Former vice president Al Gore appeared on "The Colbert Report" on Tuesday night and addressed a past connection he shares with Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry.
Rival GOP contender Ron Paul recently thrust Perry's past ties to Gore into the spotlight. The Texas congressman used a campaign ad to highlight Perry's support for Gore during the Democrat's 1988 presidential run. The spot painted Paul as a long-time Ronald Reagan supporter with the Lone Star State governor, then a Democrat, depicted as a Gore loyalist.
"Al Gore found a cheerleader in Texas named Rick Perry," says a narrator in the ad. "Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore's campaign to undo the Reagan revolution, fighting to elect Al Gore president of the United States."
Taegan Goddard relays what Gore had to say about his history with Perry on Tuesday night. Colbert asked the former vice president, "Rick Perry endorsed you in 1988. Will you return the favor right now and endorse Rick Perry?"
GORE: "Well, it would hurt him a lot, in a Republican primary."
COLBERT: "So, is that an endorsement?"
GORE: "No, it's not."
Gore explained that Perry "was a Democrat back then" and added, "I don't know what happened to him."
Delving further into Perry's past as a Democrat, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier this summer:
Another political move Perry made back then: He was a top Texas supporter and organizer in 1988 for then-Sen. Al Gore, who ran for president as a Southern conservative rather than the populist reformer he eventually became as the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee.
"I came to my senses," Perry likes to say when asked about his Gore days.
Since the 1980s, Perry and Gore took dramatically different political paths. Time explains:
It is unlikely that today's Al Gore would consider voting for the 1988 Al Gore, and certainly Perry has seen fit to distance himself from Gore 2.0. "I've heard Al Gore talk about man-made global warming so much that I'm starting to think that his mouth is the leading source of all that supposedly deadly carbon dioxide," Perry said in 2007, according to the Austin American-Statesman.