It’s an age-old part of politics – what you say and do as a candidate goes under the microscope and can instantly turn offense into defense. While on the campaign trail over the weekend Republican candidate for Governor Paul LePage made a comment about Democrat Libby Mitchell’s age.LePage says it was just a joke. LePage, who is sixty-one reportedly told a group of supporters, “Libby had her 70th birthday a few weeks ago and I’m concerned about her. We should send her home.” Maine’s AARP chapter heard about the comment. The organization has released a statement accusing LePage of ageism saying it was downright wrong to make such a comment.Tuesday morning LePage called into a Bangor radio station to try to set the record straight by saying, “The fact of the matter is yes I made a joke about being 70 and then I went on to say she was a very formidable candidate. If Elizabeth is offended by it my deepest apologies because I didn’t mean to offend her.”Meanwhile, Mitchell says it’s time to move on. “I accept him at his word, but it’s certainly not an issue of the campaign. We really have to change the subject and debate the issues. We do differ on many things in terms of how we’d move the state forward. That’s legitimate for public debate.” Mitchell told TV5 News. Prior to our interview with Mitchell she reportedly fired back at LePage by quoting former President Ronald Reagan who said, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Reagan said that when he was 73 and running for president against Walter Mondale, who was 56.TV5 News did try to get comment from LePage directly, our call was not returned.