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Gore: Progressive ideas 'gaining ground' among Democrats

Gore: Progressive ideas 'gaining ground' among Democrats
© Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreThe information superhighway must be accessible and affordable for all American Rescue Plan: Ending child poverty — let's make it permanent The moving targets of the climate change movement MORE believes Democrats are becoming more willing to embrace progressive ideas on issues such as climate change and healthcare. 

"I do think progressive viewpoints are gaining ground in the Democratic Party — I’ve supported single-payer for 15 years now, and we are seeing a big change across the board," Gore said Thursday during a SiriusXM/Variety Magazine town hall.

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"If you look at state government and state politics and local politics, the change is more pronounced there.” 

Gore doubled down this week on the need for single-payer healthcare amid the Senate Republicans' trouble coalescing around a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. He had previously signaled support for the policy in 2002 but didn't include it in his 2000 presidential platform. 

Over the past few months, Democrats have been more open to the single-payer approach that’s long been pushed by the more progressive pockets of the party. Single-payer healthcare was one of the main campaign platforms for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' On The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE's (I-Vt.) Democratic presidential bid in 2016, and his allies continue to tout it. 

More than half of the House Democratic Caucus has signed on to a bill that would create a single-payer system, but Republicans have used that growing support to criticize Democrats for being focused on an unrealistic idea that would cost too much to be effective. 

Politician-turned-environmentalist Gore made the comment when asked by The Hill about the issue of cap-and-trade — a policy that sets a cap on greenhouse gas emissions by companies and allows them to trade unused space under that cap. Gore lauded the handful of states have embraced the idea, which he called "one of the essential solutions to the climate crisis," and said that he hopes that the issue will become a litmus test for Democrats in future elections. 

The interview with Gore is set to air Friday on SiriusXM's POTUS channel.