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Special Event

Clinton Calls for Patience in Weekly Radio Address

Aired November 11, 2000 - 10:06 a.m. ET

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

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The people have spoken. That's what President Clinton is saying. We're going to turn to his weekly radio address, where he's addressed Americans to be patient with this entire process.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... it sure was answered on Tuesday. No American will ever again be able to seriously say, "My vote doesn't count."

President Franklin Roosevelt once said, "Democracy is not a static thing; it is an everlasting march." Our founders may not have foreseen every challenge in the march of democracy, but they crafted a Constitution that would.

The people have spoken. The important thing for all of us to remember now is that a process for resolving the discrepancies and challenges to the election is in motion. The rest of us need to be patient and wait for the results.

I want to congratulate both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush for a vigorous and hard-fought campaign. Once again, the world has seen democracy in action.

The events unfolding in Florida are not a sign of the division of our nation, but of the vitality of our debate, which will be resolved through the vibrancy of our Constitution and laws. Regardless of the outcome, we will come together as a nation, as we always do.

As the selection unfolds, the nation's business continues. Tomorrow I will begin a trip to Asia that will end in Vietnam. I will be the first president to visit that nation since the height of the Vietnam War. I will go to open a new chapter in our relationship with its people.

For nearly a decade now, we have been building a more normal relationship with Vietnam, basing each step forward on progress in accounting for Americans missing from the war in Vietnam. We've made great strides, repatriating remains, obtaining documents, never forgetting that each case represents a brave American with a name, a home, a family that cares about his fate.

I will make clear to Vietnam that we expect continued cooperation.

I will also offer the support of the American people as Vietnam becomes more open to the world, promoting trade and more ties among our people and championing human rights and religious freedom.

We also have important business here at home. As Congress prepares to finish its work for the year, I urge the members to build on the bipartisan progress we have already made. Let's finish the job of improving our schools, resolve our differences on immigration and worker safety, and let's raise the minimum wage.

We should pledge to get these things done for the American people before the next president takes office in January.

A couple of nights ago, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the White House. We marked much more than the bicentennial of a building. Through two centuries of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, the White House has stood as the living symbol of our democracy. It has welcomed every president since John Adams under its roof, always through a peaceful transition of power.

This January, as it has done for 200 years, it will do so again, because of the timeless power of our Constitution and our undying faith in "we the people."

Thanks for listening.

PHILLIPS: And for more reaction on the president's address, we're going to turn to our White House correspondent Kelly Wallace. She's in -- live in Washington D.C. this morning.

Good morning, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Kyra.

You heard the president, of course, in that radio address. It's interesting, Kyra. The president is really trying to strike a very delicate balance. Of course, he does hope and would like to see Al Gore succeed him as the 43rd president of the United States. But he is also trying to maintain his duties as the nation's leader, trying to urge the American people to be calm, trying to make sure there is stability in this country as we all face this very unprecedented situation of this unresolved election.

We heard the president say the American people should be patient and wait for the results as the vote counting continues in Florida and in other states.

He also said, Kyra, that no American should ever then say that his or her vote doesn't matter. Obviously, the president saying in this election we have seen that every vote does count.

He did congratulate both the vice president and Governor Bush for what he called a "vigorous and hard-fought campaign," and he said as he said the other night at this incredible dinner, the 200th anniversary of the White House dinner where you had not only President Clinton but former President Bush and the Carters and the Fords, the president saying in this radio address what he said the other night, that what we are seeing now basically shows the vitality of the debate in this country. The president saying that this election will be resolved based on our Constitution and the rule of law -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Well, this election is definitely going to make history, is already making history, Kelly. Another historic topic, the historic visit to Vietnam. When I saw you at the White House last week, you were mentioning you might even be going. Are you going to go, and what's in store in Vietnam?

WALLACE: Yes, Kyra, I'm very lucky that I will be going on this trip to Vietnam. The president, as we heard, talking about this trip in his radio address. Kyra, it will be the first visit by a president to Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.

The president will leave Sunday. He will go to Hawaii for just a little bit of rest and relaxation, then he will head to Brunei for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, and then he will spent about three days in Vietnam.

Basically, this White House saying that the president, since he entered office back in 1993, has been working on trying to build a more normal relationship with Vietnam, based on progress when it comes to the accounting of those missing in action from the war. The president saying that on this trip, he will encourage Vietnam to continue that cooperation. He will also focus on trade and issues such as human rights and religious freedom.

And, Kyra, as you know, this is obviously somewhat of a controversial trip for this president. He opposed the war about 25 years ago when he was a graduate student. There was also a lot of controversy about whether or not he actually avoided the draft, many critics calling him a draft dodger. So certainly some controversy. The president, though, trying to move the chapter with the country in a new direction -- Kyra.

All right, Kelly Wallace live from the White House this morning, thank you -- Miles.

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