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Election 2000: Gore, Bush Teams Await Decisions from Florida CourtsAired December 8, 2000 - 1:40 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: Governor George W. Bush said today if his side should lose in the Florida Supreme Court, he is prepared to go back to the highest court in the land.
Let's us go now to CNN's Jeanne Meserve, joining us from Austin, where folks there, we guess, Jeanne, would rather talk about transition than about legal fights; right?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, they are talking about the law, too. Bush lawyers have already said that they would appeal the Seminole and Martin County absentee ballot cases if those should go against him.
Governor Bush said today he thought his lawyers had made a good case before the Florida Supreme Court, but he would appeal that if the justices ruled against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're prepared to if need be take our case back to the Supreme Court. And hope that doesn't have to happen. Hope the Florida -- pardon me?
Well, I believe there would be a reason to, and of course, if that need be, we'll explain the reason. I just hope that doesn't take place, I obviously hope the justices in Florida rule in our favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MESERVE: Bush spent a brief period at the state Capitol today after spending the morning at the Governor's Mansion. He told reporters he was hoping to see finality in this election process and he asked if whoever lost these court battles in Florida should concede, he said: Each candidate is going to have to make the decision that is best for the country, You are going to have to ask vice president what he thinks depending on the outcome in the courts.
Meanwhile, the governor pursuing transition, meeting this morning with his aides Karl Rove and Karen Hughes and with his designated White House chief of staff Andy Card, the governor indicating that he was having some problems doing formal interviews until this whole election process was done. He was asked if he made formal Cabinet offers, initially he said no, and then he laughed and he said: Well, one of my picks did come to the ranch. That of course a reference to General Colin Powell, it is one of the worst kept secrets of the last several weeks that Powell is likely to be his pick as secretary of state. Another shoo-in, we are told, is Don Evans, the campaign chairman, as commerce secretary in a Bush administration, if there is one.
Meanwhile, though, the campaign keeping a very wary eye on those Florida courts watching and waiting with the rest of us, wondering what the day is going to bring -- Stephen.
FRAZIER: Jeanne Meserve in Austin, thank you, Jeanne.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And again, we are just about 30 minutes away from learning the outcome of the Seminole and Martin County cases about those absentee ballot applications and we'll provide live coverage when that comes down.
Well, a top ally of Al Gore calls today "the definitive day," and nobody's contradicting him.
CNN's Patty Davis is at Gore's official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Patty, have we seen the vice president today?
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We actually have. He is at work right now at the White House. He left his official residence a couple of hours and headed there, and this certainly could be a definitive day as far as the vice president is concerned.
First and foremost, he awaits a decision by the Florida Supreme Court on his challenge, asking for a count of those 14,000 ballots in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. They're watching that very closely, they consider that their best chance and they are actually very optimistic that the Florida Supreme Court will rule their way.
The Gore campaign is saying, in that case, that the Florida Supreme Court is the final arbiter of that ruling.
Now secondly, Gore could benefit, as you were talking about, the Seminole and Martin County absentee ballot cases, the -- he could benefit from that. The Gore campaign, however, is not part of those -- either of those two lawsuits. However, they're watching those two, also very closely, aides say that Gore will await the outcome of those two cases before he decides which way, and what decision to make at that point.
Now, as for the Florida Legislature convening and working towards naming Bush electors, Democrats say that they see George W. Bush's fingerprints all over that, and in fact they say that if the electors are named sometime early next week by the Florida Legislature that that indeed would trigger a constitutional crisis, and they say, and I think they are hoping also, that it would backfire on Republicans -- Natalie. ALLEN: OK, thanks Patty.
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