POLITICS
06/10/2014 05:29 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2014

Another Candidate Is Taking Heat For Being Too Old To Lead

David Zalubowski / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yet another politician was attacked for his post-retirement age instead of his stance on issues this week.

The Colorado Observer thrust the age question into the spotlight Tuesday with a story responding to Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) BuzzFeed post "14 Ways Getting Stuff Done In Congress Is Like Climbing A 14er."

The Observer piece points out Udall is 63 and his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, is 39. It notes that this 24-year age difference is the same as that of 2008 presidential candidates Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) -- and the younger candidate won.

But the age-bashing against Udall led Democrats to defend the first-term senator.

“If Cory wants to see Mark’s energy up close, I’m sure Mark would give him a piggyback ride up his next 14er,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said, according to The Denver Post.

Age has been brought up in some other election campaigns recently, too.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), 91, was defeated in the GOP primary runoff by John Ratcliffe, a 48-year-old former U.S. attorney who pushed for "fresh energy" in Washington.

During the campaign, a PAC ad also emphasized Hall's age.

"Ralph Hall was first elected to Congress when Jimmy Carter was president," the ad begins. It goes on to emphasize his age and position as one of the oldest members in Congress ever. (Although the ad says Hall is "the oldest member in Congress ever," Tampa Bay Times' PolitiFact noted it is incorrect. Hall is "the oldest serving House member in history," but the Senate has had four members older than he is.)

As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential bid has been discussed, the topic of her age -- 66 -- has surfaced. Speaking to Fox News in May, Karl Rove said Clinton might appear "old and stale" to voters.

"In American politics, there is a sense that you want to be new, that you don't want to be too familiar. You want to be something fresh, you don't want to be something that is old and stale," he said.

When Diane Sawyer brought up age in an ABC interview Monday night, Clinton spun the focus back to Sawyer, who's 69.

"Age, yes -- isn’t it great to be our age,” Clinton said.

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