Former Vice President Al Gore has a message for people who care about fighting global warming: don’t vote for a third party candidate.
Gore wants environmentalists to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, rather than Green Party Candidate Jill Stein or any other third party ticket. Many eco-activists threw their support behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.
But Sanders didn’t win the primary, and Gore urged activists to “look carefully” at the consequences of a Republican victory before deciding not to vote for Clinton. Gore said the “harsh reality” is Clinton is an environmentalist’s best choice for president in November.
“First of all I understand their feelings and misgivings,” Gore told ThinkProgress in an interview. “But if they are interested in my personal advice. I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I urge everyone else to do the same.”
Gore only recently came out in support of Clinton after years of arguing it was “premature” to endorse any candidate. Gore even had some doubts about Clinton’s environmental credentials.
“I don’t have any doubt that her heart is in the right place on the issue and that she would like to be an agent for positive change on the issue,” Gore told Politico in 2014.
But now that the primary is over, Gore has backed Clinton’s bid for the White House. He’s trying to galvanize environmentalist support behind Clinton to avoid any chance of a third party candidate siphoning off votes.
“I particularly urge anyone who is concerned about the climate crisis, sees it as the kind of priority that I see it as, to look at the sharp contrast between the solar plan that Secretary Clinton has put forward, and her stated commitment to support the Clean Power Plan, and the contrast between what she has said and is proposing with the statements of the Republican nominee, which give me great concern,” Gore told ThinkProgress.
“I would also urge them to look carefully, as I know they have, at the consequences of going in another direction for the third or fourth alternative,” he said. “The harsh reality is that we have two principal choices. And I am supporting Hillary Clinton.”
“Again I respect those who analyze the situation differently, but in my experience it matters a lot,” he said.
Gore may be trying to avoid a repeat of the 2000 election, according to ThinkProgress’s Joe Romm, by urging activists to not give Republican nominee Donald Trump the upper hand by voting third party.
Romm argues third party votes helped cost Gore the 2000 presidential election. In that race, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader siphoned off liberal votes from Gore. On the flip side, Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan took votes away from then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
Gore won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote in 2000.
“I bring all this up because some readers contemplating a third-party vote may be too young to remember the details of that agonizing election,” Romm wrote.
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