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. Kirk

    sbul – Does this mean that all sitting presidents should tend to lose the first debate? Remember, Obama has also been campaigning or the last 18 months. Those trips to Ohio were not coincidental over the last several years.

    October 5, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. Brian

    "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."

    This is what passes for analysis?

    October 5, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  3. Beck

    the frustrating thing about all of this is that people think that if Romney supports corporations that means he doesn't support the middle class . . . As if the two must be ultimately exclusive. What I gleaned from his comments last night, was that providing relief for the "well to do" or small business owners results in more jobs which directly benefits the middle class. Mitt Romney is a successful businessman and he knows what he's talking about. Listen to him.

    October 5, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. Nkechi

    Sbul, I concor!

    October 5, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  5. Coloradoan

    Oh come on, Obama has been flying in and out of this state quite a few times over the last 5 years. What a lame excuse.

    October 5, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  6. blake

    NO. More lame comments from the bozo that was almost president.

    October 5, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. Coloradoan

    sbul – That argument doesn't sound credible when Obama just appeared on Letterman and The View.

    October 5, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. JimB

    Next time get Clinton as his coach, not John Kerry. Obama needs to force Romney to explain his positions in more detail or as Ted Kennedy once said, "Romney has changed his mind so many times and seems to agree with me on so many issues, he'll probably vote for me." He needs to ask why he won't share his taxes. He appears to be hiding not only his taxes, but how he will pay for his tax cuts. It's like "believe me it won't hurt." He is full of lies and flip flops and Obama let him off the hook time and again. Also, those tax shelters and his "not paying his share".

    October 5, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  9. Tony

    Have you seen Al Gore lately?! The guy has really increased his "carbon footprint"...What a fat tub of goo!

    October 5, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  10. Russ

    Maybe it was what he ate?

    October 5, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  11. Russ

    I think the strategy was for Obama to play it safe and act Presidential. They hoped Romney would go on the offensive and put his foot in his mouth. The strategy failed. Obviously.

    October 5, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  12. Obama is done

    We all saw the real Obama last night.

    Mr. Romney, you have earned my vote. You are the man. Only you can save this greatest nation on Gods green earth now not Obama.

    October 5, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  13. Obama is done

    Obama, a man in a empty suit and an empty chair.

    October 5, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  14. AceRyder

    Did I miss something? Was Obama high?

    October 5, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. John Miller

    To anyone silly enough to still be listening to Al Gore... President Obama rides around in AF-1 a huge percentage of the time and, as Al should know, the cabin pressure within a 747 is equivilent to over 6000 feet above sea level. That makes it well above Denver and completely erases the most pathetic attempt ever to excuse an inept performance. Check the facts for yourself. It's all available on the Internet that Al built. He should have known before offering such a ridiculous comment.

    October 5, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  16. Darkmatter

    Both these men are selfish and narcissistic power gluttons. Every one of you sheeple pulling for "your guy" are the ultimate losers. Do you honestly believe for a moment that either one of them cares about you or your situation? Do you think that they even know you're alive? The answers the those questions is 'no.'

    This isn't a team sport. It isn't a stupid ball game that means absolutely nothing like the World Series or Superbowl. These men and their handlers are looking to control your lives. Stop rooting, wake up and start engaging.

    October 5, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. Name Suzette

    Obama and Biden PleeeEze call out Romney and Ryan for their lies ok. We are depending on you.

    October 5, 2012 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  18. Jeremy

    I'd hate to see what President Obama is like at 30000 feet then on air force one when he is making decisions. That was honestly the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard.

    October 5, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  19. Emily

    That is just about the most ludicrous argument I've ever heard. The president has traveled enough to realize any and all physical limitations that might occur at a given venue. He blew the debate because he didn't take it seriously. I'm so sick of his arrogance being overlooked and excused at every corner.

    October 5, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  20. jrs1972

    Dear al gore,
    That could very well be the stupidest thing i've ever heard from a politician. And the list of stupidity from politicians is extremely long and incredibly impressive. You already had one in the top 10... "I invented the internet", so I'm not surprised you are the one to go all out for the win. Well played sir.

    October 5, 2012 03:43 am at 3:43 am |

    There are 47% of American out there laughing at the rest of us because we still can't figure out what was wrong with Obama. They know that smoking a joint up there in the thin air will causes that.

    October 5, 2012 04:44 am at 4:44 am |

    There are 47% of American out there laughing at the rest of us because we still can't figure out what was wrong with Obama. They know that smoking a joint up there in the thin air will cause that.

    October 5, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  23. Gurgyl

    Vis major happened first time in USA elections. Yes, on Obama12. Still strong for him. Because I do not want my nation USA sold to china nor India.

    October 5, 2012 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  24. Daniel

    It's amazing to see people still side with Obama. Those who seem to think subsequent debates will be better for Obama are just as delusional as ever (of course, you have to be to think Obama did anything worthwhile his first term (and no, he did not personally assassinate Osama Bin Laden, so get off that one)). The first debate covered the economy, which Obama thought was his strong suit. The next one covers foreign policy. Sadly, Obama thinks he did well there too so, once again, he will get schooled and America will see how bad he was in that area, too. It's only going to get worse for ol' Barack.

    October 5, 2012 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  25. Daniel

    sbul–Obama went to debate prep just as long as Romney did–typical Obama supporter–siding with that loser until the bitter end.

    October 5, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
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