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Bush Holds Media AvailabilityAired November 7, 2000 - 11:19 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: George W. Bush in Austin, Texas. Let's listen in.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Pretty wound up after the rally last night, and we had a long day yesterday, but I feel great. I feel -- I've been making some phone calls this morning. I called my parents first thing when I woke up to assure them that I'm feeling pretty good about it, that we've done all we can do, and it's up to the people of the country to make up their mind. And they're nervous.
QUESTION: And you?
BUSH: Calm. Let me see if you've got this by now: I trust the people.
QUESTION: Can you tell us more?
BUSH: I do. I believe, you know, we've poured our hearts and souls into this campaign, the organization here in Austin and around the country have worked hard and the people are going to decide, and I trust the people. I trust their will and trust their wisdom. I've been on the phone talking with some radio stations on the West Coast to urge people to...
QUESTION: It's voting time.
BUSH: I've been urging people to go to the polls. We're getting good feedback that our organization is working the phones and that people are showing up, and I'm excited. As a matter of fact, speaking about showing up, I'm getting ready to go vote myself, and I'm a decided voter.
QUESTION: Hear you had a big win in Dixville Notch. How do you feel about that?
BUSH: Well, I appreciate that. It's a good start. It's a good start for the day. This is going to be a -- I feel calm about what the people are going to decide.
QUESTION: Do you think you'll win with a bigger turnout? Or how does that work?
BUSH: You need to talk to all the pundits and all the experts and pollsters and spinmeisters. You'll get every answer you want on that question.
I'm going to settle in, and I'm going to make a few phone calls here to remind our supporters to go to the polls. And these phone calls -- these voter turnout phone calls are indicative of what's taking place all around the country.
QUESTION: Is Governor Jeb nervous?
BUSH: If he is, he's not going to admit it.
QUESTION: How about your wife?
BUSH: She feels like I do, Frank. She does. She's calm, believe it or not. She's very relaxed, and she knows we gave it our best and that's all you can do.
QUESTION: Why are your parents so nervous? What did you say on the phone to them?
BUSH: Well, they're nervous because they haven't seen what I've seen. They worked, for example, obviously, last night in northwest Arkansas. When I told him how many people showed up in northwest Arkansas, he thought I might have been exaggerating a little bit. And then when I assured him it was the case, that if he would call objective folks that had seen it, that he said, "This is amazing."
You know, I mean, last night was a huge crowd in Arkansas. I don't think he ever saw anything like it when he was campaigning. My point is is that he nor mother have seen what I have seen. And secondly, it's much harder to be the loved one than it is the candidate.
BUSH: I experienced that in 1988 and 1992. So you can understand why they're nervous. They're nervous for the vote, they're nervous for me personally. And I have given them my best assurances that I feel great.
QUESTION: With so much hanging on the night, how do you even get through a day like today? What do you do to pass the time?
BUSH: Well I make coffee for my wife, of course. I spend a little time with the pets, and we had a heck of a good conversation. It's hard to tell...
QUESTION: What did Ernie say about the election?
BUSH: Ernie doesn't seem to be too bothered by it all. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)
BUSH: Yes, he does. But I'm going to -- I've got a lot of friends in town, some of whom will be coming by here pretty shortly. I'm going to go work out, exercise.
QUESTION: Where will you do that, sir?
BUSH: I'll do that at the University of Texas. Please don't tell anybody though.
And then, I'll have lunch with some of my family members that are in town. And then this afternoon, I may try to take a little nap. Mother and dad will be here about midafternoon. A couple of my brothers will be in town here pretty soon. My sister is coming into town. The governor of Florida will be working his way over. I have a family dinner tonight.
BUSH: I don't know. I have delegated that. I think we will start getting a feel for what is going on on the East Coast.
QUESTION: What would you say is the high point of the whole campaign.
BUSH: The high point, gosh, there has been a lot of high points. I hope tonight is the high point. There has just been a lot of great moments. I thought the convention was a great moment. It was probably the most visible moment, and the debates were good moments. I thought the visit to Teen Challenge in Kofax (ph), Iowa was one of the highlights. It was a wonderful experience for me, I hope the people there at Teen Challenge, and I think the press corps that came with me got a feel for what I was explaining about compassionate conservatism.
These rallies coming down the stretch have been just really great experiences because it is -- you know I poured my energy into the campaign, as was our team, and you walk into a hall in states where Republican candidates hadn't been running very well in the past elections and it would be few of enthusiastic people. It is a highlight. And there have been a lot of highlights in there.
The interesting thing is there hadn't been many low points. Even the low points have turned out to be positives.
QUESTION: You always said from the. governor, this is going to be an incredible marathon. What did you find -- what most surprised you and what did you find? what did you not anticipate?
BUSH: Well, you know, Frank, I -- it was like a marathon on many ways. A marathon runner has to be conditioned and focused. And I feel I -- our campaign was a disciplined campaign and focused on messages and what is best for America. And I felt really good. Let me make a few phone calls here and then I got to go vote. I got to go study the ballot, make sure I find my name properly on the ballot.
QUESTION: How are voting...
BUSH: You know something, one reason they put the curtains on the booths is so people can vote in privacy, and that is exactly what I am going to do.
QUESTION: Is every member of the Bush family going to be here? All your siblings, your daughters?
BUSH: Yes, if I am not mistaken. You might have to ask my man Logan. He would like a little air time. OK, I am calling Greg Alford (ph).
KAGAN: And we go right from those taped comments that was turned around just a few minutes ago from George W. Bush to a live picture from Austin, Texas, where the Texas governor is going in to cast his ballot, his ballot for president. Among the other issues that will be on the Texas ballot.
From there, we go back to listen to further to taped comments to George W. Bush at the governor's mansion.
BUSH: Greg, George W. Bush seeking the presidency. I am doing great today. I feel good. I will feel better when I know that our people are going to go to the polls, and that is why I am calling.
Well, thank you, sir. I appreciate your strong support. When are you going to the polls?
Well, I am honored to have your support. I thank you for your vote. Make sure you take your family members, friends, neighbors, anybody else.
Yes, I enjoyed that too,
Are they coming?
That's good news.
That's right. Actually its double. If you convert four families from Gore to Bush, that is one less vote for him, and one more vote for me. And if they are big families, that's a lot of influence.
You're initially from Tennessee. That's interesting.
That's great. You're influencing them, that's the thing. I appreciate you sir.
That's great. I'm honored.
Good, thanks Greg. God bless you.
As you could tell, the good news is, Greg is not only a supporter, be he is out -- he just informed he is out working his neighborhood, and he is converting families to come my way, and one of -- one of the ways you win a campaign like this is to have vibrant grassroots organization. And Greg not only turns out to be a voter, he is one of the workers in the precinct.
Let me make one more call.
KAGAN: The chance to listen in to the Texas Governor George W. Bush on this election day 2000. The governor there, we got to see him call a supporter. He said he has been spending a lot of time this morning on the phone talking to supporters, talking to radio stations on the West Coast. He also talked to parents, who he shared with us are a bit nervous. Nervous because, as George W. Bush explained, it is easier to be the candidate than it is to be one of the loved ones. And he knows that from going through a campaign with own father, actually more than one campaign.
Today he plans to vote, to work out, to have launch, and nap, and a family dinner also on the docket.
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