it was fair to raise McCain’s age, McCaskill doubled-down and mentioned his past skin cancer, saying, "I think what we’re talking about is a reality. Other people talk about his melanoma.  We’re talking about a reality here that we have to face.  This is someone who’s going to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.  All of us know it.  I just think that it’s the facts, George, and that’s something that we need to start focusing on, are the facts, instead of distortions and lies."

McCain campaign surrogate Carly Fiorina said that she thought the attack was "disrespectful in the extreme.  This is ageism.  All you need to do is look at the schedule that John McCain has kept for the last two years to realize that he is one of the most vigorous, most energetic campaigners, frankly, in my judgment, out there.  So, I think this continued resort to ‘he’s too old’ is desperation, frankly, not to mention disrespectful to a very capable commander in chief."

McCain is, of course, not commander in chief.

- jpt

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