NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Former Vice President Al Gore may not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week, but he is for the first time endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.
Gore in a statement Monday cited what he called Clinton's qualifications and experience to meet challenges facing the nation and the world, "including, especially, the global climate crisis."
Gore's office had earlier told The Tennessean newspaper that unspecified "obligations in Tennessee" would prevent him from attending. Gore spoke on behalf of Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, but he did not attend the 2012 convention.
Gore was a Tennessee U.S. senator before joining Bill Clinton's presidential ticket in 1992. Gore lost the 2000 presidential race to Republican George W. Bush.
"I am not able to attend this year's Democratic convention, but I will be voting for Hillary Clinton," Gore tweeted in full. "Given her qualifications and experience—and given the significant challenges facing our nation and the world, including, especially, the global climate crisis, I encourage everyone else to do the same."
Gore, who is a superdelegate, had not previously endorsed Clinton.
"We always welcome him but completely understand his busy schedule and prior engagement," Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Spencer Bowers was quoted by The Tennessean as saying.
Gore was a featured speaker at the 2004 and 2008 Democratic conventions, but he missed the 2012 convention.
Epoch Times contributed to this report.