Entries in Al Gore (5)


Top Democrats to Skip Party's Convention

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As Democrats descend on Charlotte, N.C., this week to light a fire under President Obama's re-election campaign, a few of the biggest names in the party will not be there.

While party honchos like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter -- albeit via video -- are set to take the stage, other Democratic stars such as Al Gore and Hillary Clinton are staying far from Charlotte.  And with hotly contested House and Senate races peppered across the map, many Democratic members of Congress have swapped convention parties for campaign events.

Here's a look at some of the Democrats who've decided to skip their party's biggest gathering:

Hillary Clinton

For the first time in more than four decades, Hillary Clinton will not be attending the Democratic National Convention.  But not because she doesn't want to.  Since she's the secretary of state, federal statute and the State Department's ethical guidelines prohibit Clinton from participating in political activities such as a party convention. 

Other cabinet secretaries, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder, will also not be in Charlotte for the same reason.

Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore is choosing his cable network over his party's convention this year, deciding to host Current TV's coverage of both conventions.  Gore will anchor Current TV's Democratic convention coverage from New York.

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown decided not to cross the continent for the Democratic convention this week, which comes one week after the death of his father-in-law, Rockwell "Rocky" Gust.  Gust once ran, unsuccessfully, alongside GOP nominee Mitt Romney's father for lieutenant governor of Michigan.  Brown also cited legislative work as a reason for skipping the Democratic Convention, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Senate Candidates

At least five Democratic Senate candidates are opting to stay home and campaign instead of attending their party's convention this week.  

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill was a surrogate for the Obama campaign in 2008, but is spending her week campaigning instead of celebrating Obama's nomination.  But after she caught flak for the decision, McCaskill tweeted "Bet POTUS agrees with my decision."

Montana Sen. Jon Tester spoke in support of Obama at the DNC in 2008, but in 2012 is staying home to campaign.  Tester said in April that he had not decided whether to vote for Obama.  "These first three and a half years haven't been that good to West Virginia," he said then.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona and North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp are also skipping the Democratic Convention to campaign in their home states.

House Candidates

With Obama's approval ratings dismally low in West Virgina -- only 31 percent approve of the president, according to Gallup -- West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall has chosen to stick to his home state rather than attend his party's convention.

The same rings true for Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, who is embroiled in a tight re-election campaign in a state where Obama's approval rating is wavering around 26 percent.

Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz and Georgia Rep. John Barrow are also skipping the convention to campaign this year.

Four New York representatives chose to hit the campaign trail instead of the convention hall as the New York Times reported. Those names include Reps. Timothy H. Bishop, Kathy Hochul, Bill Owens and Louise M. Slaughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Who Is Al Gore’s New Girlfriend?

Heather Kennedy/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- It’s been nearly two years since Al and Tipper Gore announced their separation after 40 years of marriage, and now Mr. Gore has a girlfriend.

The Nobel Laureate and former vice president is seriously dating Elizabeth Keadle, a friend close to Liz confirms to ABC News. She’s described by The Washington Post as a “well-heeled Democratic donor from Southern California in her 50s with a background in science and a devotion to environmental causes.”

It’s not clear when the couple first starting dating, but the two have similar interests and seem to have been running in the same circles for years.

Keadle has long been a supporter of Democratic causes, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates at all levels of government.  She and her ex-husband, Lyle Turner, were reportedly among the early investors in a venture that eventually became Gore’s cable channel CurrentTV.

According to a 2002 San Diego Reader article, Gore attended a fundraiser held in San Diego by the Friends of Albert Gore, Jr., Inc. PAC – to which Turner and Keadle were major donors. In 2008, Keadle was one of California’s electors in the Electoral College pledged to the Obama/Biden ticket.

This year, according to Huffington Post’s Fundrace 2012, Keadle has donated $5,000 to Democratic candidates.

Gore is perhaps most famous in his post-White House years for his environmental work, for which he won a Nobel Peace Prize. His film An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim, won an Academy Award. Keadle, who has listed her occupation on donation forms as biochemist, is actively involved in environmental work as a member of the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy’s President’s Council in San Diego County. She was one of a large group of celebrities, environmentalists and scientists who traveled with Gore to Antarctica in January this year.

For her part, Tipper Gore has been largely out of the spotlight since the split, apparently focusing on her photography and charitable work. Most recently, she was the honorary chair at an event hosted earlier this week by the Flawless Foundation, a charity her daughter Karenna is also involved in.

Despite evidently leading separate lives, the Gores have been seen together since announcing their separation, and don’t seem to have taken any steps towards divorce.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Al Gore Criticizes Obama for Backing Out on Smog Standards

AXEL SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Saying that the president “bowed to pressure from polluters,” Al Gore on Wednesday joined other environmentalists who reacted strongly against the news that President Obama has withdrawn smog standards submitted by his own Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

In a statement released on the eve of a three-day holiday weekend last Friday, the president announced that while his administration has taken “some of the strongest actions since the enactment of the Clean Air Act” to protect the environment, he had decided to ask EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Standards.

In a statement released Wednesday, Al Gore said that the president’s action will lead to “increased medical bills for seniors with lung disease, more children developing asthma and the continued degradation of our air quality.”

Lisa Heinzerling, the EPA’s former Associate Administrator of Office Policy under the Obama administration, has called the move “terribly bad news, and terribly bad policy.”  Heinzerling, who has returned to teaching at Georgetown University, wrote a blog Friday saying the reason Obama used to withdraw the standards was “unlawful.”  The Supreme Court, she wrote, “has unequivocally held that the Clean Air Act forbids the consideration of economic costs in setting the NAAQS [National Ambient Air Quality Standard].”

In his statement, Obama said he has “continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.”  He said work is underway that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013.  “Ultimately,” he said, “I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.”

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, told ABC News: “This decision is a major betrayal of the president’s base and the values he ran on.  It was a cornerstone of the administration’s environmental agenda, which they just tossed off the side like ballast from a boat.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry’s Defense of ‘88 Al Gore Endorsement Runs into Reality

Tom Williams/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- As he has risen to the top of national Republican presidential polls over the last few weeks, Rick Perry has been forced to confront his past -- including the years he spent as a Democrat. In particular, Perry has been fielding questions about his support for Al Gore in the 1988 presidential race. Perry, who did not switch to the Republican Party until 1989, served as a high-profile Texas supporter of Gore’s presidential bid.

More than two-decades later, as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, Perry frequently cites Gore’s support of the Strategic Defense Initiative, a Ronald Reagan-era anti-ballistic missile proposal that later came to be known as Star Wars.

Last weekend, at a campaign appearance in Ottumwa, Iowa, Perry called Gore a “strong Strategic Defense Initiative proponent.”

But Gore’s support for the Strategic Defense Initiative while he was running for president in the late 1980′s was not nearly as enthusiastic as Perry implies. In a January 1988 interview with Florida’s St. Petersburg Times, Gore was asked whether he would support increasing research funds for the initiative. His response: no way.

“I oppose absolutely any plan for development or deployment of the Strategic Defense Initiative system,” Gore said. “Research on SDI should be confined to a strict interpretation of the ABM treaty. The focus of this research should be to assure that we have a state-of-the-art understanding of the basic science and technology that could be relevant to defense.”

And a few months later, in April 1988, Gore was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that the Strategic Defense Initiative was wrong-headed.

“‘I’m sure that President Reagan sincerely believes he is acting with the best of purposes in looking to SDI as a way to permanently end the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation,” Gore said. “But he is wrong -- wrong because SDI is not feasible, wrong because it would entail exorbitant costs and, most important, wrong because it would make the possibility of a nuclear first-strike more likely.”

In the years since, Perry has taken pains to disavow his past support for Gore, saying that he did not know about the future vice president’s views on the environment. But Perry has continued to use the Strategic Defense Initiative as justification for his endorsement more than 20 years ago.

The Perry campaign declined to comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Picks Up Endorsement of Sen. Jim Inhofe, Climate Change Skeptic

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(TULSA, Okla.) -- Gov. Rick Perry's most recent endorsement came Monday from Sen. Jim Inhofe, a fellow climate change skeptic, who said the Texas governor is the strongest Republican to challenge President Obama in 2012.

"I've known Gov. Rick Perry for a long time, and I am endorsing him because I know he is the strongest leader to run against and defeat President Obama. After three years of Obama's liberal agenda, Rick Perry is the right person to get America working again and turn our country in the right direction," Sen. Inhofe said in Tulsa, Okla., Monday. "We can't afford four more years of the Obama malaise. Look at what Rick Perry has done in his state. He is going to be a great president!"

Inhofe shares in Perry's skepticism regarding climate change, having repeatedly called global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." He has argued the globe is moving into a "cooling period," a theory Perry supported in his book Fed Up!

"He won't cave in to the extreme environmental activists or the Hollywood crowd and their liberal agenda," Inhofe said of Perry.

When Washington, D.C., was buried under snow in the winter of 2010, Inhofe and his family built an igloo with signs jokingly calling it Al Gore's new home.

"If, in fact, global warming is taking place, it's kind of hard on a day like today and the last few days to be talking about global warming," Inhofe said on the Senate floor in February 2010. "I often say, where is it when you need it?"

In the opening week of his campaign, Perry labeled global warming as being "politicized," arguing that scientists "have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their, to their projects." Perry's criticism of climate change theorists drew fire from fellow Republicans.

Last week, Vice President Al Gore condemned climate change skeptics' attempts to discredit the work of scientists by tying their projects to money.

"This is an organized effort to attack the reputation of the scientific community as a whole, to attack their integrity and to slander them with the lie that they are making up the science in order to make money," Gore said in an online interview last week.

"These scientists don't make a lot of money," Gore said. "They are comfortable, as they should be, but they don't make a lot of money. That is not their motivation for doing what they do."

Gore also warned that doubters of climate change will ultimately be judged in the same way as those who previously espoused racist views.

"There came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Then there came a time when people would say, 'Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don't go for that so don't talk that way around me. I just don't believe that.' That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won," Gore said. "And we have to win the conversation on climate."

In his book Fed Up! Perry called Gore a "false prophet of a secular carbon cult."

"Gore found something more satiating to his ego than the presidency. He found a global cause, and he became the prophet who could protect us from Armageddon. Soon he took his PowerPoint presentation around the globe, raising concerns about melting icebergs and undersized polar bears," Perry wrote. "The Left embraced him like never before. Hollywood toasted him as their hero. The Nobel Committee gave him a peace prize. He won an Oscar. And it's all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio