Former Vice President Al Gore reminded Florida voters at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton today that the margin could come down to a few votes in the swing state.
Gore lost Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes in 2000 after the infamous hanging chad recount, giving Bush the electoral college victory and the White House.
Clinton introduced Gore as “one of the world’s foremost leaders on climate change” and urged the crowd to watch his movie An Inconvenient Truth: “It doesn’t have a lot of special effects, but it does have a lot of drama.”
“And here’s the main message: Climate change is real; it’s urgent; and America can take the lead in the world in addressing it. Right?” she said. “We here in America can develop new clean energy solutions. We can transform our economy. We can rally the world to cut carbon pollution. And above all, we can fulfill our moral obligation to protect our planet for our children and our grandchildren.”
Clinton told the Miami crowd that “the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes” as “the ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system.”
“Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually, it is the sea rising around them,” she said. “So if you need proof that climate change is real and that it’s costly, there you go.”
“…I can’t wait to have Al Gore advising me when I am president of the United States.”
Gore said his first message to voters is that “the climate crisis is and must be regarded as a top national priority, and a top global priority.”
His second message? “Your vote really, really, really counts a lot. You can consider me as an ‘exhibit A’ of that truth.”
“Now… for those of you who are younger than 25, you might not remember the election of 2000 and what happened here in Florida and across the country. For those of you older than 25, I heard you murmuring just now. But take it from me, it was a very close election,” Gore added.
“Elections have consequences. Your vote counts. Your vote has consequences. And 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. So is our economy, our health, our national security, the common thread that binds all of these issues together, what we decide to do about carbon pollution and its damage to the ecological system of the earth.”
Gore said “every single night on the television news is like a major hike through the book of Revelation” with all of “the floods and the droughts and the mudslides and the fires and the incredible downpours.”
He added that Hurricane Matthew evolved into a Category 5 storm in an “extremely unusual” 36 hours because “the climate crisis is trapping so much extra heat in the earth’s system, equivalent to what would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs going off every day.”
“…Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message; we cannot continue putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day as if it’s an open sewer.”
The former VP also worked in a stab at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), telling the crowd, “You can elect Patrick Murphy to the United States Senate instead of a climate denier.”
Early voting begins in Florida on Oct. 24. The voter registration deadline, which was extended by a federal judge due to the hurricane, is Wednesday.
“If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election,” Gore said. “And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference in this election.”