05/18/2014 11:36 am ET Updated May 18, 2014

Reince Priebus Says Hillary Clinton's Health -- And Age -- Are 'Fair Game'

Even Republicans like Newt Gingrich were outraged when Karl Rove raised questions about Hillary Clinton's health earlier this week -- but the Republican Party's top political operative is doubling down on the criticisms, and throwing in Clinton's age to boot.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday about Karl Rove's recent incendiary comments in which he suggested Clinton had a brain injury, Republican National Committee Director Reince Priebus said that if Clinton decides to run in 2016, "I think that health and age is fair game."

Priebus pointed to past efforts by Democrats to question Ronald Reagan and John McCain's ages when they ran for president. Clinton will be 69 in 2016.

Rove set the political class achatter earlier this week when the New York Post reported that he had suggested Clinton might have suffered a traumatic brain injury when she had a concussion after a fall in 2012.

Clinton is viewed as a likely presidential contender in 2016, so many political observers interpreted Rove's comments as a way to set the stage for future attacks against her.

"All he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding. It’s flagrant and thinly veiled," Nick Merrill, Clinton’s press secretary, said after Rove's comments were reported.

Priebus's comments suggest that Republicans have more flagrant and thinly veiled comments waiting up their sleeve for Clinton -- if she runs.



Hillary Clinton