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CNN Today

The Florida Recount: Candidates Enjoy Low-Key Holiday

Aired November 23, 2000 - 2:10 p.m. ET

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

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: Aside from their legal turkeys, the two men who would be president are spending the holiday with their families; but between the real turkey and the pie, maybe they're giving a little bit of thought about where they could be next Thanksgiving.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve is watching the Bush campaign in Austin, Texas; and Patty Davis joins us from Washington with the Gore campaign.

Jeanne, let's start with you first.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stephen, the attorneys for the Bush campaign will be filing papers today with the Florida Supreme Court, asking to intervene in the case -- excuse me -- Vice President Gore is bringing there. That case, of course, would try to force Miami-Dade to resume the hand counting of ballots. This would allow the Bush campaign to file a brief if the court decides to take the case. Today the Bush campaign urged the court not to do so, to deny the motion.

Campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker explained why a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MINDY TUCKER, BUSH CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: Now, on Thursday night Al Gore thanked the canvassing board for their hard work, he praised the Supreme Court decision. Since then he has sued one of these canvassing boards and asked the Supreme Court to change their mind. He, apparently, wants to extend the deadline again. The Supreme Court has already extended this deadline 12 days and he wants to extend it yet again. I guess he just wants to keep extending it until he gets these votes counted enough times so that it changes the results of the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Governor Bush, of course, monitoring developments not just in Florida, but also before the U.S. Supreme Court, where his campaign has filed two petitions. One would ask that the hand recounted ballots not be included in Florida's final tally, and the second asks that the recounts be suspended altogether.

But, the governor trying to go about life as usual. We saw him about an hour ago loading fishing rods into car a car as he and his family left, first, for a holiday dinner here in Austin with some friends. After that he'll go down to his ranch in Crawford. We expect him to stay there for a couple of days, coming back on Saturday pending, of course, developments in Florida. He also went jogging earlier today. Went out for about an hour with some of his secret service agents that, undoubtedly, will allow him to enjoy a hefty Thanksgiving dinner.

And speaking of that, we are told that Secretary Cheney, in the hospital in Washington -- at George Washington University Hospital -- will be having turkey and the trimmings with his wife Lynne, his daughter Liz and her family; that includes three Cheney granddaughters. And in a release today the Bush campaign says that, if he continues to recover as he is, he could be out of the hospital as early as tomorrow -- Stephen.

FRAZIER: Jeanne, a full day public and private. Thank you for that update.

Now let's turn to Patty Davis, who's outside the Naval Observatory, the vice president's official residence.

Patty, what's been happening there?

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stephen, we have not seen Vice President Al Gore today. He is inside his official residence celebrating Thanksgiving with his family. However, his lawyers are out on the legal front today, going -- filing with the Florida Supreme Court, asking to compel Miami-Dade County to go ahead and restart its manual recount.

What the Gore campaign is saying is that Florida law requires that. If there's a problem with the original count, then they say a manual count is required under Florida law. As for the deadline that Miami-Dade County said that it could not meet, the Gore campaign said that, perhaps, it's offering an option to the Florida Supreme Court that it could extend that deadline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG HATTAWAY, GORE CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: The filing doesn't outright ask for a deadline, but it mentions it as an alternative, if the court thinks that's appropriate come Sunday. We wouldn't want it to affect the contest period that they've set up either, so that's a judgment call the court will have to make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Now, Doug Hattaway, the Gore spokesman said that it is, quote: "conceivable," close quote, that even if Miami-Dade is not included, then, in that final count -- if the Florida courts go against them -- it is conceivable that Al Gore could pull it out and Palm Beach County, Broward County, perhaps, get enough ballots in his favor to push ahead of Texas Governor George W. Bush -- Stephen.

FRAZIER: Patty, with all the twists and turns in this, anything is conceivable in this race.

Patty Davis in Washington, Jeanne Meserve in Austin, thank you both for joining us today.

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