Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreDem introduces bills to eliminate Electoral College, stop presidents from pardoning themselves Al Gore’s right about carbon capture and sequestration Democrats view 2020 as a referendum on democracy 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 MikulskiThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi to reclaim Speakership amid shutdown Athletic directors honor best former student-athletes on Capitol Hill Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 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 ShaheenGOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days MORE (N.H.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Feinstein grappling with vote on AG nominee Barr Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing MORE (R.I.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonFlorida lawmaker diagnosed with pancreatic cancer Rick Scott threw party at Florida governor’s mansion after DeSantis and family had moved in: report Restoration of voting rights by felons marks shift in Florida MORE (Fla.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest partial shutdown Democrats plan to jam up Senate over shutdown fight Press: White House not only for white males MORE (Ore.); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.); and Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciHouse Democrats call on Trump to act on climate change Reporter tops lawmakers to win charity spelling bee Lawmakers, media serve up laughs at annual 'Will on the Hill' 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."