WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton is worried that Vice President Al Gore won't stand up for the Clinton White House's centrist policies during an expected protracted battle for the Democratic presidential nomination against liberal Rep. Dick Gephardt, Time magazine reported.

``The president and first lady are understandably concerned that there's going to be a lot of pressure on the vice president to move left to cut off Gephardt,'' Al From, president of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, is quoted as saying.

``But when push comes to shove, Al Gore will run as a New Democrat,'' From said. ``The lesson of Clinton 1992 is that you're better off keeping to the middle in a primary.'' The ``New Democrats'' follow the left-of-center ideology of the Clinton White House: balanced budget, tighter welfare laws, economic growth.

In a recent interview aboard Air Force Two, Gore told Time he wants to be president more than ever.

``It's probably an impolitic remark,'' he said, ``but it's true.''

Former and current advisers say Gore needs to humanize his approach to campaigning.

``He does the steps, but he doesn't hear the music,'' former presidential adviser Dick Morris said.