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Former Vice President Al Gore offered a blistering critique of Republican nominee John McCain, arguing today that the Arizona Senator would be an extension of the Bush administration who would worsen his signature issue: global warming.

“The same policies all over again?” Gore said at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver. “Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.”

Gore charged that “in spite of John McCain’s past record of open-mindedness on the climate crisis, he has now allowed his party to browbeat him into abandoning his support of mandatory caps on global warming.”

Obama, on the other hand, “represents a clean break from the politics of partisanship and bitter division.”

Gore is trying to knock down the main Republican line of attack against Obama — that he isn’t ready to lead — by likening the Democratic nominee to another Land of Lincoln politician who had limited experience in federal government before winning the White House: Abraham Lincoln himself.

“In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning,” Gore said. “And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition.”

Gore was welcomed by a standing ovation in the enthusiastic crowd of thousands, who waved American flags and stamped their feet as he took to the podium. Cameras flashed throughout the stands to capture a snapshot of the former vice president, who was the Democratic nominee in 2000.

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