Citing His Age, Italian Prime Minister Backs McCain
By Dan Eggen
ROME -- It's not clear this is the kind of international endorsement Sen. John McCain is looking for.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a charismatic figure who often hams it up with the press, waded into the U.S. presidential race on Thursday by saying he preferred McCain, 71, because then Berlusconi would no longer be the eldest leader at international meetings.
"I suppose I could express my own personal preference for one of the candidates, the Republican candidate," Berlusconi said. "And this is for a very selfish reason, and that is that I would no longer be the oldest person at the upcoming G-8 because McCain is a month older than me."
The controversial Italian leader, who recently returned to power again, even went on to rattle off his and McCain's birthdates to prove the point.
Oh, and one more thing: The man standing beside him at Villa Madama when he made the remarks was President Bush, who is in the midst of an 8-day farewell trip through Europe and the United Kingdom. Bush chuckled, but didn't address the endorsement in his own remarks.
Posted at 4:19 PM ET on Jun 12, 2008
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