In an interview with progressive news host Keith Olbermann, former vice president and Current TV founder Al Gore called the U.S. system of government "broken" and "in real trouble," delivering a passionate plea for Democratic voters to make the 2012 election a "referendum" on conservative tactics.

"Money plays way too big a role now," he said. "More than three quarters of all the campaign money raised in both political parties is now spent on thirty second television ads and the amount goes up every year. The only place they can raise that much money on a regular, continuing basis is from the special interests and business lobbies, and they end up calling the tune."

"What this sets up is a referendum in 2012. If the forces of reactionary, tea party, Republican forces continue to control the dialogue, then that won't be any different. But if those of us who feel strongly that we have got to get our country back on the right track, get involved in a very energetic way, then 2012 can be a referendum that makes a difference and takes our country on a better course."

This video is from Current TV's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, first broadcast Monday, August 1, 2011.