Al Gore says Republicans seeking the White House in 2016 are in a bind on climate change.
Asked if it would hurt the GOP nominee to be a climate skeptic or advocate against taking action on global warming, Gore replied: "Oh, yes. Definitely."
"In a general election? At the national level, where moderate voters hold the balance? It would be extremely harmful to a Republican candidate," Gore told National Journal in an interview Wednesday.
But Gore doubts that a "pro-climate" Republican can get the GOP nod, because "carbon polluters and anti-government extremists control many of the state primaries, if not most."
Gore's comments arrive as potential 2016 Republican White House candidates are beginning to stake out turf on climate change and energy.
In a pair of appearances in Washington on Tuesday, Louisiana's GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal called for dismantling EPA's carbon-emissions rules while arguing it's still unclear whether--despite what the vast majority of scientists say--human activities are now largely driving climate change.
Yet Gore believes the national politics have shifted even since the 2012 election cycle. That year, Mitt Romney attacked EPA regulation and used his nomination acceptance speech to openly mock President Obama's 2008 vow to tackle global warming. (Obama, for his part, didn't emphasize his climate platform on the stump but has made it a second-term priority.)