NEW YORK – Former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday he's glad his son is safe and getting treatment a day after the 24-year-old was arrested in California on suspicion of illegally possessing marijuana and prescription drugs.
"We love him very much," Gore told NBC's "Today" show, adding, "We are going to leave it as a private matter."
Gore, who appeared on NBC to publicize this weekend's Live Earth concerts, also briefly discussed politics. He called President Bush's decision to commute the perjury and obstruction of justice sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby "disappointing" and reiterated that he has no plans to run for president, saying: "I don't expect to be a candidate again ever."
"I've kind of fallen out of love with politics," Gore said. He said the best use of his experience is to bring awareness and a sense of urgency to the issue of climate change.
Gore laughed when asked if he was ready to endorse a candidate for president. He said his evaluation would be based on what each decides to do about climate change.
"Some of them have made good, positive statements, but it's still treated as a side issue. I will predict for you that within the next 500 days that this issue will be the Number One issue on the agenda," he said.
The arrest early Wednesday of Gore's son overshadowed Gore's work on the Live Earth concerts. The former Democratic presidential candidate and star of "An Inconvenient Truth" has been planning the worldwide event to raise awareness about the environment and funding for Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit organization he leads.
Al Gore III was driving about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over and deputies found a small amount of marijuana plus Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.
The younger Gore did not have a prescription for any of the drugs, Amormino said. He was released from jail Wednesday afternoon on $20,000 bail.
"We are glad he is safe and that he is getting treatment," his father said Thursday.
Al Gore III, the youngest of Gore's four children, was previously arrested in 2003 for marijuana possession while a student at Harvard University. He completed substance abuse counseling as part of a program to settle the charge and now lives in Los Angeles where he is an associate publisher of GOOD, a philanthropy magazine aimed at young people.