Al Gore stumps for Clinton at rally in Florida

Mr Gore with Mrs Clinton at the Miami Dade College on Tuesday. He vouched for Mrs Clinton's credentials on increasing the use of solar power and other renewable energy.
Mr Gore with Mrs Clinton at the Miami Dade College on Tuesday. He vouched for Mrs Clinton's credentials on increasing the use of solar power and other renewable energy.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MIAMI • Retired Democratic warhorse Al Gore was trotted out at a rally with Mrs Hillary Clinton to highlight an issue he has long championed - combating climate change - and to remind voters how important voting can be to the outcome of close elections.

Mr Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential race to Mr George W. Bush following an aborted recount here in Florida, vouched for Mrs Clinton's credentials on increasing the use of solar power and other renewable energy and said voters face a stark choice in the election next month against embattled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us towards a climate catastrophe," said Mr Gore, who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on putting climate change on the world's political agenda.

He remains active on the issue, heading the Climate Reality Project, a global advocacy group.

Appearing clean-shaven and considerably greyer than during his years in office, Mr Gore sounded professorial as he talked about atmospheric changes, and he came across as a little rusty on the political stump.

EARTH'S FUTURE AT STAKE

Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us towards a climate catastrophe.

MR AL GORE, on Mr Donald Trump, who has famously referred to climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

It was his first - and what is expected to be his only - appearance this election with Mrs Clinton, whose husband he served under for eight years in the White House.

The Democrat's emphasis on climate change was intended to resonate with millennials, a voting bloc that has been slow to warm to Mrs Clinton and that in polls consistently ranks the issue as a greater concern than their older counterparts.

Mr Trump has famously referred to climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

Mrs Clinton told the audience at Miami Dade College's Kendall campus that she would turn to Mr Gore for advice on climate change upon entering the Oval Office, and called him "one of the world's foremost leaders" on the subject.

Mr Gore's presence on Tuesday at the rally was also intended as a cautionary note to Democratic-leaning voters who may consider sitting out this election or peeling off to vote next month for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

In 2000, Democrats say, Mr Gore would have become president if not for Mr Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, who siphoned more votes from Mr Gore than Mr Bush.

"Your vote really, really, really counts," Mr Gore told the audience assembled in a gym here.

"You can consider me as an Exhibit A of that."

Chants of "You won, you won, you won" broke out.

Florida was a poignant choice of venue for Mr Gore. Had he prevailed in the state in 2000, he would have succeeded Mr Bill Clinton as president instead of Mr Bush.

Florida's status as a key battleground again in this year's presidential race was evident elsewhere in the state on Tuesday, with Mr Clinton and Mr Trump also making appearances.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2016, with the headline 'Al Gore stumps for Clinton at rally in Florida'. Print Edition | Subscribe