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Election 2000: Bush, Gore Lock Up Party Nominations With Southern Primary Victories

Aired March 15, 2000 - 1:08 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Whatever minimal suspense may have existed in the presidential race yesterday is ancient history today. With yesterday's primaries in a half-dozen Southern states, George W. Bush and Al Gore won more than enough delegates to sew up the Republican and Democratic nominations. By CNN's estimate, Bush now has 1,102 delegates with 1,034 needed to nominate. Gore has 2,575, and all he needed were 2,170.

CNN's Gary Tuchman has been covering the Bush campaign. He joins us this hour from Austin -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, Natalie.

When the governor of Texas woke up this morning, his life was quite a bit different than when he woke up yesterday morning. George W. Bush has always had a security detail from the state of Texas, but now it's the U.S. Secret Service that leads the detail because George W. Bush now has enough delegates to clinch the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, 12 years after his father got that designation.

Now, just a few minutes ago, my colleague Candy Crowley and I met with the governor in the garden in the governor's mansion behind us, and he told us what's next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, there's a lot to do. One is to continue to work to unite the party. Secondly, prepare the electoral strategy, start going to the states that are going to have a lot to say about whether or not my base is consolidated as well as the swing states for the general election, lay out a series of policy initiatives and continue working, continuing going to see voters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Now, you can see much more of that interview on CNN's "INSIDE POLITICS" this afternoon at 5:00 Eastern time -- that's 2:00 Pacific time -- and "THE WORLD TODAY" tonight at 8:00 Eastern time, 5:00 Pacific time. Meanwhile, the campaigning isn't over even though the race, basically, is over. George W. Bush goes to the state of Illinois tomorrow for four stops. The Illinois primary, the sixth largest state, is this Tuesday. But then George Bush comes back here to Texas for three days of R&R with his family at the family ranch.

This is Gary Tuchman, CNN, live in Austin, Texas.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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