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. Sniffs You Know What

    And if the debate was in CA, Al Gore would say it was the smog.

    October 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. BigbirdChrisChristie

    However small a part I believe that would've played, Romney was fully prepped, having recently participated in at least 20 of these debates, and my President Obama under estimated the threat that "articulate packaging of distorted truths, half truths and lies" posed, but never again! The outcome of subsequent debates will be different.

    October 4, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. ea

    It's never Obama's fault. It's becoming a theme with this arrogant fail president.

    October 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Barak Obama.

    We try to find any reason to protect Obama. It was first time when Obama show who he is. I was Obama supporter, but after yesterday My Hole family go FOR ROMNEY. Obama looks like COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. He still is.

    October 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. mike

    The tide is turning, even CNN can't hide these anti-Obama comments. Obama is an empty suit!!!

    October 4, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Pander Express

    j- there are many other countries that you can go to where only one opinion is tolerated. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    October 4, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. jmt73

    May be one rhe most ridiculous excuses for bombing in a presidential debate that I've ever heard. Why would CNN post this story?

    October 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. miklea supporter, but

    Al, Obama lost because he was in LOCK BOX.

    October 4, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Liz

    Blah, Blah, you are not the only one who thinks President Obama won. He was calm, cool and kept his demeanor in tact. He displayed the personality I would want in the Oval Office with access to that red button. Can you imagine if "act first then think later" Romney had access to that button? The President was presidential, not erratic and all over the place, unlike his opponent.

    October 4, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Susan wrote:

    Obama wasn't playing football in the "Mile High City"- lol! Anyone who votes for Obama, clearly is just not educated....OR they WANT to be poor!



    They worship Willard and Ann and believe it is their turn to be in the White House; and that their children should be sacrificed at war while the Romney's continue to breed. They also believe he will magically make them rich by sharing his wealth with them (the way Schwarzenegger did in CA) and no doubt about it, they're ignorant and from a red state.

    October 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Gore didn't say anything controversial. It was just plain STUPID.

    October 4, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    I am amazed at all the people saying Obama lies constantly and ignore the fact that the MittWitt did nothing but lie last night, doubled down on his lies, flipped his etch-a-sketch, and did it all with an idiotic smirk on his face. Both Obama and the moderator failed last night. Mitt was not called on his lies as soon as he said them, and the moderator allowed the rich guy to bully him. Magic dunder-roos win the day. Obama better take the gloves off before the next debate. Because although I support him, FOR NOW, that may not continue. Last night one candidate gave a disgraceful performance, and the other gave nothing at all.

    October 4, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. connieb

    Romney looked like he had to go to the bathroom.

    He reminded me of a 3rd grader who knew an answer. I'm surprised he didn't raise his hand, "pick me! Pick me! I know the answer! We studied that last night!"

    (i know CNN, I'm being moderated).

    October 4, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Sandra

    Wow! That's actually funny! More excuses but then nothing and I mean NOTHING the Obama campaign does or says surprises me anymore.

    A vote for Obama is a vote against America.

    October 4, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. weathervanemitt

    In the debate we got to hear ideas from two candidates with vastly different views on the issues. They are both named Mitt Romney. I am not sure why everyone is not voting for him, he has been on both sides of virtually every argument.

    October 4, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Daniel

    5000 feat is just not that high. It is not like Obama came to Denver and tried to run a marathon. Now if they dropped him off at 12K ft. right before the debate...

    October 4, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. SeeThruIt2

    Climate change?

    There's NO excuse for the President being unprepared to meet his opponent. Whether it's Romney or Putin the President needs to be prepared.

    October 4, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Haven

    Ummm...isnt Colorado one of the places they take the president in case of emergencies to get in a bunker under the mountains? IS this the kind of quick thinking we can expect from him in one of those situations?

    October 4, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. sbul

    Round one to Romney, but everyone knows that a heavy weight match isn't decided in the first round. The president has had to govern the country while running a campaign while all Romney has had to do is prepare for the debates so it is no surprise that he came out swinging but with the number of lies he off handedly laid out he's left himself open for the next round. We'll see how this plays out. He may have won the debate/battle but he's yet to win the war/election. Armies have won battles and lost the war.

    October 4, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. John

    romney sold a lot of snake oil last night.

    October 4, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. PaMom

    I am really amazed that Obama supporters watched the debate but still claim Romney was the dishonest one. Obama looked like this debate was an inconvenience to him and definitely beneath him. Of course, he was just a community organizer who split a nation and why in the world would anyomne think this man had the credentials to lead a nation. Romney may not be great but he is way better than what we have now. Oh yeah, the great Obama does not know his history....JFK (as well as other presidents) did exactly what Romney is proposing and it worked! Obama is not qualified for the job!

    October 4, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Jean

    I agree with Don in Albuquerque, Romney WAS right on cue, no doubt about it, But his agenda had changed from previous quotes made just days before. Suddenly he isn't going to cut taxes for the wealthy,wonderful tax breaks for all, and he is so very concerned about the middle class. Since when?? He suddenly was aaying things we hadn't heard before ..so which Romney are we to expect if he wins the election? President Obama's actions, or non-actions, seemed as though he was told to take some high road against being argumentative. He missed so many opportunities to call Romney out on some of Romney's more controverial statements. Way too polite! It's as though he prepared for the wrong debate!

    October 4, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. WatrGrrl

    Personally, I think it is Obama's incompetence as Chief Executive that shone through in the debate last night. Great orator, they say, but he says nothing of substance and certainly has not done anything that has made a positive change in the three years that he has been squatting in the President's Office. Time to fire that silly man and let a patriotic AMERICAN again grace the Office of The President – which Mr Romney IS and Obama is NOT.

    October 4, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Kay

    That's just plain silly – Everyone knows it was George Bush's fault!!!

    October 4, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. haloguy628

    The desperation to come up with something that would mitigate the beating the anointed one suffered yesterday is palpable. Hey Al, maybe it was the global warming. That would at least play into your agenda.

    October 4, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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