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. Something Wrong Here

    I thought the Sun was in his eyes........................................

    October 4, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. eurekadog

    All of the POTUS Obama supporters need to stop making excuses for him. Leaders don't want their followers making excuses for them.
    POTUS Obama should denounce all of the excuses for that's what leaders do.

    Now we'll see if he's the leader this country needs over the next few days.

    October 4, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Robin Jones

    Pathetic when you have to have Al Gore inventing excuses for you, just like Al invented the internet.

    October 4, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Felicia Walker

    Typical liberal screed – go back into hiding Gore!

    October 4, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 4, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. southernwonder

    i have been in mountains for skeeing. it does take a while to adjust. my friend has condo in co for years. he rarely goes there for a short break unlike before.

    October 4, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. USA

    @sbul Obama hasn't goverened this country in 4 years, he is too busy trying to divide this nation, and smooz the Muslim Brotherhood. @Haven you are right – NORAD is in the Rocky Mountains – hopefully he'll never have to go there or else he wouldn't be able to think.

    October 4, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. matt

    Hahahaha more excuses for the president. I cant wait for the foreign policy debate. #ROMNEY-RYAN2012

    October 4, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. truth hurts

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer
    Am I the only intelligent person in America who believe that President Obama actually won the debate?
    No one has ever accused you of being intelligent. But you can count yourself among the many Obama koolaide drinkers that think Obama won. Anybody thinking so should immediately be drug tested.

    October 4, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Four years ago when Obama took office, Bush had a meeting with him. In this meeting he gave Obama two letters and told him, if you find yourself in a situation you can not get out of, open the first letter. So when Obama got in trouble, he opened the first letter and it said "Blame everything on me". So Obama blamed it all on Bush and everything worked out. A few years later, Obama again found himself in a position he couldn't solve so he went and opened the second letter. Inside it read "sit down and write two letters." Good bye Mr. Obama, you won't be missed

    October 4, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. truth hurts

    SeeThruIt2 - 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.
    Obama is arrogant. He thinks he already knows it all. I'm sure he thought debate prep was for fools. He thought he could get away with standing up there for 90 minutes and regurgitating the lies from his commercials. Absolutely no substance whatsoever. Clint Eastwood was correct to pick an empty chair to represent Obama.

    October 4, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. scott

    OMG know I heard everything, this from wack job Gore.

    October 4, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Tyler

    WOW! Seriously Gore? This statement is absolutely pathetic. A perfect reflection of Obama's abilities. It's funny how the liberal media and democrats are frantically handing out Obama glasses today like 3D glasses at a movie theater. The bottom line is Obama didn't come out "unprepared" it was a stinking presidential debate, you really think he would come unprepared? He just had no material to prepare anything from or to base anything on. Romney flat out killed it and will do the same in the Whitehouse. Doesn't matter how the media and Obama-ites spin it. He has sucked as president, he has sucked life out of this country and the next 4 years would be no different if he were reelected. Romney is our only hope.

    October 4, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. thatsawrap

    OMGore!! What do you expect from someone who can't spell potato....potatoe!?

    October 4, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Adam

    Well the high elevation might've affected Gore since he's as round as a bowling ball. New Orleans' elevation would affect Gore.

    October 4, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Greg C.

    Axelrod can't spin this...He said Obama has a tough time with downtime...yet he spends a lot of time golfing trips to Hawaii and raising money for his buddies...guess he better focus on his job; his foreign policy is in shambles and Romney cleaned his clock on his past four years...loved how Obama plugged Romney on Romney on his job as a Governor...

    October 4, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. Diogenes

    If these were a reasonable argument then neither the Colorado Rockies or the Denver Broncos should ever lose a home game, because the other team would be as incompetent as Obama was. This more is simply more classical narcissist behavior, he simply did not believe that anyone could be better than him at anything.

    October 4, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. JJMcD3

    A more plausible explanation – President Obama was hanging out with the "Choom Gang" before the debate.

    October 4, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. jaimie

    Romney and Ryan ........ Laurel and Hardy of the 2012 Presidential Campaign

    October 4, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. jaimie

    Romney ...... No honesty No integrity

    October 4, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Pete

    It's hard to debate a pathelogical Mormon liar who's taught from birth to do just that,lie to protect his lord and protect himself.He showed us all what he'd do to win a debate,lie and cheat,whatever it took to win.I hope you republican hypocrites are proud of him,you're much like him aren't yah!!

    October 4, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. jaimie

    Romneyhood ....... Give to the Rich take from the poor

    October 4, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. S A S

    If Obama can't think well at 5200 ft why should we trust him to make good decisions about launching nuclear weapons while he is in Air Force One with a cabin pressure equivalent to 8000 ft?

    October 4, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. jeff

    These reporters & the liberal media need a big dose of shutthef#*kup!!! THIS is the most ignorant statement they have made to date.
    I am a roofer...(not a desk sitting, arrogant louse like the president) I work normally 50 hr work weeks at 45 yrs old. Two or three times a year I fly to Denver to visit family. Normally on my FIRST day there I take my niece & nephew with me on a good strong hike, typically to the 10,000 ft realm. OH...did I mention I also smoke 3 packs a day?
    Point being, even though the "excuse" is THE SINGLE DUMBEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD...if it were true, we don't want a man so feeble he can't just stand in one spot & answer a few questions for an hour and a half...
    ...unless we're talking about welfare recipients...

    October 4, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. MessiahNoMO

    Can Al Gore get any more ridiculous ?

    To think that he could've been elected Pres.

    Please Al. Don't stoop so stupidly low.

    October 4, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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