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Gore Campaign Chairman William Daley Delivers Statement on Florida Supreme Court Ruling

Aired November 22, 2000 - 1:42 p.m. ET


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Developments continue here fast and furious this day after the Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling last night.

A live picture now of the vice president's home at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. We're not expecting to hear from the vice president as yet but we do expect to hear from his spokesman, Bill Daley, in just a moment.

Let's see who's coming out now to the lectern. I believe that's him. So we'll wait for him to come up to the lectern.

We just heard the Gore team will appeal this decision in Miami- Dade county to stop the recount.

WILLIAM DALEY, GORE CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Before I begin, I would like to say a few words about Secretary Cheney.

We were glad to hear Governor Bush report that he was doing very well, and we join everyone in wishing him and his family the best.

Last night, the Florida Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision that a full, fair and an accurate count of the ballots in question must move forward. It is important that we listen to the Florida Supreme Court, that we listen to the clear rule of law and not turn our back on it.

This morning, Governor Bush said that under our system of government the legislative branch passes the laws, the executive branch administers the law. Unfortunately, he left out one important branch of our government, the judicial branch, which has the responsibility of interpreting our laws and reconciling conflicts between statutes.

All we are asking for is that the rule of law be respected and upheld and that all the votes be counted in a way that is consistent with Florida law. We don't know what the final count will show, but we are strongly committed to seeing that all the votes are fully and fairly counted within the law, and that of course includes all military ballots that are legally cast as well.

We must uphold the rule of law and we should not attack our courts. We must move forward with a fair and expeditious conclusion to this election, as the Florida Supreme Court has ordered.

We were disappointed by the decision of the Miami-Dade board of canvassers, who had previously found that there was an error in the vote count that did require a manual recount. Under Florida law, once the finding is made, the recount is mandatory. We will immediately be seeking an order directing the Dade County board of canvassers to resume the manual recount.

QUESTION: Mr. Daley, last night Vice President Gore mentioned that he thought, given the time schedule now, transition work should begin. Can you give us a little better idea of what he meant by that? Is he starting to have meetings?

DALEY: We are beginning to discuss that right now. As you know, the vice president has conducted his preparations of transition in a different way than others. He has been working on it, and so have others.

But he felt, before last night, that it would not have been appropriate to comment on it. But seeing the decision of the Supreme Court and the fact that this would go on for a little longer, he thought it was appropriate for him and for Governor Bush to move forward.

QUESTION: Have you talked at all to the Bush campaign? Did they seem open to having any discussions?


QUESTION: Sir, will we see the transition in any public way? Will he be meeting...

DALEY: I don't think the vice president's made that decision yet.

QUESTION: Without Miami-Dade, can you get the votes here? And if you do not have them by Sunday at 5...

DALEY: That's a hypothetical question that, at this point, isn't necessary to be answered. We believe the decision of the Miami board, when they did decide to do a mandatory recount, as required under Florida law, will be upheld by the Florida courts.

QUESTION: Are you doing any contingency planning? What happens...

DALEY: We hope that the counts will continue, and that's what the Supreme Court wanted, and that's what's going on. And we would like to see them fully counted and keep moving. It's a very difficult task, as we know. People have been working long hours and especially in Broward and Palm Beach, as did Volusia.

QUESTION: On the military ballots, are you agreeing to what George Bush suggested? DALEY: Well, all of us agree that those legally cast ballots, whether they're military ballots or civilian ballots, should be counted. There's no question about that. And if that's what he's implying, that's what we agree with. Absolutely.

QUESTION: He was very clear. He said if they're signed and received on time...

DALEY: If they're legally cast under the laws of Florida -- I'm sure he's not saying, or maybe he is, that illegally cast ballots should be counted in Florida, because I think that would be a different tack that he has been taking up until this point.

STAFF: Let's do one more question. One more.

QUESTION: Can you clarify for us -- there seems to be some dispute about whether or not you and Secretary Christopher had indicated to some of the leaders on Capitol Hill that the Gore campaign would stop after the word of the Florida Supreme Court?

DALEY: No. I don't know where somebody got that. I saw it reported in one of the magazines, and that's just not accurate.

STAFF: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you.

ALLEN: Bill Daley, outside the vice president's home, reacting to statements by George Bush this morning. And we will be able to run the statements from the governor again this afternoon. Imploring that all votes be counted in consistence with the law.

He also talked about the military ballots. It still seems to be, perhaps, a bit confusing what the Gore team means when it says they want to support all legally-cast ballots.

George Bush, earlier today, asked the Gore team to not debate some ballots that were sent in on time but that didn't have the postmark, which by law they have to be post-marked. So that's a battle we will have continue to explore this after noon as well, where the Gore team is on that.

We also heard from Mr. Daley again that he reiterated the Gore team believes the Miami-Dade recount is mandatory, set by law, by the Supreme Court, and the Gore team will be appealing that as well. So we'll continue to explore that development this afternoon.



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