Al Gore Joins Hillary Clinton On Campaign Trail In Florida

Oct 11, 2016
Originally published on October 16, 2016 9:43 am
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Florida and Al Gore - for Democrats, the combination conjures up memories of Gore's presidential campaign 16 years ago that ran aground in Florida. Today, Gore made his 2016 campaign debut as the special guest at a Hillary Clinton rally in Miami. The former vice president added his own experience to Clinton's get-out-the-vote message. He and Clinton also talked about climate change, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Al Gore has been sounding the climate foghorn longer than almost anyone else in Washington. And for the Clinton campaign, Gore's presence sounds another warning - the inconvenient outcome of Gore's own White House bid turned on just 537 votes here in Florida. Democrats are determined not to let that happen again.

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AL GORE: Your vote really, really, really counts a lot.

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GORE: You can consider me as an exhibit A of that truth.

HORSLEY: Gore's loss and the spoiler role played by Ralph Nader in 2000 is also a cautionary tale for young people considering a vote for third-party candidates. Gore says he's convinced Clinton will make the fight against climate change a top national priority. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has discounted the reality of climate change and promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Gore says the choice facing Florida voters is extremely clear.

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GORE: In this election, the future of Miami and cities up and down the west coast and east coast of Florida are on the ballot as well. Indeed, the entire state of Florida and its future are on this ballot.

HORSLEY: Deadly storms like Hurricane Matthew, which steamed up Florida's east coast last week, may or may not draw some of their power from a changing climate. But Clinton warns the effects of rising sea levels can already be seen in this area in less dramatic ways.

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HILLARY CLINTON: You have streets in Miami Beach and in Shore Crest that are flooding at high tide. The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system.

HORSLEY: Clinton promises to combat that with an even bigger investment in clean energy. She noted ruefully that Florida, the Sunshine State, has less invested in solar power than New Jersey. And she blamed hostility from this state's Republican governor.

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CLINTON: The clean energy solutions are being developed right here in America. We want them manufactured in America and installed in America and putting people to work in America.

HORSLEY: Recent polls show Clinton with a lead in Florida and nearly every other swing state. But her supporters have to guard against complacency. Just as her climate plan includes steps to harden communities against extreme weather, Clinton's political team is working to safeguard her electoral advantage as this category-five campaign spins towards its unpredictable finish. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.