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Gore Misidentifies President Polk

July 2, 1987

HOUSTON (AP) _ Sen. Albert Gore Jr., trying to praise two presidents who hailed from his home state of Tennessee, muffed his lines Wednesday night and mistakenly identified President James Knox Polk as James K. Knox.

At the Democratic presidential debate here, the seven candidates were asked which portraits they would hang in the White House if they were elected.

Gore said he would add pictures of the two Tennesseans elected president. The first was Andrew Jackson. The other, according to Gore, was:

″James K. Knox, another Tennessean, the first dark horse nominee to get the nomination and be elected president. He got that nomination because he was the only candidate running who was willing to bring Texas into the Union. And a year later he showed tremendous political wisdom and foresight in bringing into the Union the state of Iowa.″

It was up another candidate, former Gov. Bruce Babbitt of Arizona, to set the record straight.

″I think I’d move in Harry Truman, both Roosevelts and a Tennessean named James K. Polk, who would be a reminder to me that a dark horse can be elected president,″ Babbitt said.