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. What Really Happend

    Just by the simple fact that he hasn't endorsed yet signifies that he is for Obama. Why would the fomer vice president who knows Hillary and Bill Clinton the best not be an enthusiastic Hillary supporter?

    Obama 08

    May 6, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. larry King Live

    Nobama needs your support please give it to him

    May 6, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Niel, NY

    Don't be afraid to be termed as Judas.

    Anyway, its too late for you, Edwards, Dean etc to endorse or give any opinion. Be a bystander and watch the party split.

    Have fun.

    May 6, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. David Goldman for OBAMA

    DUD DON'T LET RUSH CRAZY GET INTO OUR

    BUSINESS. PUT YOUR DUKES UP & GO FOR IT.

    May 6, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Farren Ballanst

    Tiachi, Kenneth M, et al...

    You pinheaded nitwits! You have the audacity to attack Al Gore? He's done more for this world in the last few years than any of you will do in your whoe worthless lives!

    Now, put on your paper hat and get back to work.

    May 6, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. jim

    gore is faarrr tooo smart to endorse hillary and his endorsement for obama will do em good for the general

    May 6, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Ron L

    It's really simple, he wants the voters to decide. He has made his mind up and will announce probably by June 6th.

    May 6, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. New York

    The Clintons were part of the reason he lost his presidential bid. He was tainted by the Clinton's ethical and moral corruption.

    May 6, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Y

    The only reason the Superdeleagates are taking so long to endorse Obama is because they're afraid of James Carville. It's awkward for some of them to vote against their former boss. That's why I have always felt that Clinton's candidacy is questionable. It's a third term.
    Be bold a come forward for Obama. James won�t bite.

    May 6, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Bud Curtis

    I think Al Gore is doing the right thing for the party. Obviously, if he endorses now it will turn off half the voters. A better role for Gore might be to wait until it is critical to reunite the party, then he will still have some sway with the Democratic electorate.

    I do not really see Gore in the role of ending one of these candidate's campaign by forging a compromise, unless it it to persuade one or the other to join the others' ticket as V.P. (he has some valuable experience after having served as a V.P. for two terms, and he could probably make a good case to one or the other that the role of V. P. could be valuable to the President and America).

    My advise to Gore, keep your powder dry and your ammunition ready.

    Bud Curtis
    Miami, OK

    May 6, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Theresa in Minneapolis

    What a wimp. I think he's not endorsing because it will piss of his old pal, Hillary. You'd think it would be a given that he'd endorse his former running mate. Because it's really about BILL and HILLY, isn't it?

    He's keeping his mouth shut so he doesn't wind up in jail like so many of the other members of the Clinton adminstration.

    May 6, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. mk

    At this point, it's kind of late for me to be excited about an Al Gore endorsement. The race is practically over. I'm filing this alongside the Liz Taylor and Tom Hanks endorsements....

    May 6, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Independent

    Sen. Gore please come out for Obama. He is the most trusted politician we have. If you remember, it was the clinton's who did absolutely nothing to help you in your own Presidential bid, and they have done nothing to desreve your loyalty. America is ready for change, and the only person who can start that is Barack Obama!

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Robby, Portland

    . . . When they say that, you know that they are about to endorse
    Obama.

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. seyi

    how dissapointing of Gore at this stage... Especially when the whole world knows the politics of him and Clintons. Bill probably gave him a call and said... hush!

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. lars

    Al Gore may not have invented the Internet,
    but he did invent global warming.
    Who cares about this windbag's endorsement?
    Oh, dumb sheep.

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. emmanuel

    OBAMA FOR LIFE

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. John Smith,TX

    Al Gore shows clearly that he is not done yet with the presidency itself. Al refuses to be called elder in the party because he just turned 60. Al may comeback if MCcain 71 is runnung or Al may be the least devisive between HRC and Obama. The fight will go to the convention for sure!

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Michigan

    Cast your vote with Mr. Obama !!! He will listen, he will respond and not react and he will restore dignity and diplomacy to our White House.

    May 6, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Do the right thing!!!! For the record, words don't mean anything unless it's put into action, talk is cheap Hillary!

    Obama All The Way

    May 6, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. D.

    Gore would be a perfect cabinet member for either Democratic candidate to have— for example, maybe there could finally be a real Secretary of the Environment. Heck, I'd even have him as VP again. But I suspect he'll endorse Obama, eventually; Obama's environmental policy is not fundamentally different from Clinton's on paper, but there's a better chance that he'll actually follow through with it, and the Clintons seem to have a bad habit of alienating former friends. If Gore really had devotion to Bill and Hillary, he would have come out and said so already. I don't think Gore would appreciate seeing his onetime political partners expend all their energy nuking Iran into the ground, as Hillary has essentially threatened to do, rather than fixing this planet up.

    May 6, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Grant

    I am starting to get the impression that Al Gore is simply becoming to wise after his experiences 8 years ago and since to be a modern Presidental candidate. Imagine a President who actually uses a term like "recovering politician". Funny and provacative all in one.

    May 6, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. chris

    I can see why Dean and especially Pelosi won't endorse since after all is said and done they are going to have to work with the candidates. But Gore is no longer a politician. He is just a very influential public figure. If he wants a Democrat in the White House next year, he needs to come out and endorse Obama to bring this to an end. Besides, if Hillary is willing to endorse the gas tax holiday, something that Gore has to disagree with just to get votes, there is no way she is going to adopt any of his energy policies. Especially if they don't poll well. If Gore endorses, expect Edwards and the remaining supers to as well.

    May 6, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Ron

    Are you serious? Gore lost Florida? Get your facts right...

    Go Gore. I commend you for your stance. (AND I AM AN OBAMA SUPPORTER WITH MY CAPS IN ALL THEIR GLORY!)

    May 6, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Jackie

    The contest is not over people.
    Go Hillary!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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