Al Gore Still Believes He Won the 2000 Presidential Election
Former VP mocked on Twitter for struggling to cope with razor-thin loss, 17 years later
Former Vice President Al Gore told HBO host Bill Maher that he actually thinks he won the state of Florida — and thus the presidency — on Election Day in 2000 against President George W. Bush during an interview Friday night.
Gore, former President Bill Clinton’s running mate and a climate change activist, appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher” to promote his latest climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” While discussing the topic of rising sea levels and its impact on the U.S. and the world at large, Maher pointed out, “So when the sea levels rise, obviously we could lose Venice. We could lose Florida.”
"And who would know better about losing Florida?" Maher added after a slight pause as the show's live audience groaned, laughed, booed and clapped.
The legendary 2000 U.S. presidential election between Bush and Gore proved to be one of the country's most controversial elections to date. After the voting booths closed on Nov. 7 and the states' results trickled in, Oregon's, New Mexico's and Florida's results remained too close to call and left Bush with 246 and Gore with 255 electoral votes overall. Although Gore's victories in New Mexico and Oregon became official over the next few days, the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes remained a mystery for more than a month.
After an agonizing recount process analyzed the nearly six million votes cast in Florida and after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its verdict on the matter, Bush edged Gore out of the presidency by a mere margin of 537 votes in that crucial state.
Devastated Democrats called for Electoral College reform or the abolishment of the Electoral College entirely after Gore lost Florida but won the popular vote across the nation. But Bush's 271 electoral votes trumped Gore's 266, while the country moved on as best as it could.
In response to Maher's vicious jab, the former 2000 Democratic presidential nominee smiled as the audience reacted, saying, "Actually, actually I think I carried Florida."
Maher laughed and clapped as he responded, "That's right. OK. There you go."
Gore added, "But that's another — we won't go there." The former vice president then proceeded to jump back into the topic of rising sea levels and fish erroneously swimming in the streets.
Even 17 years later, Gore apparently still feels that the U.S. presidency unjustly slipped from his grasp and was awarded to a man who didn't deserve it but served as president for eight years. Gore's feelings of being cheated out of what he believes was rightfully his also reflected the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote to President Donald Trump.
Many Democrats once again called for the abolishment of the Electoral College following Clinton's crushing loss while Clinton herself concocted a bevy of additional excuses for why she lost to Trump, including misogyny, the Russians, and former FBI Director James Comey.
After Gore declared his belief that he won the state of Florida and should have clinched the presidency, social media users began to either mock Gore for his refusal to accept reality or express their longings for an alternate reality in which both Gore and Clinton had won their presidential races.
"So, @algore told @billmaher he thinks he carried Florida. Let me check the history books, Al... Nope, you're wrong about history, again," one Twitter user wrote.
"Keep crying those crocodile tears, Al Gore!! And keep writing fiction novels," another person tweeted.
"@algore is every bit as bitter as he was 17 years ago when he lost Florida," another tweeted.
"Alternate reality: Al Gore wins; Hillary Clinton-2 terms;-Obama 2 terms. W/Dem congress & Senate. What a wonderful world it would have been!" one Twitter user wrote.
"AL GORE FINALLY SAID OUT LOUD THAT HE THINKS HE WON FLORIDA IM SCREAMING," another Twitter user wrote.
"Al Gore on Bill Maher: "I think I carried Florida." Way to make the country united, Al. Way to go," another person tweeted.
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Real Time with Bill Maher, YouTube)