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. Sara

    The only response to Gore's remarks is LAUGHABLE. What an idiot. How could BO defend his dismal record on the economy? If he was worried about the "air", he should have gotten there earlier. Just wait til they debate on foreign policy. Can't wait to see what his excuse(s) will be for that failure, and all of the lies and cover ups.

    October 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Saboth

    Obama seemed out of it, as if he had the flu or something. Honestly, it looked like it was taking much of his energy just to stand there and listen to Mittens spew forth his distorted reality of "Obama stealing from Medicare" and "I'm going lower taxes, balance the budget and increase spending all at once".

    October 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Yep Obama had a handicap last noght. The Facts.

    October 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. pilot2011

    Romney took Barrack out to the woodshed last night... Obama couldn't even look him in the eye. Looked scared and unprepared. What a weasel! Get this clown out of office so we can get on with our lives

    October 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Mary

    Obama did look tired and he looked uncomfortable. I thought Romney won but he came off as a bully and an angry guy. In any case, I don't consider these as popularity contests but what they would do if elected. Romney will bring in voucher for Medicare and threw the seniors under the bus while giving tax cuts to the rich.

    October 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. bugmetoo

    Obama looked like a grade school-er getting scolded by his teacher. Showed that not only did he not do his
    homework, but knows nothing about economics except what his handlers tell him to say. Back to the View for
    a reset!

    October 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. just sayin

    well, i guess if al gore had a shred of credibility left, it is now gone. and to think this kook was a heartbeat away from the presidency. scary.

    October 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. open400

    Anyone that is educated knows that there is not the math for Romney's budget. A five trillion tax cut plus 2 trillion dollar defense increase puts you in the hold seven trillion to start off with! Romney says we will eliminate unnecessary deductions, but refuses to tell you what they will be. You can bet those closed deductions will not be his donors.

    October 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. tlama

    I'm not sure whats worse; the fact this article exists or there are sheeple in this country that believe it. So sad. I wonder how the DENVER Broncos could ever win a game....

    October 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. getreal

    Yup, always making excuses for poor performance. So BO was tired??Just like the economy is bad because he came into office inheriting what Bush had done. So why hasn't he done anything about it for the past 4 years???Maybe because he was too busy increasing his popularity and making tv talkshow appearances and trying to be a hollywood star? Did you notice how white his teeth were last night? Looked like he had them whitened– with my tax dollars! Yup, excuses, excuses. He needs to stay in hollywood!

    October 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Jon D. Brooks

    And some people think . . . that Al Gore . . . would have been a good president . . . . Guess we can put a button on that argument . . . . 😐

    October 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Am I missing something about last night's debate? Didn't anyone come across the OBVIOUS that the debate was FIXED? For example, everytime the President tried to answer a question or state his position, Lehrer would interrupt the President and say to him that his time was up but he continuously allowed Romney to ramble and ramble for 4,5,6 minutes without interruption. Furthermore, the President was interrupted by Lehrer as many as 8 times to ZERO interruption of Romney. Remember the first question of the debate? After both candidates responded to the first question, Lehrer told the President that since he went first, Romney has to be given the last say. But after Romney went first on the second question, he still ended up having the last word on the second question and Lehrer prevented the President from having an opportunity to have the last say on the second question and this trend continued throughout the debate. Let's face it, if you're going to judge the candidates based on who followed the debate format and time limit, then President Obama actually won the debate.

    October 4, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Jack, King of Pumpkins

    Actually, it was the fact that Obama appeared and acted like an ignorant child onstage. What do you expect when you pit a celebrity actor with a real deal and competent professional?

    October 4, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. getreal

    So CNN is trying so hard to discredit Mitt for a great debate last night?

    October 4, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. KW


    Romney blew Obama away with facts that Obama can't defend:

    1. Middle class earnings down
    2. Health insurance premiums up
    3. Failed promises
    4. Much higher debt
    5. etc, etc, etc."

    Facts? That's hilarious considering Romney *lied* the entire time! Am I better off now than I was 4 yrs ago? You betcha! I make almost twice as much as I did before and it's *entirely* b/c of the Obama administration and Obamacare.
    As far as "failed promises"....you need to do more homework. All you have to do is google "Obama promises" and you will find a huge list of his accomplishments. You do realize that he could not some things done b/c of the Tea Bags in Congress, right?

    October 4, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Joe

    I maybe off base on this, being a libertarian and all, but I'm reading some of these posts and I hear these excuses that most are making for Obama and how he is going to bring up Bain and the 47% in the next debate and how Romney is a lier and flip floping and whatever. Am I wrong but isn't the second debate abour foreign policy, would he look like the AIR was affecting him again if he brought those topics up then?

    I had to leave my family back home so I could live in another state to support them because we just keep losing jobs and all thats being created are low income jobs or temp jobs. No I'm not better off then I was 4 years ago.

    October 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. cheapseats2

    Obviously, Obama is out of touch with those who live in the Rocky Mountains.

    October 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. travisgentry

    This is actually not as crazy as it sounds. Having lived in Denver for many years, I've hosted a lot of friends and family who have had issues arriving in Denver. It really can take a day or so to mentally and physically adjust. That said, Obama should have done like Romney and arrived earlier and let himself adjust.

    October 4, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Paul Sellers

    It must have been the Republican debate fairy. Flew right in and took over Obama's body and mouth.

    October 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. TheOriginalMe

    He did look tired and, a few people had said that to me today, didn't thin much of it, but every one seems to agree about something regardless who they support, is that everyone is surprised about Romney performance and many Obama supporters were surprised about his performance. That alone says a lot

    October 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. travisgentry

    I lived in Denver for about 11 years, and this is actually not that far-fetched. Some people really do need a day or two to adjust. I've even seen people pass out. Obama should have arrived early like Romney did.

    October 4, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Dave

    We have seen the Romney routine before. Hitler was very warm and solicitous when he spoke to people. That he lied bald faced to them was to be expected, such is the Romney line. He denied every thing he's been campaigning under and pervaricated thruout. One would theink he was Play-Doh after his Etch-A-Sketch outing in front of the Camera. Even his wig looked good.

    October 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Bill P

    Gore is simply "gore" – a unique idiocy of its own. He postulates that going from Henderson (elevation 1330 ft) to Denver (elevation 5280 ft) or a change of 3950 ft, after flying for an hour at a cabin pressure of an effective level of 10K ft caused Obama to perform miserably. Perhaps, if that is the case, Obama should never be allowed to fly on Air Force One, given Gore's theory, because that would place him at an elevation 5K ft above his mental capacity.

    October 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. billy z

    how pathetic.....is this really the best you moron liberals can come up with? how about something new – like the TRUTH! your god obama is a moron.....

    October 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Lew

    Not surprising coming from the oxygen-starved brain of Al Gore!

    October 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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