Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 23:54 GMT 00:54 UK
Gore puts family first
Al Gore with wife Tipper: "Values of faith and family"
American Vice-President Al Gore has formally announced his candidature for the 2000 presidential election.
"With your help I will take my own values of faith and family to the presidency to build an America that is not only better off but better."
The announcement came a few hours after he made a strong attack on the morals of President Clinton.
He said he had had to show steadfastness during a difficult year, and he questioned whether all the disruption need have happened.
"Particuarly as a parent I felt what he did was inexcusable, but by the good graces of the American people we got through it," he said.
But they say the vice-president's image as an upstanding husband and father is unchallenged.
The vice-president also tried to use his home state launch to shake off his image as being stiff and boring, cracking jokes and speaking in Spanish.
But there is concern among Democrats about his ability to win the presidency.
So far the polls do not look good for Mr Gore, showing him some 20 percentage points behind the leading Republican contender George Bush, the governor of Texas and son of the former president.
Mr Gore is launching his campaign early in an attempt to cut that lead and to help add to the $9m or so he has already raised to fight the election.
With America's economy booming, Washington insiders say the vice-president should not be written off, whatever the polls say now.
Mr Clinton was in Geneva at the beginning of a European tour, but called Mr Gore from from his motorcade "to wish him good luck".