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More headlines: Al Gore on Principles & Values

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Gore affirms his commitment to working people

“I am going to be running with the teachers and the farmers and the bus drivers and the hard working men and women of this country. I’m going to be running with the people, not the privileged.”
Source: CNN.com Jul 26, 2000

VP search quiet and respectful; VP will fight for people

With the GOP ticket taking shape, Gore said he has narrowed his own search for a running mate and would probably announce his choice several days before the Democratic National Convention. “I’ve handled my process differently than the Bush campaign has handled theirs. I’ve kept it private, and I hope dignified, out of respect for the individuals, the men and women who are under consideration, and I am going to continue to approach it that way. I’ve been through it on the other end twice, and I know a little bit of what it’s like to go through the process and to be turned down. And I know what it’s like to go through the process and being asked to join the ticket. I’m going to pick the person who I believe can become president on a moment’s notice if necessary, who also has a good working relationship with me, or the prospect of one, and who shares my values, someone who’s willing to fight for people and not the powerful,“ Gore said.
Source: Michael Finnegan, LA Times Jul 25, 2000

Al & Tipper as model for “Love Story”?

Erich Segal began working on the script for Love Story while in residence [at Harvard while Gore was a student there]. He saw in Gore some of the elements for the character of Oliver Barrett IV, the blue-blooded Harvard hockey player who falls for Jennifer Cavilleri, the smart-aleck Radcliffe musician. Segal sketched Barrett as an amalgam of [Gore’s roommate] Tommy Lee Jones--the tough guy with the poet’s soul--and Gore, who Segal recalled, was “always under pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps.“

The literary footnote became an embarrassment to Gore three decades later when he suggested that he and his wife were models for the young lovers. Being merely part of the inspiration for Oliver wasn’t enough; he needed to be all of it. Segal was forced several days later to concede that Gore was only half right about Oliver and completely wrong about Jenny. ”I did not draw a thing from Tipper,“ he said. ”I knew her only as Al’s date.“

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p. 58 Mar 3, 2000

Hard work is the antidote for disillusionment

Q. How do you feel about the difficulties of political realities?
A: There was a time when I was a young man after I came back from Vietnam when I was thoroughly disillusioned with the political system. I’ll tell you why I changed my mind. I believe that when people roll up their sleeves and try to make a difference, they are breathing life into the American dream. I saw it in Nashville, Tenn., when I was a journalist there. And I think a president has to be willing to fight hard and never give up.
Source: Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

Principled stances: against Reagan tax cuts; for Kuwait

Q: Have you ever had to make a decision you knew would hurt you politically, but you had to put principle over politics? A: I voted against [Reagan’s tax cut] plan too and then when the vote for the Reagan budget cuts came, that slashed health care and education and food stamps, I voted against that too, even though it had a lot of political pressure behind it. I was one of only a handful of senators. to authorize the use of force [in Kuwait].
Source: Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

Avoiding all mistakes mean not trying hard enough

Q: How large of a mistake can a president make?
A: In heading up the reinventing government program, I learned [that] if you’re not making some mistake you’re not trying hard enough. A president who tries to bring fundamental change to our country has to be willing to try new things. [But] the country can ill-afford big mistakes by a president who stumbles into something that could be avoided with the kind of judgment & experience that our people ought to have the right to expect in any president.
Source: Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

Tap into America’s soul with meaning, courage & wisdom

Q: It’s been said that this presidential election is a battle for the American soul. What is your response? A: I think all elections for president in this country are about our nation’s soul. I believe we have to give meaning to the lives of our young people. We have to have the courage to take on the problem of global warming. We have to have the wisdom to keep our economy prosperous. We’re going to devote the resources necessary to dramatically improve our public schools.
Source: Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

Career in newspaper journalism before politics

[At The Tennesseean, a Nashville newspaper, Gore worked] for nearly 5 years before resigning to run for Congress in 1976. Now Gore is turning to his distant career in journalism to provide a sheen of authenticity to an otherwise uninterrupted political biography. He regularly mentions his newspapering endeavors in campaign speeches. “I was a journalist for 7 years,” Gore said, referring collectively to The Tennesseean, his days as an Army reporter and as a copy boy at The New York Times.
Source: New York Times, p. A1 Nov 18, 1999

“One of our greatest Pres.” but “disappointed” by Clinton

[In August 1998, after his Monica testimony, Clinton concluded,] “Now this matter is between me, the two people I love most, my wife and daughter, and our God.” Gore praised Clinton for acknowledging his mistakes before the American people, but steered clear of any specific character endorsement. In September, Gore reaffirmed his friendship with Clinton but made a point of calling his conduct “indefensible.” In a September cabinet session, Gore told Clinton he was “disappointed,” concluding with a blunt warning: “Mr. President, I think most of America has forgiven you, but you’ve got to get your act together.” In December, after the House impeachment vote, Gore said, “I do believe this is the saddest day I have seen in our nation’s capital. The president has acknowledged that what he did was wrong, but invoking the solemn power of impeachment is wrong. What happened as a result does a great disservice to a man I believe will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents.”
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.347-50 & p.356 Mar 3, 2000

Was angry at Clinton but wanted continuity & stability

Q: There’s a great deal of cynicism in the country about politics and politicians [and Clinton]. What would you do to restore confidence? A: I understand the disappointment and anger that you feel toward President Clinton, and I felt it myself. I also feel that the American people want to move on and turn the page and focus on the future and not the past. He’s my friend. And I interpreted my Constitutional oath to mean that I ought to try to provide continuity and stability during that time.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

At impeachment, defends “one of our greatest presidents”

Vice President Gore has emerged as President Clinton’s chief defender in public and behind the scenes. Instead of distancing himself from a president whose personal reputation has suffered grave damage in the biggest political crisis in a generation, Gore has latched himself closer than ever to Clinton. One of Gore’s strongest statements came Saturday at the White House, just hours after the House voted to impeach the president. The vice president alternately echoed the first lady’s call a day earlier for national reconciliation and excoriated the Republican Congress for “excessive partisanship.”

“What happened as a result does a great disservice to a man I believe will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents,” Gore said, a phalanx of Democratic House members cheering behind him.

Source: Washington Post, Page A04 Dec 23, 1998

Gore promises to fight for all Americans

Speaking to the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (RPC) Board of Directors, Al Gore today affirmed his support for tougher and expanded hate crimes legislation, a minimum wage increase and other measures to make progress for all American families. “You know from hard history and a long struggle that talk is cheap; deeds are what count. The true test is whether you are willing to stand up and fight for real jobs and real opportunity for all our people.”
Source: Press Release, “Gore Will Fight for All Americans” Jul 26, 2000

President should fight for all citizens

Q: What do you think characterizes the most effective world leaders? A: A president is the only person in our constitutional system who has the responsibility to fight for the welfare and well-being of all our people. Secondly, a president has to articulate clear goals that are achievable, rank them in priority order, and rally people around those goals. And third, a president has to assert values and elevate those values so that people buy into them and base their decisions on those values.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

Congressional campaign style: hard work & cautiousness

Gore’s first campaign was the only close race he ever ran in Tennessee. A look at how he won reveals the roots of an operating style that has remained largely intact for nearly 25 years: a relentless work ethic; tactical caution; passionate advocacy of worthy but low-risk issues; and a willingness to revise, or simply muddy up, politically inconvenient positions. “Rekindling the American Spirit” was the bland, feel-good bicentennial tag line of the Gore campaign.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.118 Mar 3, 2000

Support Gore because he’ll fight for you

Q: What is the one most compelling reason that I should vote for? A: I would like to have your support for me because I want to fight for you. A president can fight for all the people.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

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Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

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Page last updated: Dec 28, 2013