McCain brings out the age jokes on Leno
By MARTIN KADY II | 8/25/08 9:29 PM EST
LOS ANGELES — Now it’s John McCain’s turn to make age jokes about himself.
Walking onto the set of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” Monday afternoon, McCain had the funnies cued up:
“You forgot to mention that I warned the people about the British coming,” McCain said after Leno introduced the senator as a hero.
McCain added that he’s so old that “my Social Security number is eight.”
Leno wished McCain a happy birthday in advance of his 72nd birthday on Friday, and this time Leno had one in the holster:
“We were gonna have a cake, but the fire marshal said, ‘That many candles?’”
Some of the press traveling with McCain were not in the Burbank studios of “The Tonight Show,” but we were allowed to listen to audio of the interview via a conference call, so the comments are from audio only. The show will air tonight at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.
Leno didn’t let McCain off the hook, offering him $1 million to answer how many houses he owned and noting that the White House would be a nice addition.
“You’ve got enough of those. … You need a white one, too?”
McCain used that to turn serious for a few moments, and had a ready answer after stumbling over the “How many houses do you own” question in last week’s interview with Politico.
“I spent 5½ years in a prison cell; I didn’t have a house,” McCain said. “I didn’t have a table. I didn’t have a chair. … You know, I’m very proud of Cindy’s father. … He made the American dream.
“This has nothing to do with houses. It has to do with putting Americans in houses and keeping them in their houses.”
McCain also said that while he is happy to be tied in polls today, “I’ve always wanted to be the underdog.”
He also repeated his respect for Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s pick for running mate, saying that “he’ll make a good running mate for Obama,” but he pointed out that Biden has been ranked the third most liberal Democrat in the Senate.
And McCain had one last joke when asked about the vice presidential speculation, saying that Gov. Tim Pawlenty, if he was chosen, might have a tough time debating the loquacious Biden.
“The problem for him might be getting a word in edgewise,” McCain said.
The Leno appearance is part of a California swing Monday that included a fundraiser in Sacramento and another money event this evening at the Beverly Hilton, where this report is being filed.