Former Vice President Al Gore blamed Republicans for the impending government shutdown on Friday, which he called “despicable” and “political terrorism.”
Gore also took a gratuitous shot at Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
“I think the only phrase that describes it is political terrorism,” Gore said at the Brookings Institute Center for Effective Public Management, where he was scheduled to speak about global warming. “Nice global you got there. Be a shame if we had to destroy it. We have a list of demands. If you don’t meet them all by our deadline, we’ll blow up the global economy.”
Gore also called on voters to support the funding of a law a plurality of them oppose.
“Where are the American people in this? Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America?” Gore asked, glowering over the podium. “It cannot be allowed. But it can only be stopped if people in both parties and independents as well, and say, ‘Look, I might not agree with everything that’s in the Affordable Care Act, but it did pass. It was upheld by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land.”
The Affordable Care Act did indeed pass the Senate under the cover of darkness late Christmas Eve in 2009, thanks to 60 Democratic votes — the only major legislation in recent years to pass along strictly partisan lines. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid noted this at the time, denigrating the GOP for withholding their support.
“I’m sorry to say that for the first time in American history, a political party has chosen to stand on the sidelines rather than participate in great — and greatly needed — social change,” Reid said shortly after the vote.
Gore echoed this sentiment during his digression at Brookings.
“Now you want to threaten to not only shut down our government, but to blow up the world economy unless we go back an undo what we did according to the processes of democracy?” Gore said. “How dare you? How dare you?”
A certain “crassness” cropping up in political culture was to blame for the looming government shutdown, Gore said.
“And over time, those who are drawn to participate in such a culture have changed. Many men and women who I wish were in politics aren’t in politics now. And why would they be? And some that I surely wish were not in politics are speaking for long stretches of time,” Gore said, alluding to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s marathon 21-hour speech imploring Congress to defund Obamacare.