• This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 16, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: To the campaign trail and the attack on Senator John McCain's age today, this one coming from 75-year-old Congressman John Murtha.

    The senator swinging back in a wide-ranging interview with me just moments ago.


    CAVUTO: All right, Senator, John Murtha, as you know, commented today, saying that, maybe you're too old to be president, telling a union audience: "I served with seven presidents. When they come in, they all make mistakes, they all get older. And this one guy running is about as old as I am. And let me tell you something, it's no old man's job."

    Click here to watch John McCain address comments on his age


    CAVUTO: What do you say?


    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I didn't know John was running, so I guess he will have to speak for himself.

    But I invite John to come out with me on the campaign trail. I out- campaigned everybody else, and that's why I'm the nominee of my party. I can certainly out-campaign either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton. I would match my record and my schedule, not only now, but in the past, with anybody's.

    And I guess Congressman Murtha will have to speak for himself and his own condition.


    CAVUTO: You know, it's interesting, though, Senator. In a race where they're very touchy about mentioning race as an issue, feminism as an issue, age is okay.

    MCCAIN: Yes.

    CAVUTO: What do you make of that?


    MCCAIN: I'm outraged, Neil.


    MCCAIN: It should be never mentioned.

    Look, I had to show my party in my campaign, not only my vision, but also my vigor and my strength. And the reason that I am, I believe, qualified is because I have the experience and the knowledge and the background to make the judgment necessary in this very difficult and challenging world, where we face a transcendent challenge of radical Islamic extremism.

    There's no time for on-the-job training, seriously. My response to Jack Murtha is, look, we need somebody that needs no on-the-job training, that knows the challenges we face, and can take them head on and hit the ground running. That's what we need in a president in this part of America's history. And I'm the one that's qualified.

    CAVUTO: As you also note today, sir, Jimmy Carter has indicated that tomorrow...

    MCCAIN: Yes.

    CAVUTO: ... the meeting with Hamas leaders is set; there's no way of changing that.

    How do you feel about that?

    MCCAIN: I think it's — the word that springs to mind is "unacceptable." And another one is "disgraceful."

    These are thugs and murderers. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton should directly repudiate and tell President Carter he should not meet with what is fundamentally a terrorist, that's been responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people, and continues to articulate daily his organization and his personal dedication to the extinction of the state of Israel.

    They are a terrorist organization. No former president of the United States should be meeting with them.

    CAVUTO: All right. So, when Barack Obama says you do have to talk to your enemies, that you can't ignore your enemies, what do you say?

    MCCAIN: I say that you cannot legitimize terrorists, murderers, thugs and give them a place on the world stage who violate every standard and norm that we stand for and believe in, including the innocent slaughter of civilians, and women, and children.

    And, so, I strongly disagree. And, again, it's this issue of experience and judgment. Senator Obama does not have the experience to make the right judgment as to how to deal with terrorist organizations, obviously. Otherwise, he would never approve of such a meeting.

    CAVUTO: I think you know, Senator, we have been in and out of another all-time high for oil and gas prices today...

    MCCAIN: Yes.

    CAVUTO: ... oil hovering around $114 a barrel. Many are sort of jumping on your proposal to nix the federal gas tax, about a little north of 18 cents, throughout the summer. Are you afraid, though, that by the time we get to the summer, we'll be up that much and more in gas prices?

    MCCAIN: I'm very concerned about it, Neil.

    And, obviously, the way that it's been going up is just terrible. But I think, psychologically — and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological — confidence, trust, uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. This might give them a little psychological boost.

    Let's have some straight talk. It's not a huge amount of money, but it might be nice to be able to save a few bucks and maybe buy something else the next time that they have to fill up their gas tank, and say, you know, I'm going to be able to afford that little extra expense now, and a little psychological boost. That's what I think it would help.

    But we also, I think, need to stop competing for a limited supply. As far as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is concerned, let's just stop buying that as well. But it might be a nice thing to have.