POLITICS

Marco Rubio Denies Suggesting His Potential Challenger Hillary Clinton Is Too Old To Run

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pauses during a news conference following the Action Group on Syria meeting in the Palace of Nations, Saturday, June 30, 2012, at the United Nations' Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pauses during a news conference following the Action Group on Syria meeting in the Palace of Nations, Saturday, June 30, 2012, at the United Nations' Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, Pool)  (AP)

Did he or didn’t he?

It seemed to some that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a baby-faced 43-year-old who may run for president in 2016, was calling his potential challenger, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, too old to run for the Oval Office.

In an interview with National Public Radio in recent weeks, Rubio, a Florida Republican, described Clinton as a "20th-century candidate.”

“I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now.”

Polls tend to show Clinton, who is 66, well ahead of other potential presidential candidates in both major parties.

Rubio has said he is not fazed.

“Multiple people can beat her,” Rubio said. “Hillary Clinton is not unbeatable.”

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Rubio denied he was saying that Clinton was too old to be a serious contender for the presidency.

“You can be 40 years old and be a 20th-century candidate,” Rubio said on Fox.

“We are going through the equivalent of an industrial revolution every five years and I don’t think she or her party, and quite frankly, even some people in my party, have answers to that,” he said.

Age often has come up as an issue – albeit usually a subtle one – in political races when there is a considerable disparity between candidates.

The late President Ronald Reagan addressed the issue in his favor when he famously quipped in a 1984 debate (he was 73) against Democratic challenger Walter Mondale: "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

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