Gore says he hasn't ruled out running for president

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The Independent US

Former US Vice President Al Gore arrived in Australia yesterday for the local premiere of his documentary on global warming and declared he is still considering a second tilt at the White House.

"I haven't completely ruled out running for president again in the future but I don't expect to," the 58-year-old Democrat told reporters in Sydney before the Sunday night premiere of "An Inconvenient Truth."

"I offer the explanation not as an effort to be coy or clever. It's just the internal shifting of gears after being in politics almost 30 years. I hate to grind the gears," he added.

Gore said there was no doubt the impact of global warming would be best addressed through the power of the presidency, but making a documentary was second best.

The documentary, which Gore narrates, is critical of the United States and Australia, arguably the worst greenhouse gas polluting nation per capita, for refusing to adopt the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Prime Minister John Howard, a friend and ally of George W. Bush, who defeated Gore in a knife-edge presidential election in 2000, said he would not meet Gore during his Australian visit and would not heed his advice to sign up to Kyoto.

"I don't take policy advice from films," Howard told reporters.

Gore was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1976 and became vice president in 1993.

Australia's Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane dismissed the documentary's dire predictions about the consequences of global warming as entertainment.

"Al Gore's here to sell tickets to a movie and no one can begrudge him that. It's just entertainment," Macfarlane told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio Monday.