Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreImpeaching the president: At what cost, and by what method? Downey: Why I returned stolen campaign material — a lesson for Donald Trump Trump campaign considering making a play for blue state Oregon: report MORE came prepped with a sweet surprise for a former colleague at the D.C. premiere of his documentary "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power."

The  former vice president briefly broke away from the green carpet at the Washington screening to present former Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.) with a birthday cake on Wednesday night. The nation's longest-serving female lawmaker turned 81 on Thursday.

"He knew that my birthday is tomorrow, and he knew that I like to count the twinkles instead of the wrinkles," Mikulski exclaimed to ITK at the movie's premiere at the Newseum. "And he very gallantly gave me a birthday cake."

The white frosted cake came decorated with raspberries and gold foil pieces, with "Happy Birthday Barb" scrolled onto it.

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"I've known Vice President Gore since we served in the House of Representatives together. We were on the [House Energy and Commerce Committee] together. So we've known each other for more than 30 years," Mikulski said of her history with the environmental advocate.

Asked whether Gore had shared a personal birthday message, Mikulski replied, "We both say: Be defiant and never compliant."

Mikulski, who retired last year, then offered her support of Gore's sequel to his 2006 Oscar-winning climate change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

"What we really talked about was this movie and the whole idea of helping young people who've been out protesting, to focus really on how do we go from outcry to outcome?"

"Show your passion," Mikulski advised. "Show what you don't like. But for every opposition, let's now have a proposition that makes the world a better place and a safer place."

A bevy of Democratic lawmakers turned out for the VIP event ahead of the movie's nationwide Aug. 4 premiere, including Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDemocrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill after Mnuchin announces delay MORE (N.H.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSize of 2020 field too big even for Democratic enthusiasts, poll finds Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Trump's UN pick faces Senate grilling MORE (R.I.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups How Jim Bridenstine recruited an old enemy to advise NASA MORE (Fla.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break Chaos within the EPA exposes Americans to toxins like asbestos MORE (Ore.); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.); and Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciChaos within the EPA exposes Americans to toxins like asbestos WHIP LIST: Number of Democrats backing Trump impeachment inquiry rises DeVos defends controversial guidance on transgender students MORE (Ore.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Debbie Dingell (Mich.), Tom O'Halleran (Ariz.), Tom Suozzi (N.Y.), Danny K. Davis (Ill.) and Alan Lowenthal (Calif.).

ITK asked Mikulski her attitude about birthdays and turning another year older.

"Well, I like them," she said with a grin. "It's better to have them than not to have them."