Al Gore: Threat of shutdown is 'political terrorism'
September 27th, 2013
02:17 PM ET
7 months ago

Al Gore: Threat of shutdown is 'political terrorism'

Washington (CNN) – Former Vice President Al Gore unleashed some biting words Friday on the Republican-led strategy to defund Obamacare or risk a government shutdown.

"The only phrase that describes it is political terrorism," he said at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

"Nice global economy you get there," he continued, imitating what he sees as the GOP position. "It'd be a shame if we had to destroy it. We have a list of demands. If you don't meet them all by our deadline, we'll blow up the global economy."

The Democratic-led Senate voted Friday to strip language from a House bill that funds the government but defunds the federal health care law. The Senate version no longer includes the Obamacare provision, and the bill now goes back to the House. If Congress doesn't reach a deal by midnight Monday, the so-called non-essential parts of government go into shutdown.

Conservatives say they're not trying to shut down the government; rather, they say their plan keeps the government afloat. If the measure fails, it's the Democrats who are voting against it, they say. Many Senate Republicans, however, say the plan is too dangerous.

Gore laid out the legislative process through which the health care law passed in 2010 and referred to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law last year. He called conservatives' strategy "despicable" and "dishonorable," insisting a government shutdown would have far-reaching effects.

"You want to threaten not only to shut down our government but to blow up the world economy unless we go back and undo what we did according to the processes of our democracy? How dare you," he said forcefully.

Recalling his experience growing up around and working in politics, Gore said he has a distinct view of how the U.S. political climate has changed over the last six decades.

"Our democracy has been hacked," he argued, saying the growing influence of special interest money has festered in the country's "very sick political culture."

"Most of our elected officials are forced by this system, to spend five hours a day on the telephone raising money or going to cocktail parties and events to raise money from special interests," he added. "It's a kabuki routine."

The former vice president also managed to slip in a veiled swipe against Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who staged a nearly 22 hour marathon speech on the Senate floor in protest of Obamacare this week.

"Many men and women who I wish were in politics aren't in politics now. Why would they be? And some who I wish weren't in Congress are speaking for long stretches of time," he said, to laughter.


Filed under: Al Gore • Congress
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. allow me to translate

    Then why are Obama and the Democrats goin gto shutdown the government even though the Republicans have funded it???? Because Deomcrats are criminals and terrorists, that's why.

    September 27, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    How dare this Popularly Elected President, 2-Term VP, former U.S. Senator speak on things involving the American Govt.

    September 27, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    It's manbearpig!!! I'm serial!!!

    September 27, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Fair is fair

    Manbearpig! Lol

    September 27, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. President Messiah Darky

    Hey Al... ease up on the doughnuts buddy. You're startin' to scare me.

    September 27, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    I'd like to hear this language from currently elected Democrats, most especially the President.

    Elected Democrats: stop hiding behind opinionators who can say these truths for you. We are in a Cold Civil War. Act like it. Quit pretending something can be worked out. It can't.

    The battlefield? Public opinion. Messaging: get to work on it. Now. It's us versus them.

    September 27, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. freedom

    woo-hoo A new phrase coined by the global warming guru, Al Gore. Give – me – a – break.

    September 27, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We've been calling those Teatards economic terrorists since they came in in 2010. They are the enemy within. What form of government do they want? No government! I suggest we round them all up and put them on a secluded island in the Bermuda Triangle.

    September 27, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    The Repub position reminds me of the American Military rationale in Vietnam;"We had to bun down the village in order to save it from the V.C."

    September 27, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    allow me to translate

    Then why are Obama and the Democrats goin gto shutdown the government even though the Republicans have funded it???? Because Deomcrats are criminals and terrorists, that's why.
    ------------------–
    Denial will call it what you want. Reality will call it what for what it is. Terrorism. You do not negotiate with terrorists.

    September 27, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Tabeth

    An the world is closely watching us: This is America!

    September 27, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. kayla

    that's right AL, tell it like it is.

    September 27, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. ladyjag

    We need to give Texas back to Mexico, so we don't have stupid people like cruz, and perry, One thing is for sure, we the AMERICAN

    September 27, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. ladyjag

    THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, will show the Teaparty and the idiots in CONGRESS, we will vote you out, and you can be fired. WE NEED TERM LIMITS.

    September 27, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Anthony in California

    Say what you will about Gore but he's right.
    If I threatened (or came realistically close) to shutting down the government you'd have the police, the national guard and the armed forces knocking at my door.....

    But if you are a gerrymandered elected member of Congress putting your Party's political agenda before the needs of this country than its ok?

    Let them SHUT IT DOWN.. then we can finally SHUT THEM DOWN, and SHUT THEM OUT of office.

    September 27, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Richard Long

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
    OBH

    September 27, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. rs

    Agree completely! Now, can we treat them like Al Qaeda?

    September 27, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Fair is fair

    Manbearpig! Lol
    ---------
    Ummmmmm... would it be too much to ask for you to get your own handle?

    September 27, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Romy Monteyro

    Political terrorism did you say, Al? What about your sale of your two-bit TV station for a half a billion petro dollars to Al Jazeera? What do you call that? What can you call that except open support to Islamic terrorism? You cannot deny that Al Jazeera supports Islamic jihadist Muslim terrorism,can you? You have been in Congress and you know how the wheel and deal there. There will be no government shutdown! Both your fellow Dems and the Reps will come up with a solution at almost the very last minute. We've seen it before and we'll see it again. And we can still hear you laughing all the way to the bank with your ill-gotten loot, you traitor! Benedict Arnold must be laughing himself silly because he has been replaced in U.S. history as the biggest American traitor, just like Jimmy Carter being dethroned by Barack Obama as the worst president of the U.S. Go away Al! But don't go away mad, just go away!

    September 27, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. What's in that tea anyway?

    Just reading the comments of these Tea heads, posting here..... you just shake your head that the most moronic people in this country NOW have found their public voice.....As the GOP/TPers work to shutdown the government, there are enough knuckle draggin' supporters who will cheer and support it. Wow..the words GOP /Republican /Tea are now synonomous with Domestic Terrorism.....Congrats.

    September 27, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. don in albuquerque

    @FaIr is Fair-Are you on drugs. Manbearpig. I'm serial. Drugs or just stupid.

    September 27, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The under educated, GOP trailer trash that post here are the ones who have been hurt the most by Republican policy over the last 33 years.

    September 27, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. A Kickin' Donkey

    The ransom list is straight from the Romney/Ryan agenda. They lost 336 to 206. We have a process laid out in the Constitutuion for how to enact/ counter act laws. Pass a bill in the house, then Senate, then IF a President signs it it's law and if the Supreme Court upholds it, it's settled law. All you Contitution-loving Teapublicans need to learn about American democracy.

    September 27, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Peace

    Where are drones when we need them most? These inside-terrorists must be terminated.

    September 27, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. What's in that tea anyway?

    @Richard Long

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing .......
    ----

    Ok, so let me guess you just woke up from "la la land" after missing the last 30 years, and you are blaming President "Black Man" for the enconomic problems we have today (????) really....????? How novel...they have a talk show at Faux and fools with an immediate opening.... Well thank goodness we have you to alert us to the problem. The fact that this country's debt problems are the result of several decades of US economic problems under the past 6 administrations, but Thank Goodness we've got it figure out now...whew...that was close... OK Now go back and lay down ...we'll wait patiently for your newest discovery on the state of the country.

    September 27, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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