updated 7/6/2013 1:16:57 PM ET 2013-07-06T17:16:57

The latest Republican attacks against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suggest the Republican Party is still having trouble figuring out a good strategy for the 2016 election.

The latest Republican attacks against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suggest the Republican Party is still having trouble figuring out a good strategy for the 2016 election. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and others spent last week criticizing Clinton for being too old to be a good candidate in 2016.

Host Steve Kornacki and the panel discussed these attacks and why a party so full of old white men could think they are a good idea on Saturday’s Up. No matter the reasoning behind it, political strategist and Up panelist L. Joy Williams said “bring it on” to attempts to criticize the first serious female candidate for president for her age.

The election of President Obama in 2008 did signal a major generational shift past baby boomers, as guest Evan McMorris-Santoro of said, the GOP’s policies are far more alienating than the prospect of voting for someone who is nearly 70. The real question for 2016, he said, is “can anyone under the age of 45 vote for a Republican.”

Will this tactic continue, or will the party abandon it like it abandoned its strategy to reach out to younger voters from more diverse backgrounds? Just what are they thinking? Watch the full discussion above.

Video: GOP goes after Hillary Clinton for being too old

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    >>> republicans are already talking up a line of attack for 2016 when they expect to be running against hillary clinton . 69 days of age at election day , she will be too old. most of the gop hopefuls are much younger like marco rubio , rand paul or chris christie all in their 40s or early 50s. in the article by jonathan martin and "new york times" "the idea that we're at the end of her generation and time for another to step forward is certainly going to be compelling." an early preview of this strategy was seen at cpac this past march when mitch mcconnell , there he is, again, poked fun at the ages of both clinton and the ages of joe biden .

    >> don't tell me democrats are the party of the future when their presidential ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of the golden girls .

    >> that, by the way, is 70-year-old senate minority leader mitch mcconnell . hillary clinton will be 69 years old in 2016 , which is the same age that ronald reagan , when he won in 1980 . so, my instinct to say, well, you know, reagan, hillary clinton , that takes the issue off the table. i do remember dole and mccain certainly took grief for their ages. it does make you wonder a little bit how we think about age and politics.

    >> john mccain was 72 when he ran. biden will be 73 and hillary 69 and reagan in the second term was 73 when he was running for re-election. i think it will be an issue. remember in '08 obama, he said something similar to what karl rove said about generation and i'm a part of a new republicgenerational politics. therefore, i think it cuts away from the, she's too much of an old face. presidential face still. also, look at the senate and look at the supreme court . being 69, make her look young in washington politics.

    >> i just, look, in the second term i recall ronald reagan and the debate said i won't make my opponent's age an issue. look, this is just one more proof that republicans don't want to talk about policy. they don't want to talk about what they could do or would do. they only want to attack on age, economy and the kind of things on people's minds. hillary clinton as secretary of state put a real focus on helping united states business. she hired a chief economist in the state department , hadn't happened before. a story recently this month. everywhere she went on a trip, she would try to squeeze in ways to help u.s. businesses and suggest she did more to help the u.s. economy in four years as secretary of state, than the republican senate has managed to do. so, yeah, she's got a record. people pretty much know how active and energetic, i would say. and forward looking she has been and we will see what happens next.

    >> i have this view, steve, that they have a big dry erase board and all these various options that they're going to try to throw out hillary , if she is, indeed, going to run. and i think just month by month trying whatever strategy. now with age and they're just going down the list. let's see what sticks. they don't really have, they don't really have a forward thinking proposal for the next term. and to put up and say, you know, against rand paul and the marco rubios and if they're trying to produce this younger generation and this new generation, the country is not a chip and dale's catalog.

    >> they to that whole idea of pepsi, what is pepsi the choice of the new generation. that has sold in politics sometimes. gore came to office was generational.

    >> i think that new generation argument, age will be a factor but it will be about, can anybody under the age of 45 vote for a republican? they have to look at their own politics they're having. this is not coming from me. the college republicans did a scathing report about how their own party is able to attract young voters. i mean, if these guys will go out there, some guys like rubio who we'll talk about later and he's talking about getting the abortion ban wagon and rand paul has done social conservative stuff and made it kind of an off-color joke on the stump already. this is stuff that doesn't sell to young voters that well. that's the issue they're going to have to deal with. i think whether you can characterize hillary as old or somebody else as somebody else, that's one thing. the republican party really has a hard time reaching out to youth, minorities and saying my candidate is younger than your candidate.

    >> i think as a strategist, also, in terms of focusing in on women, this would be a gold mine for me. you know, sort of other people you want to focus on age and how to connect that with other women who will go vote and say, don't you experience the same thing at your job? don't people ask you about your age if you're too old in terms of leading this company and in terms of moving things forward and being able to talk to women about the discrimination or bias we face on this. i love it, bring it on, let's talk about age.

    >> you mention the republican issue, we talked about their autopsy and that was one of the issues. gay marriage as a gateway issue for young voters and none of those names i mentioned support gay marriage and hillary clinton , does, although it took her a while to get there.

    >>> marco rubio who is guarding. because all these whole grains aren't healthy unless you actually eat them multigrain cheerios . also


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