The Washington Times - October 4, 2012, 12:26PM

Former Vice President Al Gore has a possible explanation why President Obama didn’t do better during his debate Wednesday night with Mitt Romney in Denver: the altitude.

“I’m going to say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m today, just a few hours before the debate started,” Mr. Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, told Current TV. “Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust — I don’t know, maybe.”

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Dr. Peter Hackett, director of the Institute for Altitude Medicine in Telluride, Colo., told The Washington Times Thursday it was “speculative” to blame the altitude on Mr. Obama’s performance.

“I think Gore is right — he said something controversial. And his conclusion — ‘I don’t know, maybe’ — is correct,” Mr. Hackett said.

“There is no way to know for sure. If the debate were in Aspen, at 8,000 feet, I’d say, yes, for sure. In Denver, it’s questionable. Possible, but unlikely.”

Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.