Defining Expectations in N.H. with McCain
By Lois Romano
PEMBROKE, N.H. -- As his GOP competitors tripped over each other in Iowa, a very relaxed and confident appearing John McCain today segued back to New Hampshire, where polls show him neck and neck with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
"It has to be perceived as a win, absolutely," McCain acknowledged to reporters about how well he needs to do in this state to catapult his campaign to the front of the pack.
But he would not parse what exactly defines a win, having struggled mightily over the past six months to regain his once front-runner footing. "That's the expectations game. Maybe fifth- you know, he came back from seventh," he quipped to laughter.
McCain took questions from about 100 potential voters -- many already supporters -- who braved very cold and icy conditions to hear him at Pembroke Academy.
To the woman who asked if he would be too old to be president after eight years in office, the 71-year-old Arizona senator assured everyone that he had a hearty gene pool. "My health is good, my campaign schedule is heavier than anybody else's, and I've said many times I can out-campaign anybody," he said. "Last Christmas my mother decided she wanted to drive around France. She tried to rent a car and they said she was too old so she bought one."
McCain would be the oldest person ever inaugurated as president if he were to win.
McCain heads back to Iowa later today, when polls show him trailing Mike Huckabee and Romney.
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