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. Rex

    Is it any wonder why Al never became president? Bush may have been bad, but Al would have been a disaster. As for Obama – can't he and his cult ever admit that maybe, just maybe the guy isn't Christ incarnate, and is capable of being subpar? The rest of the country certainly realizes it. It always has to be someone else's fault. We don't need a cry baby president; we need someone who will get things done. I'm a conservative, and I am a little embarrassed to say, but I wouild have voted for Hiliary over this clown.

    October 4, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Obama is Toast

    I firmly beleive Barry will lose the next two debates and the election as well. This nation cannot hold up another 4 years with his failures and con games. time to go Mr. Prez.....see ya....

    October 4, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  3. Bud Holladay

    If Romney can campaign as well as he debates, it's over. If he cannot it's still over but the nightmare continues.

    October 4, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Ann

    Obama=Incompetence.. nothing new here, Hillary said it 4-5 years ago.

    October 4, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Sasha

    Obama might be a nice person but I don't think that he was ever up to the task of being President and without the press and media taking his side in the last election , he would have never won.
    Hillary Clinton was the better candidate then and Mitt Romney is the better candidate now.
    Hope and Change slogans didn't get us anywhere , time for a new direction.

    October 4, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  6. pateriot

    To think that this moron was a small handful of votes in Florida away from being elected President of the United States. That is TRULY frightening!!!!

    October 4, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. J. Fred Muggs

    The lengths that the media go thru to make excuses for this administration are amazing.

    If the situation was reversed and the Romney campaign used this as an excuse, it would provide the left with weeks of laughter and derision.

    October 4, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  8. The Flagstaff Yorkshireman

    Denver!? The mile high city. Ha! We in Flagstaff at 7,000 feet will give you lowlanders a real cardio-vascular workout! :o)

    October 4, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. DJ Katts

    Stop making excuses for this failed and flawed President. HE LOST THE DEBATE and badly, get over it, and stop the excuses, the great man failed and failed miserably, regardless of all your dumb excuses for him.

    October 4, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. common sense

    I'm surprised that no one blamed Bush for Obamas "ums" and "uhs". Where a teleprompter when you need one :-0

    October 4, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. CBR

    My friends, CNN does not hide many comments. In fact I have read some downright nasty comments about both candidates. Most have been against Mr. Obama and they have been racist. CNN put them in the comments section.

    Both candidates are smart and articulate. Mr. Romney had plenty of experience while at Bain. He gave presentations many times over the years. But I think we could agree that both men have been under pressure. Mr. Romney did more debating on the campaign trail. He was prepared to tell the same story many different ways. He was very smooth. I don't believe that would be Mr. Obama's style. We have the right to criticize and to praise. We really should not have the right to call names, use negative adjectives and invoke racism in our statements.

    October 4, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Julian

    All I have to say: The bubble protecting the president was bursted. He did not have his advisor telling him what to say. Plain and simple, the guy was cluless.

    October 4, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. hz

    basically obama can't admit his failure ever.....it's always somebody or something else's fault
    typical obama.

    October 4, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. Bman

    I'm still looking to see the tax returns and keep wondering why he's hiding them... When's the next debate?

    October 4, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Truth Partner 12

    It was clearly Bush's fault.

    October 4, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Rose

    Gore is huge, how did he gets so heavy? I was so surprised seeing his photo from last month.

    October 4, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Bman

    When's the next debate?

    October 4, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  18. J

    of course it did you nimwits. Denver is not 50, not 100, not 1000, not 5000, but 10000 feet above sea levels. YA GET IT? stupid republicans

    October 4, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. Tommy D

    The curtain got pulled back and the wizard was exposed as a fraud. Obama can not debate his policy or accomplishments as he has neither one. There will no comeback Obamanites! Good riddance to the Welfare King!

    October 4, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Jonathan

    Ok, let's say this pathetic excuse is true. Let's say Obama was tired or whatever. First of all, as a leader, you must prepare and this debate was set long ago. He should have gotten to Denver a day earlier. That would have been smart if he wanted to get re-elected. Second, as the leader of the U.S., times will become stressful...at times things can get downright ugly. We cannot afford to have a president who cannot perform under pressures as demonstrated last night by Obama. His entire presidency is based on excuses. I voted for Obama in 2008, but not again. Not a 2nd time, i've had enough with the bogus lies and excuses.

    October 4, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  21. garypsmith321

    What a sad and pathetic excuse. It looked like the same President Obama I've seen for the last three years, naive, indecisive, an idealist without any ideas'.

    October 4, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  22. One party politics

    The president could have the sickle cell trait that would affect his bearings in Denver. His body didn't have time to adjust--just saying.

    October 4, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. CryBabies

    Blah Blah the wheels off...Intelligent is pushing it. What kind of mushrooms do you have access to? It is the season you know. Incredibly rediculous statement on your part.

    October 5, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. CryBabies

    Hey all you 24/7 libs that eat , breath and sleep on this site ( WiC, Sniffit, Denna, Blah Blah etc) enough of the excuses, and should have beens. Your guy got "schooled" last night because he did not prepare! Thats not the guy I want as President of my country. He was too tired because he has a job to do??!! Please, he hasn't been acting as a president for some time...ie Letterman or deal with Syria? Campaign at a huge university or meet with Netanyahu? I don't know maybe take down the BBhoop at the WH and start leading. Bring on debate #2 because, MR WILL come prepared!

    October 5, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  25. Kirk

    He just didn't know what to say because teleprompters are not allowed. His own based knowledge was required. He wasn't great against Hillary either. SNL even made fun of it during their primaries.

    October 5, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
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