ALTOONA, PA–During a campaign stop at an Altoona paper mill Monday, presidential contender Al Gore launched into an unexpected 40-minute tirade against the "not-so-great state of Pennsylvania," calling it "the nation's armpit" and "a total hellhole."

Gore greets diner patrons in Scranton, a city he called "the absolute worst place on Earth."

"Over the past few days, I have traveled all over your state and met many of you. And what has impressed me most is that no matter where I have gone, my reaction has been the same: 'Oh, God, get me the fuck out of this dump,'" said Gore, who alternately referred to the Keystone State's 12 million residents as "animals" and "ghouls." "From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, from Erie to Easton, the places and faces of Pennsylvania stand in direct opposition to everything that makes America great."

Gore went on to tell the assembled mill workers that he "couldn't care less" if he loses Pennsylvania's 23 electoral votes, so long as he "never [has] to set foot in this steaming dungheap again."

Raising his voice and pointing at the crowd, Gore continued: "During this presidential campaign, I have had the opportunity to criss-cross this great land. At each stop along the way, I have been deeply touched by the courage and conviction of the American people. But, holy crap, you people are craven, gutless cowards. I haven't the slightest clue what base and hideous interests of yours I could possibly defend as your next president. I do not even vaguely know what drives you subhuman pig-men, but I am sure I don't want to know."

Later in the day, Gore made an appearance at the Johnstown Agriculture Fair, at which he served as judge in the Sorghum Queen pageant. The vice-president was overheard making numerous inflammatory comments off-microphone, including, "Get these bitches out of here" and, "This is someone's idea of an attractive woman?" One contestant, attempting to present Gore with a bushel of Pennsylvania apples, was reportedly waved aside with the words, "No. No fucking way."

Gore concluded his day on the steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg, where he lowered the Pennsylvania flag, shredded it with a large hunting knife, and urinated on the shreds. He then delivered a speech in which he shared the tales of numerous Pennsylvanians he had encountered during his travels through the state.

The skyline of Pittsburgh, which Gore called "maybe even worse than Scranton."

"Of all the stories I have heard on this trip, none has touched me more deeply than that of Karen Swendeman of New Castle," Gore said. "At the young age of 18, Karen married her high-school sweetheart Jeff. Not long after, she gave birth to twins. But less than a year later, her joy turned to the deepest grief when Jeff was killed in a foundry accident. As young Karen looked into my eyes and whined, 'Oh, Mr. Gore, I can't afford this, I can't afford that,' I felt my very gorge rising up the back of my throat. I mean, why do Pennsylvania's stupid broads go and get knocked up like that?"

Continued Gore: "I also recall Herman Eisler of Shippensburg, who fought bravely in the Second World War and raised a family in a house he built himself. When the Social Security Administration failed Herman–because, I don't know, he needed some pills or something and couldn't get them–he turned into a bitter, pathetic shell of a man that no one could stand to be around. What a loser."

"And, finally, I recall Philadelphia's Martin Shaughnessy, who, at the ripe old age of 98, has been Independence Hall's caretaker for the past 60 years–the longest anyone has held the auspicious post," Gore said. "And, between you and me, that old crank will talk for 10 hours straight if you let him and not say anything that makes any sense whatsoever. That dude is senile, big-time."

Added Gore, "And what's the big deal with the cheesesteak sandwiches? They taste like shit. I wouldn't feed them to the dogs they're probably made out of."

Turning to sneer derisively at members of the Monongahela Drum & Bugle Corps, whose 225 members stood nearby on the steps of the capitol, Gore wrapped up the verbal assault.

"Every second I spend in this dark and evil state is sheer agony," he said. "A second feels like a week in the presence of you monstrous non-people. I would have left Pennsylvania long ago, but I wanted every last one of you grubby, ass-faced animals to realize exactly where you stand in the food chain. You are not a part of that chain. You exist outside of the human community, and when I am in the White House, I will make sure that the whole nation–indeed, the world–understands that fact with no ambiguity. I will not represent you. I will not defend you. I will allow and even invite any nation to invade and destroy this horrible graveyard of the soul. To hell with all of you, and good riddance."