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

Gore speaks: I still may endorse

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/art.algore.gi.jpg caption="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. Tony Z- MD

    Make a decision. HRC has already thrown you under the bus.

    May 6, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Tiachi

    PUNK!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Tiachi

    AFRAID TO GO AGAINST THE CLINTONS UNTIL THERE IS NO SHOT SHE WILL WIN

    May 6, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Kenneth M

    WHAT IS THIS? GORE HAD HIS CHANCE, HE MISSED THE BOAT, HE SHOULD TAKE A SEAT AND MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS. WHAT A QUEST FOR RELAVANCE HE AND EDWARDS AND MRS. EDWARDS ARE ON. OBAMA 08

    May 6, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Tjaye

    If Gore endorses before today's election and that person wins, the other will forever dismiss the win as folks following Gore and not that candidate. If he waits, he can never be accused of influencing voters beyond their true choices.

    Besides, endorsements show little. Now, defections speak volumes. If people who have known you and worked with your for eons leave your camp and go to another camp....hmmmm.

    Obama O-8!

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. tidho

    His choice not to have already endorsed Clinton says a lot.

    It is good that he's staying out of it, I hope he continues. Like Edwards he has the national profile to help unite the party when it becomes official.

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. V4OBAMA

    What the hell is taking him so long then?

    There's no way in HELL he would endorse the Clintons after they gave him the Shaft when he ran in 2000.

    There's only one thing left to do, Al and that's to board the Hope Train.

    We welcome you with open arms.

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Peter R

    Common Al! Enough is enough! Hust pick Obama and settle this mess....

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Chuck in Alabama

    Pity this man hasn't been leading America for the last 8 years.

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. David Goldman for OBAMA

    GORE STANDS TO BE MORE RELEVANT THAN ANY

    PRESIDENT FOR THE PAST 28 YEARS. A MAN WITH

    GREAT HONESTY, DIGNITY & INTELLIGENCE.

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Dave

    This is news?

    May 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Do not pull an Edwards on us Gore! We are sick of wishy washy Edwards. I believe that Hillary offered Edwards the V.P. job and he
    is just waiting to endorse her. But, of course, he don't want to endorse
    a loser. That would make him a third time loser.

    Gore, get it over with. We are sick of politicians holding back for personal gain. Sounds too much like the Clinton's horrid pastimes.

    May 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Barack's Gauntlet Trial

    I hope that Gore is sympathetic to Barack as he goes through the tag-team gauntlet of "operation chaos" and Hillary Clinton.

    May 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Jose'

    Typical democrat.

    Gore will wait until everything is decided, then choose the winner and make the talk show circuit.

    No spine.

    No convictions.

    Typical democrat.

    May 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Miley

    Tomfoolery

    May 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Wayne

    Clinton wants to endorse Obama. Hillary asked him if you cant endorse me can you at least stay on the fence.

    Gore fears the Clinton attack machine and has remained neutral.

    May 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Ted

    Why wait Al? Hillary treated you like crap when you were VP. You surely can't have a great deal of respect for her. Do it.

    May 6, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    I am sick, sick sick, of political teasers.

    May 6, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Sharon Minnesota

    At this point, I'm not so sure Gore or Edwards will change the minds of the voters either way. Sorry, you waited too long.

    May 6, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Cammi317

    Tiachi pinned it with the second comment....."afraid to go against the Clintons until there is no shot she will win" We all know, there is nothing worse than a Clinton scorned......

    May 6, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Matt, Nebraska

    Thank God this moron wasn't elected in 2000!

    May 6, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Stacy Clarks

    ENDORSE IF YOU CARE ABOUT THIS PARTy!!!

    AND ENDORSE OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't be scared of James Carville calling you a traitor.....Richardson survived it, and so can you!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    GORE IS ANOTHER DEMOCRAT PARTY UNITER ONCE THE NOMINEE HAS BEEN CHOSEN.

    May 6, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Raz

    I really respect his decision, but I like to see him endorse OBAMA.

    Raz

    May 6, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Tony

    You people are clueless. He doesn't endorse as a show of party unity. If he endorses Obama and then Clinton pulls off a miraculous screw-job and gets the nomination (or vice versa), then he has egg on his face and the Democrats look divided. That would essentially say "the other person isn't good enough; if you elect him/her instead of my choice, then we're all screwed." It's sort of lame, but it's also in the best interest of getting a Democrat elected in November.

    May 6, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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