02:50 - Source: CNN
John McCain tries for a sixth term

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Sen. John McCain: 'Britney Spears is certainly very attractive'

McCain will face challenger Kelli Ward in the Arizona GOP primary on August 30

Washington CNN —  

Sen. John McCain has a reputation for being a tough political player but he let his guard down Thursday when he admitted having a soft spot for American pop princess Britney Spears.

The veteran Republican senator from Arizona and former Vietnam prisoner of war made the admission about the singer and entertainer best known for hits “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” when he was stopped at Los Angeles International Airport.

A reporter from the celebrity news website TMZ asked McCain, who turns 80 on Monday, to name his favorite “younger generation” female celebrity.

“Britney Spears?” a man traveling with McCain suggested.

“There you go,” McCain said with a smile. “Britney Spears is certainly very attractive.”

The reporter then asked whether McCain would see Spears’ residency show, “Britney: Piece of Me,” at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

“Absolutely, I’d be glad to see it,” McCain said. “Everything I’ve heard is that it’s a good show.”

McCain added that his favorite male celebrity was prominent Republican actor and director Clint Eastwood. “I like Clint Eastwood a lot. Yeah, I think he’s a great guy.”

The interaction, captured on video, follows McCain’s Arizona GOP primary opponent telling MSNBC that the 79-year-old senator is too old to be re-elected for a sixth term in office.

“John McCain has fallen down on the job. He’s gotten weak. He’s gotten old,” Kelli Ward told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Thursday.

The Arizona Republican primary election is set for August 30, with a recent CNN/ORC poll of likely voters finding McCain currently with a 26-point lead over Ward.