Watch CBSN Live

At Obama Event in Youngstown, Age Becomes Topic of Conversation

From CBS News' Michelle Levi:

(YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO) - Barack Obama intended to focus on energy today at his town hall meeting here, however, in addition to the matter at hand, others in attendance wanted to talk about age.

Gov. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio, who introduced Obama, called him "young" not once, but twice during his remarks, which lasted 35 seconds.

"We will put our heart and soul into every day between now and November 4th –to make sure, to make sure, that this bright, young, energized, compassionate, intelligent, committed, young man by the name of Barack Obama becomes our next president," Strickland said.

Perhaps in an effort to stress that he's not so young, Obama followed by saying that even though he and Strickland both celebrated their birthdays yesterday, "I think I have more gray hair than Ted, though." Obama has referenced his graying hair on multiple occasions.

Later, during the question-and-answer portion of the event, Obama was asked how he feels about term limits and Members of Congress who are "80- or 85-years-old" and still serving.

"It's kind of a tricky question for me," Obama responded, specifically avoiding mention of his 71-year-old opponent, John McCain.

"I've got colleagues in the Senate who are doing just outstanding work and they're well into their 70s and they've got incredible energy. I mean one of my dearest friends in the Senate is [76-year-old] Ted Kennedy." He added that term limits may increase the power of lobbyists and that elections are the one form of term limits he supports.

Finally, the last question of the event was from a 75-year-old woman who wanted to know "who is spreading that vicious rumor that women my age, white haired and all, don't support you?"

Obama laughed and said, "That's true it's a vicious rumor! It's a vicious rumor and it's not true! It's not true. It is a vicious rumor. Well listen, I am grateful for your support."

View CBS News In