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CNN Today

Election Day 2000: Bush, Gore Vote, Await Results

Aired November 7, 2000 - 2:02 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there you have the broad sweep of today's political scene; now, as Al Gore would say, the specifics. Governor Bush is in Austin today, where he voted and plans to wait out the election results. He will be joined by his family later.

CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is deep in the heart of Texas as well.

Candy, what's going on down there today?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, I just saw those pictures from Georgia. I don't know if it's going to be a rainy night in Georgia, but it is a rainy day here in Austin. Presumably, no matter what that does to voter turnout here, the governor will easily carry his home state of Texas.

This is a time, the only day in an election season, when a candidate's voice is heard no louder than anybody else's. And so George Bush did the one thing he can do today, and that is, he left the governor's mansion and went over to cast his vote.

He, of course, was accompanied by wife Laura. The two of them showing their ID and voting, just like millions of other Americans across the country.

Earlier, Bush talked to reporters, said he basically began his day after five hours of solid sleep, as he put it, the way he always does, that is making the coffee and taking some to wife Laura. After that, he said he talked to the pets, and then he made a couple of phone calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 is up to the people of the country to make up their mind, and they're nervous.

QUESTION: And you?

BUSH: Calm. I'm -- let me see if you got this by now -- I trust the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: I trust the people, of course, is one of the main campaign themes of the Bush campaign.

Now, there are a couple of other thing that a candidate can do in this hour, and that is help with the turnout. The GOP says it has a massive unprecedented turnout effort under way. And that goes from the down all the way up to the top.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Greg?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BUSH: George W. Bush, seeking the presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing?

BUSH: 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's why I'm calling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: Thank you, sir, I appreciate your strong support. When are you going to the polls?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am going here early this afternoon.

BUSH: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

BUSH: Well, I am honored to have your support. I thank you for your vote. Make sure you take your family members, friends, neighbors, and anybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Turnout, that's what it's all about at this point. It was also the message that we heard from Bush's vice presidential running mate Dick Cheney, as he went to his voting place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Cheney told the people around him: You need to hurry up and get out of the vote.

Now, according to Republicans, by the time this two-week period has ended, they will have made 72 million phone calls, and sent out 110 million pieces of paper.

In Pennsylvania, alone they tell us, they will have made a million phones calls by the time this is all over. So right now it is down to a nail biting waiting and a little bit of turnout -- Lou.

WATERS: OK, Candy, if you just stay right there, we will talk in just a bit after we get up there to Tennessee. Vice President Gore voted at an elementary school just down the road from his farm in Tennessee today.

And CNN's Jonathan Karl, who is with the Gore campaign and has been for months, joins us now from Nashville.

What's happening there, Jonathan?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, Vice President Gore's seemingly endless quest for the presidency is finally over. He ended it with a 30-hour nonstop campaign run through some of the critical battleground states, the last of that -- of those being Florida, especially critical in this race.

He did go out near Carthage to cast his vote in the town of Elmwood. He voted there and then shortly after gave somewhat of a little tutorial to some elementary school students assembled about the importance of voting.

Vice President Gore's running mate Joe Lieberman also cast his vote a little while ago up in the town of New Haven, Connecticut. After that -- after he voted there, Joe Lieberman en route back here to Nashville, as is Vice President Gore.

They will watch their returns together, the election returns together in their hotel room here in Nashville. The vice president joined by his four children and by his wife Tipper. Joe Lieberman will also be here with his family.

Once that is over, they will come here to the War Memorial to give either their victory or concession speech, whatever that may be, whatever the results are. This is a spot with special significance for Vice President Gore. It was on this spot that he gave the eulogy for his father, Albert Gore Sr., one of the one-time giants of Tennessee politics, former senator. This is also the spot where he announced his running mate, Joe Lieberman, right here in the War Memorial Plaza.

Vice President Gore has been saying all along he expects this to be an extremely close race. He even suggested on CNN a couple of days ago that he wouldn't even know the results, that we would be still watching the returns coming in on Wednesday morning.

A lot of his top strategists, though, have their eyes on some of the critical states in the Eastern time zone. and believe we may know much earlier than that. The critical states, of course, Florida, polls close there at 7:00; Pennsylvania, polls close there at 8:00; and Michigan, where polls also close at 8:00 -- Lou.

WATERS: All right, Candy, Karl, let's talk about, first of all, the last 24 hours. Yesterday we saw symbolic steps -- stops rather by Bush in Tennessee, Al Gore's home state; then in Arkansas, Clinton's home state. And rather calmly chatting with reporters today.

On the other side, we have Gore, virtually frenetic, making speeches at 4:00 in the morning, a 30-hour marathon. Are we to make anything of the confidence within the campaigns based on the campaign styles within the last 24 hours of these two men -- Candy. CROWLEY: Look, I think what you are seeing really is the difference in campaign styles of these two men. George Bush is a more laid back kind of campaigner. They basically had a plan that they set in place a year and a half ago. And they were executing it all the way up to last night.

So, sure, I think you can see that, you know, all the national polls, as we know, up until very recently, all of them showed George Bush with a slight edge. Now some of them have moved the other way. But they -- you know there is a difference between a person who is slightly ahead, and one is sot of a little bit running to catch up.

But it is mostly the nature of these two men that you're seeing in the difference in the campaign styles.

WATERS: Jonathan?

KARL: Absolutely. I mean, it was once said about Al Gore that he is a person who would crawl across broken glass to get to the presidency. somebody who has fought for this. His whole campaign has been based on the notion that he is a fighter. You know, you often here from George W. Bush, I'm a uniter, not a divider. From Vice President Gore, you have constantly heard this notion of being a fighter who will tireless fight for the people against the powerful. That's the campaign rhetoric. You also see it embodied in his campaign style. It has been a non-stop, a non-stop push, and he has been campaigning right up until today on election day.

WATERS: So what's it like for correspondents who have spent months and months and months and months on the road, sleeping on airplanes, staying up late? Is this going to be a letdown for you, or are you eager to get home to sleep in own bed? What it is like for a correspondent in a presidential campaign?

KARL: Well, Lou, there's no question, there's an eagerness to get home and to see the family, again. But this is such an exciting moment. I mean, this campaign, I talked to veterans who remember campaigns going back to the 1960 race between Kennedy and Nixon. This is, once again, possibly a case where it's that close. But it is even interesting that we have the House and the Senate also up for grabs here in this race. This is really, a truly exciting night. It has been a very long, and hard year, but I've been waiting for this for a long time.

WATERS: Candy.

CROWLEY: You know, I think I have often sort of likened this process over the past year and a half, from June 12th, when George Bush officially announced he would be running, up until now, it is kind of like writing a book on television. You know, and you wouldn't want to go away when the final chapter is being written. So, you know, obviously, you know, I'm glad this day has come. But, you know, when the last chapter is written, you bet I'm looking forward to my own bed.

WATERS: I bet you are. Thank you both for your yeoman's work, and you have a long day ahead of you. So get as much rest as you can, Candy Crowley in Texas, Jonathan Karl in Tennessee.

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