WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice President Al Gore abruptly scuttled a campaign trip to North Carolina today to visit a sick friend.

Gore, who spoke this morning to a Washington meeting of AFL-CIO union members and was still expected at an evening fund-raiser in Maryland for the Democratic National Committee, was to have flown to Charlotte, N.C., tonight in order to spend Thursday campaigning at a school there.

Spokeswoman Laura Quinn said Gore wanted to keep the matter private. But she said, ``This is not in any way related to any family member nor the health of the vice president or Mrs. Gore. It has to do with the health of a friend.''

Gore's campaign schedule was to resume on Thursday evening in Florida, with events Thursday and Friday in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Gore's visit to the Marie G. Davis Middle School in Charlotte was being rescheduled for April 13, Quinn said.