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CNN Today

The Florida Recount: Bush Campaign Hopes Gore Camp Will Concede Loss of Florida

Aired November 10, 2000 - 2:10 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: Top aides to Governor Bush, though, say they don't want any more recounts in Florida. As you can imagine, they're quite satisfied with the news coming out of that state.

Our Jeanne Meserve joins us once again from Austin, Texas, where she's keeping up with the Bush camp -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, the Bush campaign today accusing the Gore campaign of prolonging the recount in Florida and prolonging the process of electing a president.

James Baker, the former secretary of state, who is the Bush campaign's emissary to Florida said today that the current recount numbers are not official. They will not be until those overseas absentee ballots come in a few days from now. But he also said he sympathized with the Gore campaign. You lose campaigns; sometimes it happens, he said.

The Gore campaign -- the Bush campaign, rather, is urging the Gore campaign to drop its threats of legal action, saying that this threatens the constitutional process of electing a president. Both he and communications director Karen Hughes said today that the Gore campaign is bending the rules.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN HUGHES, BUSH COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well I think the American people are beginning to understand that we have had an election and now we have had a recount of that election and they both show that Governor Bush won the state of Florida. The Democrats are now trying to change the rules because they don't like the outcome. But that's not the way we do things in America. We have laws, we have rules; those laws and those rules were complied with in this election and we can't just keep counting votes until Al Gore likes the outcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Baker said the purpose of an election is to establish a constitutional government, not endless legal wrangling. But he did say if the Gore campaign pursued legal avenues, then the Bush campaign would be compelled to protect its interests. We will not, he said, sit in our hands. Although Baker did try to poke holes in some of the Democratic claims of voting irregularity in Florida, the tone today from the Bush campaign much different, much more conciliatory as the campaign factors in the public relations and political elements of the situation it faces -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Well are there still some questions about the Bush camp, perhaps pursuing legal questions about the outcome, say, in New Mexico, as we mentioned?

MESERVE: Natalie, I'm afraid I just can't bring you up to date on the thinking of that as of this minute. The indication from the press conference by Secretary Baker was that, at this point, they were holding off on legal action, but one never knows what will happen. I imagine that it has something to do with what the Gore campaign does next -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Jeanne Meserve in Austin; thank you, Jeanne.

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