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Gore Says No, Lott Says He's Sorry - 2002-12-18

Former Vice President Al Gore has decided not to run for president in 2004. The 2000 Democratic Party Presidential nominee, who lost to President George W. Bush, said he wants the 2004 election to be forward-looking and not a repeat of his last contest with President Bush.

Mr. Gore said he decided not to run after months of contemplation and less than successful fundraising. He also said many democrats advised him that the party needed a new face. At a news conference, Mr. Gore said he was at peace with his decision.

“My heart is full with a feeling of deep gratitude for the chance that I’ve had to serve my country.”

Mr. Gore’s departure leaves the 2004 Democratic Party field wide open, with no clear front runner for the presidential nomination.

The other person making news in Washington, Senate Majority Leader, Republican Trent Lott. Earlier this month during a tribute to Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator Lott said the country would be better off had Senator Thurmond been elected President back in 1948. At the time, Senator Thurmond, a Republican, ran as a racial segregationist.

“When Strom Thurmond ran for President, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And, if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years."

In a subsequent interview with Black Entertainment Television, Senator Lott again apologized for the remarks, widely seen as endorsing racial segregation. Senator Lott said he was not talking about race relations but about problems of defense, communism, and budgets.