Letterman says McCain jokes "not entirely fair"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - David Letterman is feeling a bit remorseful about poking fun at the advanced age of Republican presidential contender John McCain, telling Rolling Stone magazine that his McCain jokes are “not entirely fair.”

Talk show host David Letterman reads a tribute to Johnny Carson at the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles September 18, 2005. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Along with his late-night TV rivals, the 61-year-old comedian has had little difficulty dredging up old-fogey jokes about the Arizona senator, who turned 72 last week and would be the oldest man ever elected U.S. president.

“John McCain looks like the kinda guy who brags that his new denture adhesive allows him to eat corn on the cob,” Letterman once said on his CBS talk show.

On another occasion, he said McCain “looks like the guy who has to be told to close his robe.”

The CBS “Late Show” host said in a Rolling Stone cover story that McCain’s age makes him an obvious target.

“Every time we have these jokes about him, I always think to myself, ‘This is not entirely fair,’” Letterman said.

He said comedians have had a tougher time cracking jokes about McCain’s Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

“I don’t think people have a way to get in there,” he said. “There’s nothing automatically that you can go to.”

Asked about his own voting preference, Letterman said he had not yet made up his mind. But he recalled thinking that Obama once wore a “stunningly beautiful” suit during an appearance on his show.

“So I’d vote for him on the strength of that suit.”