Al Gore's Exaggeration

March 15, 2000

Now that the Democratic nominee for president is virtually certain, media pundits and political analysts are talking about the vice presidentís tendency to. . . (how should I say it) . . . exaggerate. And for those who say that he learned it while dealing with the current president, there is now growing evidence that this has been Al Goreís problem for quite some time.

During Mr. Goreís 1987-1988 pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, his own staff members twice admonished him in writing to tell the truth now that the national media was following his words. His press secretary told Mr. Gore his image "may continue to suffer if you continue to go out on a limb with remarks that may be impossible to back up." Later, his communications director told him in a memo, "Your main pitfall is exaggeration."

Mr. Gore apparently stretched the truth when he told the Des Moines Register that his stint as an investigative reporter at the Nashville Tennessean "got a bunch of people indicted and sent to jail." Well, the newspaper acknowledged that nobody went to jail.

Many of his famous facts turn out to be incorrect. For example, he said that Harvard professor Erich Segal used him and Tipper as the models for "Love Story." He also claimed to have found Love Canal and held hearings on it. But it was President Carter who months before already designated it a disaster area. And he is best known for having said that as a congressman, he "took the initiative in creating the Internet." The Internet, in fact, was created years before Mr. Gore entered Congress.

The most recent comment involved campaign finance. He claimed to be co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill. As it happens, Mr. Feingold wasnít even in the Senate when Mr. Gore represented Tennessee.

You know, before this campaign is over, I expect that Mr. Goreís exaggerations will become a major campaign issue.

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.