03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Al Gore Defends Joe Lieberman: "Right And Forceful On Many Of The Issues" (VIDEO)

Al Gore sat down for an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, and the first segments aired on her eponymous show last night. One interesting exchange was about whether Gore, a progressive icon, had had any changes of heart regarding his friend Joe Lieberman, who is loathed by progressives.

Maddow noted that his former running mate has changed his politics pretty significantly since the race in 2000 - "He's an independent now. He is now personally threatening to be the guy who kills health care reform." In hindsight, does Gore regret choosing Lieberman as his running mate and in the process dramatically raising his political profile?

Gore: The short answer is no. We were very close friends in the Senate. We're still friends. He was right and forceful on many of the issues I felt were central, including global warming. He's been of the leaders on that issue. On women's right. On a whole range of issues. I disagree with him on a lot of the issues that have become more prominent since then, but I would urge people to wait until the denouement of this health care debate to see where it falls out because I do believe that Harry Reid is going to be successful in passing it very soon.

Gore is also confident that despite the odds the Senate will pass climate and energy legislation before the world-wide climate change meeting in Copenhagen.