Former Vice President Al Gore will jump back on the campaign trail after a long absence and make the case for Hillary Clinton in Miami Tuesday – in part by singling out the risks posed by third-party candidates.
Gore is to deliver remarks about climate change, in a coastal state considered at long-term risk for damaging effects of a warming climate.
But the strategic decision to stage the high-profile event in South Florida also unmistakably evokes the contentious Florida recount that cost Democrats Florida and the White House when Gore was on the ballot in 2000.
‘Gore is also a reminder of the stakes, of how close the 2000 election was,’ Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi told the Tampa Bay Times. ‘Don’t pull a Ralph Nader.’
Former Vice President Al Gore, who narrowly lost the presidency in 2000, campaigns with Hillary Clinton in Miami Tuesday
In 2000, third party candidate Nader won more than 97,000 votes in Florida, while Gore lost by just 537 votes before the Supreme Court stopped a recount.
This year, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein have been drawing votes from Clinton.
The address is centered on climate change, according to the Clinton campaign, an issue that Gore worked on for decades and came to define his post-White House career before he became a successful venture capitalist.
It is also an issue ranked higher among younger voters – a group among whome Hillary Clinton needs to run up a big advantage.
‘We really hope that young people will represent the biggest voting group in this election,’ Clinton said while campaigning in Detroit Monday.
Having a Clinton and a Gore on the same campaign stage also brings back one of the tensions of the 2000 race: the Gore camp’s decision to keep Bill Clinton at arm’s length due to his scandals, and the former president’s view that he could have done more.
EYE ON FLORIDA: Gore’s appearance is an unmistakable reminder of the Florida recount that cost Democrats the White House
Gore’s speech is being billed as a talk on climate change as the Clinton campaign woos younger voters
Gore has become a successful investor since his narrow defeat, but has mostly shunned campaigning and the political world. He also has spoken out on the threat posed by climate change
‘Clinton will discuss the very real impacts of climate change on American communities, from sea level rise in Miami to historic drought in the West, and highlight locally-driven clean energy and climate solutions,’ according to advance guidance by the campaign.
She will contrast her view with Donald Trump’s ‘approach that perpetuates the dangerous claim that climate change is a hoax, would increase pollution, and tear up the Paris Climate Agreement.’
Clinton and Gore ‘will lay out what’s at stake in this election by highlighting the urgent threat of climate change – a defining challenge of the 21st century that threatens our health, our economy, our security, and our children’s futures,’ according to Clinton’s campaign.
Clinton leads Donald Trump 45 to 43 in the latest RealClearPolitics average in Florida.