Environmental Al Gore Is Back

ByABC News
June 3, 2006, 9:09 PM

June 4, 2006 — -- In an exclusive appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," former Vice President Al Gore said he's content to stay out of the political arena, preferring to fight against global warming rather than run for the White House.

"I have no plans to be a candidate for president again," Gore said. "I don't expect to ever be a candidate for president again. I haven't made a so-called Sherman statement, because it just seems unnecessary."

Then he joked, "I'm 58 years old; that's the new 57 now."

So far, the long-time politician -- whose crusade to educate Americans on the effects of global warming is the subject of the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," released worldwide this weekend -- is content to spread his message at the theater and not on the campaign trail.

"I can't imagine any circumstances in which case I would become a candidate again," he said. "I've found other ways to serve [and] I'm enjoying them."

Stephanopoulos, ABC News' chief Washington correspondent, pressed Gore as to whether or not the former vice president might feel a "duty" to run if Democrats appeared poised to lose the White House for the third consecutive election.

Gore thanked Democrats who have been making the case for his candidacy in 2008 but insisted his focus would remain on global warming.

"I don't feel that I have to apologize for focusing my energies on trying to create a sufficient awareness and sense of urgency on the single biggest challenge that humankind has ever faced," he said.

A longtime environmentalist, Gore wrote "Earth in the Balance," a bestseller about the perils of global warming and the importance of environmental issues, shortly before joining then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton in a successful run for the White House in 1992. And this summer, "An Inconvenient Truth" competes against the likes of "The Da Vinci Code" and "X-Men 3" in an attempt to spread his global warming warning.

Gore's film debut came after producer Laurie David, wife of comedian Larry David, saw the global warming lecture he has been presenting and refining for the past 20 years. David teamed an at-first-reluctant Gore with documentarian Davis Guggenheim, who turned the former vice president's slides and charts into a Cannes Film Festival entry.