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CNN Today

Al Gore Goes Head-to-Head With Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show'

Aired February 11, 2000 - 1:10 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore went head-to-head last evening with one of the men who has done plenty to ridicule and belittle his campaign. Not Bill Bradley, Jay Leno.

CNN's Mark Potter reports that Gore's appearance on "The Tonight Show" followed a day of much more serious campaigning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a fund-raiser in Beverly Hills, Vice President Al Gore laced into Bill Bradley for criticizing his early record on abortion.

VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So let me be clear: I do not need a lecture from Senator Bradley about how to protect a woman's right to choose.

POTTER: Mr. Gore says, after wrestling years ago with the issue of government funding for abortion, he is now fully committed to a woman's right to choose. Earlier, he spoke to a group of doctors, nurses and health care volunteers and repeated his pledge to fight for universal health care. And then for a moment, the serious stuff ended as the campaign took a comedy break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Please welcome Vice President Al Gore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: During a taping of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," the sometimes stiff vice president had advice for the host.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

GORE: I think that -- I think you ought to loosen up a little bit.

LENO: yes, you think I'm a little stiff?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: He also discussed the difference between his college basketball career and that of Bill Bradley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

GORE: And the difference between me and Bill Bradley is I don't make a big deal out of my career.

LENO: Oh, really?

Who would you rather run against, McCain or Bush?

GORE: Whichever one loses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: Perhaps the funniest visitor, though, appeared ahead of the vice president and was caught laughing at an off-color Monica Lewinsky joke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

LENO: Hey, the Secret Service guy laughed. I got a laugh out of the Secret Service guy. Hey, yes, got a laugh from the Secret Service, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POTTER: But the star was still Al Gore, now back on the campaign trail, seriously so.

Mark Potter, CNN, Burbank, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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