May 6th, 2008
03:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Gore speaks: I still may endorse

Gore's endorsement could shake up the presidential race.
Gore's endorsement could shake up the presidential race.

(CNN) - It's an endorsement that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would love to score, but Al Gore has remained firmly neutral - even as the Democratic presidential race drags on months longer than expected.

Many have speculated why Gore, one of the party's most popular figures, has decided to stay on the fence, but the former vice president said Tuesday the reason is really quite simple - and he still may yet come out for a candidate.

"My purpose in not endorsing a candidate is nothing elaborate," he told National Public Radio. “I’m simply watching and listening to the campaign. As a delegate to the convention I will cast my vote at the proper time. I haven’t ruled out making an endorsement prior to that time, but I haven’t been moved to do so.”

Gore added, "I have respect for both candidates, they both have strengths, and I’m simply listening and watching like a lot of people."

The party's 2000 presidential candidate is easily the most sought after remaining undecided superdelegate and his is perhaps one of the few remaining endorsements that could significantly alter the state of the race. But several political observers have suggested Gore is remaining neutral should he be called in to play the role of "party elder" and forge a compromise between the two candidates.

"I don't like that phrase party elder," Gore said of that suggestion. "I am not anxious to be playing that role. I just turned 60, which is the new 59. I am just a voter, and a recovering politician, and watching it carefully. (TIME.com: Is Al Gore the Answer?)

"I don't know if that role really exists," Gore added. “I think the odds are overwhelming that it will tip rather decisively in one direction or another before the convention even meets.”

But Gore acknowledged the party may have to review its nominating system after the presidential primary race has finally ended.

“Probably it should be re-examined, but I prefer to wait until this is over to get a full picture on this has worked," he said. "I guess there’s widespread dissatisfaction with the idea of having so many so-called superdelgates, and maybe that will be the prevailing view when this is all over.”

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    In a primary, the term Disenfranchise has no meaning. None of the primaries are binding. If the process make both candidates unelectable they could and should put someone up who can be elected. Do not let the process stop us from reaching the most important goal. 'Remove the conservative freaks from power. ' We're letting Faux news(The Austrailian owner, not American) drive our politics. McCain was a Centrist in 2000, he's a conservative freak in 2008.

    Anyone but McCain in 08

    May 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Robert

    hold off until the convention. then, when a stalemate is reached, al gore can claim that he is the only one that can certainly defeat john mccain. he's campaigned a national campaign, had proven he can win the nomination, and has proven he can beat the republican nominee in a national election. he just did it 8 years ago.

    gore-obama 2008

    remember: life always imitates the west wing...

    May 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Marshall in Nebraska

    Just trying to save face. It is for the good of the country?

    May 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. GL

    No Cali-

    It is the state legislatures that broke the rules and moved their primary dates. If you need to blame someone, at least get that right. Doesn't matter at this point. The rules were set, FL & MI broke them- now deal with the consequences. Stop whining about being disinfranchised. If you are so disinfranchised, then take it out on your state leaders who caused it. Otherwise shut-up and move on.

    How disinfranchised do you think the other 48 states, and territories will be if you were allowed a revote. Rules? Who cares. We're bigger than the rules- NOT THIS TIME.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Carol

    When will the party "elders" (in age only not expertise) and the pundits realize that "We the People" would like the chance to make our own choices about who we want in office. I thought we were long past the days of the "ole boys club" but it seems to be alive and well. Get over yourselves. Do you really think that people hang on your every word and follow your lead. Hell no, we are out there driving from one gas station, grocery store and pharmacy trying to find the lowest prices.
    When will the people in Washington and on TV learn to relate and repect "The People"

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. rjs91157

    Susan in SC May 6th, 2008 4:12 pm ET

    After the 2000 election I cannot see Al Gore quietly watching if HRC makes a move to override the most popular votes and most delegates won position that BHO holds.

    Al Gore SHOULD be our current President. I bet we would not be wasting young American lives and hard earned/paid American tax dollars supporting a civil war in Iraq.

    I truly hope Gore endorse Barack Obama soon.
    ********************************************************************

    I can't see Mr. Gore supporting a candidate that would disenfranchise millions of voters from two states to win a nomination unlike the Republicans who only disenfranchised one state in 2000.

    Guess that makes obama twice as bad as Bush!

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. bob in L.A.

    Let's be honest, Gore blames Bill for not wining in 2000. Maybe for the wrong reasons, but he does blame him. This would mean that the likihood of his endorsment of Hillary is about the same percentage he lost the presidency by.
    Someone in his postion within the party does not need to endorse. He has been wise in not backing anyone and should wait until a candidate is selected, even if its with his vote.
    Too much of this election has been about chosing sides and not the proper canddiate. Richardson, Gore, Edwards, Easley, Hanks or Oprah are all only people, so why should there opinions be more important than any other americans.
    Vote your convictions, not someone elses.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Joseph

    Based on the numbers from CNN if the susperdelegates were to vote based upon the will of the people in their state Hillary would be ahead by 40+ delegates. Bottom line. number of states do not matter. Popular vote matters. Until we resolve Florida and Michigan and let all democrats have a vote then the only resonable choice is to have the superdelegates follow the will of the people in their state. Hillary has just as much right as anyone to the nomination. The idea that Obama deserves it more and will have a better shot of winning in November is ludicrous.

    May 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. kristen

    Does anyone like Michelle Obama to be the first lady of America? Go to Youtube to search her speech. I changed my mind after i watched her talk. Please do not try to turn your face aways when you watch the video! See what kind of manner, attitude, gesture she is using when she talks.....

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Franky

    You know, if there are any superdelegates out there who haven't decided who to endorse or support, I actually call it, "The Obama factor." Why??? Hmmmm, a lot of factors come into play as a matter of fact and just as long as people think, that's what I want...

    May 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. clinton all the way

    He should endores Hillary he owes her that much.

    May 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. tim in carroll ia

    Hey CNN! You need to use your own delegate projector! This Race is already over!!! Even if Obama and Clinton are relatively even in the rest of the primaries – Clinton would need over 85% of the remaining superdelegates just to get to 2025! That's not going to happen!!!!

    Democrats, it's time to unite behind Obama and wipe out the McCain/Bush disaster once and for all!!!!! We can, and must, work together to move this nation forward! Don't call yourself a Democrat if you even think about voting for John McCain! He doesn't seem to care how many soldiers have to die in Iraq! He doesn't have a clue on the economy! And his politics are decades old! It's time for Obama!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Mike Guinn

    I would LOVE to have Al Gore endorse Senator Obama! I will always believe that he was elected as Presient and that it was stolen from him. We wouldn't care to see that ever again in my lifetime!

    May 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Marshall in Nebraska

    Cali hit the FL & MI issue right out of the park. They all agreed. But when she started to lose, she started to shreek about it being unfair for the people there. Why didn't she stand up for them while the DNC was making the deciding what to do. Oh, that is right she would be making a stand. That is why she voted for the Iraq War. It is always easier to go along with the crowd.

    May 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. mike

    To the people who like Gore – remember that if it were not for Hillary and Bill, he would have been our president.

    May 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Deb

    Thank you DKimbro, Ohio...it is about time people stopped with Rev. Wright...it is old news.

    May 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Marie in California

    It's not the bickering so much as the insane way in which the Democratic primary system is structured. First there is the craziness of caucuses, which I view as an extremely unfair and discriminatory voting format. Then there is the apportioning of delegates from each state primary. Then, this year, there is the disenfranchisement of voters in Michigan and Florida. And finally, there is the matter of superdelegates....and party elders, like Gore and Edwards, with disproportionate power over the choice of a candidate. All very unworkable and convoluted.

    I've long been a Democrat but, after watching this loony system in operation these last few months, it's made me seriously consider becoming a Republican. I mean, if the Democrats can't even run a party and a primary season, how can the they be expected to run a country???

    May 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. J.W. of Mississippi

    Obama supporters, why are you so angry? Please stop demeaning yourselves and your candidate. In order to insure that we don't allow another Republican to win, we must be prepared to unite behind the Democratic Nominee regardless of who it is.
    All of a sudden the Clinton name has become dirt when for the last seven years it has been the standard barrier for our party. I'm African American and an avid Clinton supporter but If Obama wins I will not hesitate to support him 200%. I think that we democrats are blessed to have two wonderful Candidates and we should not be attacking & belittling them.
    Everyone calm down and realize that America and the World is counting on us(Democrats) to clean up the mess that the Republicans have created over the last seven years.
    Clinton supporters, the same applies to you. Senator Obama is not the Antichrist. He is by all indications a fine American deserving of all of our respect and support if he wins the nomination.
    Democrats, Independents, sensible republicans & everyone else let us unite and send Bush, Chaney, MacCain, the Neocons & the rest of those that hijacked and robbed our country a strong message in November ---NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Marshall in Nebraska

    Backing no one speaks volumes

    May 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. mitchell

    i hope al gore endorses obama.

    May 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Chic

    I think Hillary can take gore in a all out fist fight and he knows it.

    Obama

    May 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Hillary's Kool-Aid

    Okay, for the record. Barack has the popular vote. Stop drinking Hillary's Kool-aid. She does not have the popular vote. That's why she makes a point to say more people came out to vote for her than any other candidate. Well, hello Barack's name was not on the Michigan ballot. I guess if your name is the only one on the ballot you would get more people voting for you. She's an idiot if she thinks educated people believe what she is shoveling.

    O/08

    May 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Kelley

    It'd be great if he did endorse Obama....but I personally don't need an endorsement to see who the better candidate is....anyone that has their eyes open during this election would know that it's OBAMA....

    May 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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