Gore: Altitude threw Obama off (no, really)
Former Vice President Al Gore on a high-stakes debate stage himself in 2000, debating then-Gov. George Bush at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
October 4th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Gore: Altitude threw Obama off (no, really)

(CNN) - Former Vice President Al Gore's analysis of President Barack Obama's debate performance Wednesday: the Mile High City may be to blame.

Pundits and a CNN poll of those who watched the debate both found GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's showing to be stronger than Obama's, who some described as appearing tired and long-winded.

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"I'm going to say something controversial here," Gore began. "Obama arrived in Denver at 2 pm today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver.

"When you go to five thousand feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know," Gore said, as other panelists in the post-debate discussion chimed in.

The video of Gore on his television channel, Current TV, was posted online by several right-leaning websites, as well as media-watching websites.

Obama flew on Sunday from Washington, D.C. to Henderson, Nevada, where he held a rally that evening. Between Sunday and his Wednesday flight to Colorado, Obama and his debate team prepared for the big night in a hotel ballroom there.

Henderson reaches just shy of a half mile up from sea level, according to the Henderson Executive Airport's website, while Denver stretches a mile above sea level.

Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod defended his candidate on a Thursday conference call with reporters, saying he would leave evaluation of Obama's "performance" alone because he is no "theater critic."

"While Governor Romney had a very crisp performance, both candidates got points across," Axelrod said. "Both candidates got something out of the debate."

Romney, meanwhile, arrived in Denver Monday evening and also held a rally before hunkering down with advisers for his preparations.

Both candidates rewarded themselves with field trips between study sessions. Obama visited the Hoover Dam on Tuesday and stopped by a Nevada office for his campaign on Monday. Romney and Sen. Rob Portman, who was aiding in his debate preparations, stopped in at a Chipotle restaurant on Tuesday.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Al Gore • Colorado • Nevada
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. johhny

    In response to a post that The President had to govern and run a campaign so there is more pressure. He hasn't governed at all. All he has done is campaigned for at least the last two years.

    October 4, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Ramon F. Herrera

    OTOH, Mr. Romney is used to commuting between the Cayman Islands and Switzerland...

    October 4, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. bill davis

    It is called preparation, not looking for someone to blame...Bush Whacker..

    October 4, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. Chris

    Wow. The lengths that people will go to rationalize failure. No wonder this country is in a pickle now.

    October 4, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. pogojo

    Lol any excuse, I blame big bird.

    October 4, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. clarke

    When you are a sitting President , it is kinda hard to fit everything in. If Mitt is elected President, he will find out what it is like to walk in shoes of the President. If they all think a campaign is hard work, that being their only responsibility, they have no job. I think there are in for a big surprise.

    October 4, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  7. cln

    If there is a bigger buffoon in known universe than Al Gore, I am not aware of who it may be. Denver is about 5,000 ft., while Air Force 1 would be pressurized at about 8,000 ft. So if Gore is right, let's hope there is never a national emergency when Obama is in the air, otherwise he would be even more befuddled and ineffective in his decision making as a result of lack of oxygen than he was in the debate.

    October 4, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. Tony

    Can't wait for the next debate, as the will be no teleprompter at that one either 😉

    October 4, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. anonymous

    maybe he should just quit smoking

    October 4, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. John

    So Al Gore invented the Internet, isn't it?

    October 4, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. renee hamilton

    Obama is not the one saying it was the higher elevation, this is just an observation by someone else! read the article again!

    October 4, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  12. Slickwilly

    Romney CLEANED Obama's clock. Let the voting BEGIN !

    October 4, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Romney put on a better show, that's all. He said nothing of substance, and lied, lied, lied. Also, until you have come from almost sea level to mile-high Denver, you have no idea how much it can affect you. It does. Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 4, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Liz , Don and Connie, you three are idiots, and thanks to people like you, this is why we have a fool for a president in the white house. Obama has never been asked a tough question in his entire life, and last night showed how he responds when faced with a challenge. Unfortunately for Obama, he didn't have the media protecting him from tough questions like they have been for 4 long years, and he wasn't able to use his teleprompter. His foolish look on his face, staring down at the ground while being scolded by Romney was priceless. Can't wait for election day!

    October 4, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. Gen. Robert E. Lee (RET)

    Pres. Obama is an empty suit.

    He has NO RECORD to run on.

    October 4, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Brenda S

    And I thought his dog ate his notes!

    October 4, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Reload

    I live at 5,000 feet and have friends and relatives that live a sea level that visit us all the time. Not a single one of them has ever become totally stupid like Obama did last night. And they don't even know how to use a teleprompter

    October 4, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. libs_r_evil

    Consider the source!!! Just another democrat making excuses for their failures!!!

    October 4, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Randy

    The sad part is the Gov. of Mass. and Obama's campaign co-chair just tried to pass off the same excuse with Piers Morgan! He said "when I go to Denver it takes me some time to recover". This is the stupidest statement I have ever heard from a political campaign. I say the campaign because his co-chair tried to put this idea forward!

    October 4, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. RF Burns

    There's a reason he's called Ozone Al.

    October 4, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. ug

    As usual the libs like to come up with the most stupidest childish reasons why ovomit lost...when he loses in the next debate the reason will because he didn't change his diaper...vote Romney.

    October 4, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. blake

    Give us a break Al and the far left media (no, really). You're looking for any excuse possible to let Obama off the hook. Time for him to man up and stop blaming anything and anyone for a failed presidency. And a bad debate last night.

    October 4, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. diggedyDug

    Obama had to govern while preparing for the debate? Please. He has done nothing but campaign (as Mitt also does).

    The truth is that he is so busy with governing that he had time to hang out with Jay-Z, be on the View, LEno, and Letterman, and also fit in some time with Beyonce. But wait, there's more. He's been skipping more than half of his DAILY national security meetings. that should open up a couple of hours a day to prep.

    Yeah. He was busy.

    October 4, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. gmony

    Gore was friends with the coach of the North Korean Women's Soccer team. The were hit by lightning, thats why they stunk in the world cup. I also think Gore was a judge for the last Paquino boxing match!

    October 4, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  25. Mark

    Some of the folks on the left are really, really, really stretching here. If you need an excuse, I guess even this one sounds acceptable. And FWIW, I've backpacked, ran, and played sports in these kinds of elevations without problems and I live in low elevation.

    October 4, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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