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Gore Campaign Rebuffs Bush Side's Call to Accept 5:00 p.m. Count

Aired November 14, 2000 - 11:56 a.m. ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, we need to go to the campaign chief, Bill Daley. He was speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill just moments ago in reaction to Jim Baker's offer. Let's go to the tape.


WILLIAM DALEY, GORE CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Good morning to all of you. Let me brief and answer a couple of brief questions. As you know, I'm going to go on to the Senate to talk to a number of the members.

We are waiting for a judgment by the court in Tallahassee as to the questions that were proposed yesterday. I saw with interest my friend Secretary Baker's proposal, which was really just a reiteration of what the secretary of state had laid out yesterday, which, as you know, is in court right now. And I think any further comment on that would be inappropriate until the court rules, other than to say that it truly was not a proposal. It was strictly, in my opinion, an inaccurate description of the laws of Florida. And, again, the laws of Florida will be determined by the courts, not by representatives of these two campaigns.

In addition, Secretary Baker stated that -- and there has been a continuing statement regarding "only four counties doing hand counts." The fact of the matter is, there are seven additional counties that have gone to a hand count in one form or other, six of which Governor Bush has won. So the hand counts that have been done to this point, or are being considered to be done in Florida, are a mix of counties that some would assume would be for Al Gore and some would assume -- and some that have been proven to be in favor of Governor Bush.

So I think this continuing inaccurate statement -- regarding the number of counties that are using hand counts or have used hand courts and, therefore, somehow implying that there are only Democratic counties -- is inappropriate and inaccurate.

So we should wait till the court rules shortly, and then move forward. The goal of all of us is to get to a fair and accurate count, one that confirms the opinions and the decisions of the people of Florida. This is not about, as the vice president has stated repeatedly, not about the individuals, but about upholding the system of democracy, which is based upon the right to vote and have our votes accurately counted. And that's what's going on in Florida, and we should allow that process to move forward.


QUESTION: What's wrong with a statewide recount?

DALEY: That was not proposed, as far as I understand, by Mr. Baker. He just reiterated the proposal of the secretary of state, her opinion, pardon me, of the secretary of state yesterday.

QUESTION: What advice are your fellow Democrats giving you? What are you hearing from your fellow Democrats during the meetings today?

DALEY: This brief with the member of the House leadership, and I met with Senator Daschle also, was to tell them, as best one can, depending on what hour of the day it is, what they think the lay of the land is as to what's happening in Florida. And they were very encouraging.

There is no sense that I've picked up of any sort of anxiety about the time. This is only a week, less than a week, from the election. And, you know, everything moves forward, and people's lives go on, and there doesn't seem to be any sort of desire -- there's great curiosity about what is going on and what's the true facts, as opposed to the rumors and all the speculation. And I agreed with them that we would all like to know the true facts and try to not deal with speculation all the time.

QUESTION: But they expressed no apprehension to you about pursuing court cases?

DALEY: No, I didn't get that from any of them at this time, no.

QUESTION: Do you think this is roiling the financial markets? That's one thing, Secretary...

DALEY: I think that was probably -- in the calm of day, maybe my friend Jim Baker would reconsider that statement. The only people who have indicated that there was some impact of this on the markets were probably somewhat partisan investment bankers who have made the case.

The markets go up, as Secretary -- former Secretary Bob Rubin used to say, the markets go up, the markets go down.

I think most honest observers of the market today would say that, if there are changes in the market, they're a result of some of the earning statements that have been put out by the companies, having nothing to do with what's gone on in the last week in the political world.

QUESTION: Is there anything that you -- Mr. Baker made this proposal, you say it's not a good one, he calls it a compromise. Is there anything that you would see as being a fair compromise?

DALEY: I think we've got to not try to usurp the courts of Florida. That is a judicial process. The heart of our democracy is the fact that if people feel they've been wronged, they can go into court. Obviously, people would like political solutions and do end- runs around the system, but that's not the democratic system. And we all have full faith in the court system, and there's nothing inappropriate about people trying to get redress in the courts. That's the heart of our system, and I think we ought to not be afraid of that, any of us.

QUESTION: If this deadline is upheld today, does it then become very difficult for Mr. Gore to win in Florida?

DALEY: I think, as was stated yesterday and was stated in court, this interpretation of the statute of Florida by the secretary of state, to say this is all shut down at 5, probably is intended to stop the hand counts that are going on. Whether that helps Al Gore or not is still to be determined. I mean, there's still a question. Some people speculate they have an answer as to what the end result of these hand counts would be. If they do, they must be checking a Ouija board or something, because nobody knows.

Pardon me?


QUESTION: ... total recount of the state?

DALEY: Would you ask...

QUESTION: Is there any circumstance under which you'd support a total recount?

DALEY: I think questions like that are inappropriate right now, because we're waiting for a court to decide what the law of Florida is regarding this issue that was put forward by the secretary of state.

Thank you.


PHILLIPS: Gore campaign chief William Daley speaking not long ago on Capitol Hill to reporters, about rejecting the Bush camp offer to accept the 5:00 p.m. deadline for a ballot count in Florida.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And as we heard Mr. Daley say, they are waiting to hear from the court. In fact, we're all waiting to hear any minute now from Circuit Court Judge Terre Lewis, out of Leon County, as to whether that deadline will be extended past 5:00 p.m. today.



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