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. gary

    I would vote for Gore over either other candidate.

    May 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Fischer

    Since Gore already has an inclination of who will win from his statement, why can't he go ahead and endorse him to spare the party an imminent fallout. If he is sure about hillary, then I am sure that by now he would already have endorsed her.

    Obama 08'

    May 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. kim in portland, oregon

    can we please just end this thing and focus all our energy on the utter disaster that is mccain! i know he's made our job sooooo easy with all his flip-flopping, and his vile anger issues, and his love for the administration that TRASHED his wife (then again, what bush said in 2000 is noting compared to what he himslef said about cindy), his career-long love affair with lobbyists of all kinds, his career-long pro big-business votes, his nasty buddies like hagee and parsley etc., his RIDICULOUS and insulting "gas tax vacation" (he REALLY thinks we americans are STUPID. talk about elitist, he thinks you are stupid!), and on and on and on and on.

    america needs change, so get out there and vote democrat! leave the mccain votes to the few ignorant haters left in 2008 and those project chaos idiots, who think so little of themselves they know they have to CHEAT to win! TYPICAL repugs, lie cheat and steal all while claiming you love america and God! ummm, yeah, right!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Al Gore is a wonderful man, and I hope he will support Sen. Obama.

    Come on Indiana! VOTE FOR CHANGE!

    VOTED AGAINST ANYONE WHO VOTED FOR THE WAR= HILLARY!

    And please DO NOT be fooled, Hillary can not "take a break from the fuel tax!"......... she has no power and it would take a bill in Congress AND Bush would have to sign it! No chance!

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Shades

    You see, that's your problem Mr. Gore. You never manned-up and told us what was really on your mind. Every word out of your mouth has been carefully scripted for political effectiveness. After a while, we all just see you as a staged puppet. What you say doesn't mean anything anymore.

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Rene D, Bel Air, MD

    VP Gore,
    You can see from many comments by the Obama supporters that they are more anti-Hillary than pro-Obama, given his stated and demonstrated "let's get along and solve this situation" perspective. Those supporters have been playing a psychological game for months now, saying the numbers put her out of reach time and again, that it was sinful of her to even stay in the race, shame on the whole Clinton family. That is not the kind of people I want picking the next President.
    Hillary is looking better by the minute, Barack is going the other way. She shows her fortitude, intelligence, spunk, sense of the big picture/details simultaneously. This is a rare individual, and I want her in the White House. May I have your support?

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Helene

    Oh yeah ? Maybe before 2011 ? Or before the earth has melted ?

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. eLarz

    If Obama is the nominee then the Democratic party is finished as we know it. I for one will vote for only for Clinton, and if she is not on the top of the ticket I will vote for Nader.

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. JIM WHITTAKER

    When it finally comes, and it will, Gore's endorsement of
    Obama will be the final nail in The Clintons' coffin.

    I can't wait!

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. voter in AR

    T Collins "Man, Obama backers on here are some of the most bitter, screaming, hateful people I know.... If you're going to switch camps because of "your" candidate not getting the nod..."

    Come on now... isn't like 60% of HRC supporters who say they will switch parties if Obama is nominated?

    I understand that Hillary is closer to McCain in policy but then why didn't they just vote elephant in the first place?

    May 6, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Tony, Powell, OH

    Geez Louise...I'm a Republican and don't like Gore much at all, but I still defend his right to take his time and support someone on HIS timetable, not YOURS. Some of you are WAY too tough on him; he's allowed his vote whenever he wants to make it, and there's definitely a sense of desperation from the Obama supporters at the thought that Gore might wait a bit longer. I also agree that in reading these blog comments day after day, HRC supporters can be petty and obnoxious, but they pale in comparison to some Obama supporters.

    May 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Jenny Craig

    Seriously Al...time to hit the gym!

    May 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Sharon in Mi..

    Please make a decision already. Hillary has no respect for rules or fair play. Once again she is counting delegates using her own brand of mathematics. She is trying to get Fl. and Mi. to count even though she knows the votes in these two states are tainted. She seems to be dictating her will to the democratic party. If the supers would grow a little courage maybe they can stop this old woman before she wrecks the party and any chance of the democrats taking the white house this year.

    May 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Sue in CT

    Take your time, Al. We know you will make the right decision and choose Obama. On that note, I wish you had decided to enter this race – it would have been over long ago if you had!

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. norb

    The guy that couldn't beat George W. He couldn't even carry his own State! Nice guy, terrible politician.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Jay Shah

    face it folks, If the VP under Bill Clinton hasnt' endorsed Hillary as of yet, that tells you right there he going to endorse obama. It's only a matter of when, not if.

    Hillary go home, Barack Obama 2008

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Jay in Houston

    Party elder? Isn't he younger than Hillary Clinton?

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Obama in 08, 12

    After what the Clintons did to him.....no way he can endorse Huckaby Hillary.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Black Knight

    Gore always fought fair, so that rules out Clinton.

    May 6, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. LNAB

    Remove the 139 delegates from caucuses in red states (not enough democrats to hold a primary) and this race is close and neither candidate can reach the required 2025.

    Add the primary votes from Florida and Michigan, add Obama's failing performances over the past 4 weeks as voters flee from him and you have a recipe for disaster should should Obama be the nominee.

    It's going to be ugly and McCain is going to win.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. An Objective Observer, Toronto, Canada

    The only thing for Gore to do is NOT endorse either candidate. By doing so, he only helps to widen the rift between highly polarized Democrat voters. The rift between the Clinton and Obama is so great, it will be very difficult to bring the party together and get the voters to turn out in November. (Personally, I firmly believe that the Democrats will not come together as some would hope.)

    The best thing Gore can do is wait until the Democrats finally decide on their candidate, THEN help to repair the rift in the Democrat party (which will be much easier if he remains neutral).

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. so ironic

    I think the fact that he hasn't pledged for Clinton yet speaks volumes.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Heather

    I find this amusing. The Democrats, who complain about the Republicans lacking honesty, are still drooling over a man who used special effect scenes from a science fiction movie, in a documentry!

    Now there is honest for you!

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I bet he'll be getting more boxes of candy from the Dem. rivals and their minons–than any mother!! Now that he's let the cat out of the bag he would consider making an endorsement–they'll be kneeling had his larger slewed feet to get his annointing.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Jack in ND

    ""It's the ideals not the politician.""

    That might be true of legislators.

    But for a head of state, it's the character of the individual, above all else.

    Party is irrelevent.

    May 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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