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Al Gore Declines to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President

Al Gore Declines to Endorse Hillary Clinton for President
Al Gore and Hillary Clinton
EPS/REX USA; Joe Raedle/Getty

11/10/2015 AT 03:10 PM EST

If Hillary Clinton is counting on an endorsement from her husband's former vice president, she'll have to wait for it.

Al Gore, who served two terms with former President Bill Clinton, politely but firmly declined when PEOPLE asked him if he supports Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

"It's still too early, in my opinion, to endorse a candidate or pick a candidate," Gore told PEOPLE in an interview to preview his 24-hour climate-change telethon, which starts on Friday.

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"Everybody can look at how the presidential campaign is developing and get some pretty clear ideas about how they think it's going to turn out, but I still think it's premature," Gore said. "The election is still a full year away. I think I'll wait to wade into it."

As for reports earlier this year that some of his top loyalists were angling to get him into the 2016 race for the White House, the man who lost the brutally-fought – and contested – 2000 election to George W. Bush, chuckled at the idea of another round.

In his careful and precise manner, Gore said: "I have taken no steps whatsoever in the direction of a candidacy and my answer has been the same for 10 years now – or more – and you probably heard my answer before: I'm a recovering politician and the longer I go without a relapse, the less likely one becomes."
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