There can be no more equivocating. It’s in writingand from his own people. Vice President Al Gore is a liar.
”In the past, few reporters cared if you stretched the truth,“ former Gore aide Mike Kopp wrote in a 1987 memo addressed to ”Al,“ when Gore was running for president for the first time. That memo and one from another former staffer, which surfaced this week in national news reports, confirm what Gore opponent Bill Bradley has finally brought himself to say in recent daysthat is, that Gore is a shameless fibber.
In his memo, Kopp, then Gore’s deputy press secretary, cited a claim Gore made on CBS’ Face the Nation that he had campaigned in the South more than all the other candidates combined. ”That comment is not easy to defend,“ Kopp wrote, apparently imploring his boss to quit telling untruths. ”This impression that you stretch the truth reared its ugly head in Portland with your remarks about women staffers,“ Kopp wrote of Gore’s contention that half of his staffers were women, a false claim.
”The point of all this is to caution you about your press image, and how it may continue to suffer if you continue to go out on a limb with remarks that may be impossible to back up,“ Kopp concluded.
Kopp, now a Nashville public-relations executive, has been bombarded with phone calls since news of the memos surfaced this week. He says Gore’s exaggerations tended to happen before audiences when ”he would get so caught up in what he was doing and who he was talking to that...he would just say things. He would get caught up in the emotion of the moment.“
Kopp says he doesn’t ”think there was anything premeditated on Al’s part,“ but that Gore nevertheless sometimes made it difficult for people like Kopp back at the home office. Kopp still uses the same phrase he did back during the 1988 campaign”stretching the truth“and he says his memo pretty much speaks for itself.
Another memo, written by press secretary Arlie Schardt a few months later, told Gore that ”your main pitfall is exaggeration.“ The memo dealt with Gore’s claims about his own life such as his apparent contention that he had been a homebuilder, something Schardt couldn’t substantiate for reporters. Schardt warned Gore to be careful to ”not overstate your role.“
News about the existence of such memos not only corroborates Bradley’s own charges of Gore’s shameless deceptions, but they come after Gore’s distortion of his own record and position on the issue of abortion and other matters.
And there have been other whoppers, such as when Gore claimed that stories he wrote for The Tennessean sent a bunch of people to jail (not true), and that he and wife Tipper were the models for the characters in Love Story (something author Erich Segal denied).
Like the Energizer Bunny, he'll keep running and running. He just won't get anywhere.
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