Al, Tipper Gore separating

Former Vice-President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage that included a White House run when their sunny relationship offered a counterpoint to President Bill Clinton’s philandering.

NASHVILLE — Former Vice-President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage that included a White House run when their sunny relationship offered a counterpoint to President Bill Clinton’s philandering.

According to an email circulated among the couple’s associates on Tuesday, the Gores said it was “a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration.”

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement came from the Gores, but declined to comment further.

The Gores were telling friends they “grew apart” after 40 years of marriage and there was no affair involved, according to two longtime close associates and family friends, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was a personal matter.

The associates said the Gores, over time, had carved out separate lives, with the former vice-president on the road frequently. One of the associates said: “Their lives had gotten more and more separated.”

Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election to Republican George W. Bush. He has since campaigned worldwide to draw attention to climate change, which in 2007 led to a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The Gores, who were married on May 19, 1970, at the National Cathedral in Washington, crafted an image as a happily married couple during his eight-year stint as vice-president in the 1990s and a presidential candidate in 2000. The couple famously exchanged a long kiss during the 2000 Democratic presidential convention.

The image of their warm relationship stood in sharp contrast to the Clinton marriage rocked by Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, a scandal that hung over Gore’s own presidential campaign.