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Bush recalls moment when Gore retracted his concession

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- Republican George W. Bush said Tuesday he was disappointed when Democratic opponent Al Gore called to retract his concession in the early morning hours after Election Day.

"I don't want to share the actual words that I spoke, I don't think it would be fair to him, but I was somewhat taken aback," Bush said in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes II."

"We had rallied our family and we were headed out to the stage...and the vice president said he had some information that showed the election was going to be closer than he thought and he was going to take (the concession) back," Bush added.

"And it ended up with me saying, 'Well, you need to do what you -- if that's what you feel you've got to do.'"

During the interview, the Texas governor also said he is confidently planning his administration while he waits for the legal wrangling over the presidential election in Florida to end.

Bush said he believes he has won the election. He is just waiting for Gore to call and concede.

Bush said he would not call Gore a sore loser because of the vice president's continued legal efforts to dispute the outcome of the election. Both men, Bush said, ran good races and gave it their all.

Bush dismissed the fact that more people nationwide voted for Gore, saying that his own strategy was to win the Electoral College votes, and his coming in second in popular votes would not diminish a George W. Bush presidency.

"The fact that I'm able to take on a sitting vice president with the economy in pretty good shape and the world at peace, with an agenda that talked about Social Security reform and Medicare reform and tax relief, and win by the rules at the time, I think will help me a lot," Bush said.

CIA conducts briefing

Bush also said he would reach out to Republicans and Democrats alike in hopes that they would put aside partisan politics for the good of the country.

Bush acknowledged that he hopes to convince retired Gen. Colin Powell to serve as secretary of state, and he said he looked forward to working with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

But one man who apparently would not be asked to serve in a George W. Bush Cabinet is his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. When CBS correspondent Scott Pelley asked if Jeb Bush was being considered for the position of attorney general, the Texas governor said his brother did not have a law degree and was more needed down in Florida.

Bush received his first security briefing Tuesday from the CIA. During the CBS interview, he said the biggest threat facing America was isolationism and that the country needs to reach out to allies to build a strong alliance to "fight terrorism or extremism."


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Tuesday, December 5, 2000


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