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. pray

    who cares what a moron has to say anyway. This guy is first class nutcase and we all know that, well except the leftists who are out hugging trees with him.

    October 5, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  2. bub

    gore had to defend fellow nobel prize winner ges if your a liberal you get those for imagination

    October 5, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  3. Name Pamma

    It could not be just Bo out of touch, never!!!

    October 5, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Oh MY God! Are you kidding? Making excuses. ANYTHING to cover the fact that Obama was finally seen in a true light

    October 5, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  5. SlackMeyer

    This is what happens when the media keeps a President in a bubble. They never ask him tough questions. Never vet his past. Just keep him in a protective bubble. And when it comes time for him to face ACTUAL scrutiny, he's at a loss for what to say.

    October 5, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  6. JerPell

    You know the democrat party is in trouble when Al Gore is all of a sudden your spokesperson....
    Even my hardened democrat friends concede that this man has some type of brain disorder....
    Although it was refreshing watching Obama without his pacifier "a teleprompter" the American people had a chance to see him naked and we did not like what we saw and heard from Obama!

    October 5, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  7. Namedonna

    Obama said that wasn't the real Mitt Romney! !!!! So wrong what we seen was the REAL Obama!

    October 5, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  8. morsekeely

    Is anything ever Obama's fault? Seriously, CNN has been asking people for every debate who won since 1984, and Obama had the worst showing ever. Obama had some part in this, just like he has some part in our current mess and 16 trillion of debt. Also, Obama travels frequently, he would know if he gets elevation sickness and adjust accordingly.

    October 5, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Marie MD

    President Obama kept his cool and acted like the gentleman he is. The bully bishop, on the other hand, showed us exactly what and who he is. He is a little beauty queen who is not getting her way and she is not going to take it anymore.
    Did anyone see Jim Lehrer's face and eyes down after this twit told him that, sorry but I am going to fire you and then he attacked Big Bird. The money given to PBS (educational so it's everything the rethugs don't want) is a drop in a bucket. It's something like .014 of the budget.
    Like the President said. The military is NOT asking for more money. Why is the twit who didn't serve his country except on a French beach and his non serving sons want others to die so they can continue to be super millionaires?

    October 5, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  10. gunnde

    Two-thirds of Americans who watched the debate said Romney won by a mile in the mile high city. I feel sorry for the other third who are in denial, but 67% is a landslide that will still stand any electoral test. Today's unemployment numbers should seal the deal, and then Obama can play to co-host The View in retirement and join Clinton as another Celebrity President.

    October 5, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  11. Joe

    It's clear that this man is in over his head and is not qualified for the job. All the prep in the in the world would not have changed the outcome. The Obamagasm is over and the last 4 years haven't felt good, a vote for this guy is a vote to cut this country's throat. It's amazing how all these libs keep drinking the koolaide.

    October 5, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  12. jpmichigan

    Sorry, Mr. Gore, the only person I see a mile high, is you. The true Obama came out, the truth that he is the only with no new plan. He will continue with the same playbook and assume no responsiblity for his actions. At the end of the next four year, if he is re-elected, we will be 20 trillion in debt and climbing.. Obama, accusing Romney of not telll the American people the truth (LOL) Mr. Obama you don't know what the word means, for you have never really been honest with the American people. You use pandering and fabrication to make your self feel and look good .

    October 5, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  13. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    Its just as all say, obama excuses coming from every nook and cranie of why this arogant idiot has a bad debate, just fess up, the one who thinks he is better than all is just a waste and just as much an idiot as the rest of his godless party.

    October 5, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  14. bill ball

    time for the democrats to get the whining excuse making program into full swing!! I think he did poorly because of George Bush!!! Or was it because he is so much above the rest ofus he should not have to go through this process!!I do know it was someone elses fault !!!!!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  15. Mamaboats

    sbul....well said and similar to what I said yesterday in a couple of posts....sometimes I get angry listening to all these pinheads who talk about Romney as the second coming....they forget so easily what happened before and I think...fine, you want him...take him....but then I think...I love my country and I don't want to see it go down the tubes...we are on our way up from the valley of recession....if you want it to continue...support your President and give him another term....and Congress...pull your head out and stop thinking politics and start thinking country.

    October 5, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  16. cropp

    The excuses are sad and desperate; and to think Gore was almost President. Thank you Florida!
    Obama looked liked he always looks...Ummm uh ohh ummm; he's lying; its not my fault; blame George W Bush; I inherited this mess; ummm oh uhhh; I got Bin Laden; ummm uhhh ooh: Obamacare: Ummm uh ummmm

    October 5, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  17. ObamaTheOnlyLeader

    Why is my leader falling before my eyes? CNN, why are you doing nothing to help him? This is a disgrace. When Obama is re-elected I hope he remembers how you turned on him.

    October 5, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  18. PaulN

    This guy came within a whisker of being our president? Oh my!

    October 5, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  19. GI Joe

    If President Obama had been as forceful and downright rude as Romney, YOU would have immedately labeled him an ANGRY black muslim marxist communist socialist - admit it. You don't have nads enough to admit the truth. You just can"t stand a half-white being in YOUR white house.

    I voted Tuesday for Obama/Biden because enough welfare has gone to the top and corporations already.

    October 5, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  20. dadrunamok

    Any port in a storm for the left, I guess...
    @sbul: I haven't actually seen the president doing anything to "run the country" in the last two months since he's been on the stump constantly. But, I guess when you're man lost, any excuse will work (too bad they didn't have NFL replacement refs running the thing instead of Lehrer).

    October 5, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  21. Malibu123

    The Obama camp is in total desperation mode now. The wheels are coming off.

    October 5, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. The Other Dale

    The thing to get out of this debate is simple: Everyone expected Romney to put his foot in his mouth. He did, but not as deep as they expected he would. To the media and others that means he "won" because he didn't make himself out quite the idiot they expected him to be. However, he was panicky, flat-out lied, ignored debate rules and came off as hyperactive and obnoxious while Obama was presidential and calm. That's what people will remember in the weeks to come.

    What it all gets us in the end? Romney's numbers will go up in the polls ... slightly. Then they'll drop again and Republicans will panic again. The reason being is that those who are undecided are going to say, "Well, evidently Romney did great in the debate, but I hear he sucks otherwise, so I'll wait it out for the other debates to see if that was just a fluke."

    The biggest problem is that Romney wears his arrogance on his sleeve and if he goes into the next one unconcern about how he's "going to blow Obama out of the water" then he's going to sink. No concerns about the VP one. A stumble here for Obama will only fire up Biden to make sure he does a good job there and Ryan is notorious for being terrible in debates (he's data-heavy without the ability to transform that into realistic talking material).

    So watch this flatline for Romney, then swing back to Obama in the next couple of debates and that'll be it. Romney may have finally done something right in the campaign (after months of missteps), but that's really going to be a minor thing in the long run.

    October 5, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. onlyfacts

    Poor Gore. He needs to think before speaking if he wants to maintain credibility in other areas.

    October 5, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. Ken from FL

    Once again, Al Gore proves he's an idiot and how we dodged a bullet in 2000.

    October 5, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  25. Colleen Turnage

    Wow. I think the October surprise came earlier than expected. The performance of both candidates took me by surprise. Romney came out swinging away, wanting to prove he could stand toe-to-toe with the POTUS. Not sure why Obama "underperformed" the way he did, but I believe it's safe to say that he now regrets doing so. I found it interesting that most folks thought Obama talked more than Romney during the debate. I believe it was later shown that Romney spoke just over 4 minutes more than Obama. I find that interesting. I found Obama's statements to be measured; he thought before he spoke. Romney came across as speaking off the cuff. I like both men. I think they both honestly want to do right by our country, and I, for one, was glad to hear a civil discourse between the two candidates rather than the usual snarky, mean-spirited debates between candidates of the past. I give this round to Romney, but solely based on performance... NOT content. I found that when I LISTENED to the debate several times via C-SPAN (without watching it) that Obama fared better. Do I know who I'm going to vote for yet? No. I am one of the undecided. I'm just glad there are two more debates between the candidates.

    October 5, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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