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THE SPIN ROOM: Gore Concedes, Bush AcceptsAired December 14, 2000 - 0:00 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will stand together behind our new president.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: After a difficult election, we must put politics behind us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BILL PRESS, CO-HOST: Gore concedes, Bush accepts. Now what do we talk about?
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: The short answer is we have no idea. But for one night and one night only, we're going to congratulate both candidates for ending the game better than they played it. It's softy night here on THE SPIN ROOM.
PRESS: Are we ready for it? I'm not sure.
CARLSON: Yeah, I'm not sure I am either.
PRESS: THE SPIN ROOM is open. Good evening, everybody. It's a special edition of THE SPIN ROOM to mark another historic night in this post-election period. Thank you so much for joining us. We'll be here until one o'clock Eastern. I'm Bill Press.
CARLSON: I'm Tucker Carlson. That would be 1:00 A.M. Eastern.
PRESS: That's right.
CARLSON: Of course, it's a different time in Canada, but very late on the east coast. We've got lots to talk about, huge news. We have a president and we know you have a lot to say about it and of course we want to hear what it is. So give us a call. Our number is 1-800-310-4CNN. You can join our live online chat at cnn.com or you can send us an e-mail. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRESS: Don't forget, what's special about this show, you get to sound off on the issues of the day. You get to sound off tonight on Vice President Gore's concession speech and President-elect Bush's. Do you notice, Tucker, how I said that?
CARLSON: I did. I did notice that. PRESS: It just rolled right off my tongue, President-elect Bush's acceptance speech, I guess you'd call it, down there in Austin, Texas. I know we have lots of comments on that so get those e-mails and chat room comments in as fast as you can, and especially your nominations for spin of the day.
CARLSON: And what's also special about this show, Bill, is that we have received, of course, thousands of e-mails, some of them grumpy, and unlike normally, we've taken the grumpy ones and we've tossed them right over our shoulders.
PRESS: No nasty e-mails tonight.
CARLSON: In the spirit of bipartisanship, it's pure niceness tonight on THE SPIN ROOM.
PRESS: No, and can we pledge to ourselves and to all of our viewers that this is for one night only, Tucker?
CARLSON: For one -- oh...
PRESS: One night only.
CARLSON: I hereby pledge for one night only. The niceness ends at 1:00 A.M. We turn back into...
PRESS: I promise to be nice for one night only. OK, all right.
CARLSON: One night only.
PRESS: All right, we've got it. Let's go to some e-mail.
CARLSON: All right.
PRESS: Here it is. Steve Miller, a Bush supporter, says, "Al Gore is a mensch, a southern gentleman in all respects." That's the spirit, Steve.
CARLSON: That's an awfully nice e-mail. Now, Bill, I know you just said it, but Scott Davies (ph) of Lake Forest, California apparently can't get enough. In case viewers out there didn't hear you, he wants you to repeat after him, President-elect George W. Bush.
PRESS: President-elect George W. Bush.
CARLSON: Fantastic. You passed the test.
PRESS: I practiced it all day.
CARLSON: You promised you would say it and you did.
PRESS: I practiced it. All right, Mark Fisher (ph) -- see, come on. I said it earlier. Mark Fisher from Greenwich, Connecticut says, "Today a miracle occurred. There was no spin."
CARLSON: Not bad. PRESS: Not bad. And, you know, I think he's played on, too.
CARLSON: But you know, Bill, we may have a President-elect, but that doesn't mean that all loose ends have been tied up in this election. As you're probably aware, a number of celebrities, Hollywood figures, actors pledged in the way that we pledged to leave this country should our President-elect become President-elect. And here's an e-mail from Janine Jones (ph), who said, "I'm wondering if you have any information about the Streisand-Baldwin immigration plans? I am from Canada. Canada is a kinder gentler place where people exhibit lots of old-fashioned good manners. I don't think they have done anything to deserve either of these new immigrants. If asked, maybe you two on THE SPIN ROOM can recommend, say, France."
I hereby recommend, say, France to all actors fleeing Hollywood under the Bush regime.
PRESS: I hereby predict that Barbra Streisand -- she'll be grumpy about it, but she's going to stay in Malibu and start working for 2000 and...
CARLSON: You're breaking my heart, Bill.
PRESS: Just start with the 2004...
CARLSON: That was the icing on this cake tonight.
PRESS: All right, we also have some very special mail we want to show on the screen first. But first, we've got a telephone call, the first of the night, from Jeffrey in South Carolina. Hi, Jeffrey. Good evening. Thanks for joining THE SPIN ROOM. What's up?
CALLER: Yes, Bill and Tucker, megalomaniac greetings from one of the many red states.
PRESS: We know those red states.
CALLER: Listen, I've got a question for you. Where the heck was Dick Cheney tonight? The last time he disappeared like this he was in for heart surgery. I'm a little concerned.
PRESS: Oh, god forbid, we're going to be nice tonight, but I did, I thought it was a little unusual that he was not there in Austin, Texas tonight.
CARLSON: Actually, I have the answer to that question.
CARLSON: He was at a party here, a bipartisan party here in the Washington area. Many, many Democrats, many elected Democrats, many Republicans in the bipartisan spirit of the dawning Bush era he watched it in a bipartisan company and then went on home.
PRESS: God, so much bipartisanship, I can't stand it, Tucker. All right, no, we're going to... CARLSON: That didn't last long. We've been on four minutes and you're already getting sick.
PRESS: I promised to be nice tonight.
All right, now let's look at the special mail you get. You know, Tucker, we have -- we had a Christmas card from Al Gore. We had a Christmas card from President and Mrs. Clinton, Senator Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton. We got a couple of extra cards today here in THE SPIN ROOM. Of course we want to show those to all of our viewers if we can.
The first comes from a very well known person -- here you are, on the monitor, ran for senator in Virginia, Mark Warner (ph) and his family sends his Christmas greetings to THE SPIN ROOM, all THE SPIN ROOM viewers around the country.
CARLSON: A very handsome family, aren't they?
PRESS: A very handsome family. Our next card, just to show that we are bipartisan here, Gary Bauer, Republican candidate for president there with his great family, two daughters, his son, his wife there. Gary Bauer sends his greetings to THE SPIN ROOM, Christmas greetings, and to all of our viewers across the country.
CARLSON: You know the...
PRESS: Tucker, I'm still waiting for Crawford, Texas. We are still waiting, I should say.
CARLSON: Bill, for the, I think, eighth night running let me point out that you mocked his dog. Now, when you mock a man's dog, don't expect a Christmas card from him.
PRESS: I say, Tucker, you know, he's -- the election is over now. He's got time to write out the damn Christmas cards.
CARLSON: Yeah. I'm not sure bipartisanship means forgiving you, Bill.
PRESS: It'll take effect...
CARLSON: You know what these cards reminded me of? They reminded me that these are two men that we've watched run for office. I covered, in fact, both of them, and we're reminded that actually once the election is over if you lose, if you're a normal person, and I count Al Gore among them, you have something to go back to and that is sort of a nice thing. And I hope that Al Gore doesn't waste the next four years running for office.
I think tonight was the highlight of his political career. This was the highest possible point, the apogee, and I hope he can leave it there. I hope he doesn't need to sully it by a further run for office. Al Gore is a decent writer. Why doesn't he write a book or become a teacher? He has a pedantic teaching style. I think he'd be very good. PRESS: Well, my comment is this. I thought both men tonight were the best they have ever been. Al Gore gave a magnificent speech. He hit all the right tones. He was very gracious. He reached out to Governor Bush. He reached out to all Americans and said let's get behind the new president. There was no grumpiness.
In fact, let's look at just a little clip from the Vice President's speech tonight, if we can, in case everyone didn't see it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College, and tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRESS: There was two things. Number one, he said, no bones about it, disagree with the Supreme Court but I accept it. No bitching, no whining, I accept it. Number two, he said concession and all the media people all day long who were slamming him already for not using the crowd, as they were saying, were all proven wrong and I love it. And I hope they all apologize tomorrow.
CARLSON: That's not likely. But I agree. It was a manly thing to do and I particularly appreciated it on the same day when many of his supporters, some of them on the far left but some of them centrist Democrats, were attacking the Supreme Court, undermining the one institution we all have this tacit agreement not to undermine, really.
Al Gore gets up and sets an example for all of them and I thought it was impressive.
PRESS: Plus, it was a class act. And Governor Bush was a class act tonight, too.
CARLSON: Well, he certainly was. And let's listen to a few things that Governor Bush, that is, President-elect Bush, said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Republicans want the best for our nation and so do Democrats. Our votes may differ, but not our hopes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now, before the show we were downstairs talking and you made the point, you said I can never imagine Newt Gingrich saying Democrats want the best for our nation and I have to say I agree with that, that I can't imagine Newt Gingrich saying it and it was interesting and nice to hear Bush say that, even though it may not be true. PRESS: I thought it's a comment, I can't imagine many leaders in Washington saying. To me it was such an unbeltlike -- which is, I think, time for a good segue to our guest tonight...
CARLSON: I think so, Bill.
PRESS: ... who is a member of Congress, a Republican member of Congress. Taking the time, we really appreciate it, to join us from Springfield, Missouri, is Republican Congressman Roy Blunt. Congressman Blunt, thanks for being with us tonight.
REP. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: Well, it's good to be with you. I understand the niceness standard is going to prevail tonight and I'll have to come back some other time whenever things are more contentious.
CARLSON: Pending that, for your sake. But really, we'll get back to being nice.
PRESS: We're going to put you to the test. But how about what Governor Bush said? Do you think that tone is going to carry in Washington? Can he bring that tone of bipartisanship to Washington and succeed?
BLUNT: I think he has a good opportunity to succeed and I think the way he succeeds, Bill and Tucker, is that he reaches out for Democrats who agree with him on the issues, and there are many Democrats who do that. He knows how to do that. I thought even though during the campaign there had been Democrat legislators from Texas with him on a number of occasions, this is probably the first moment tonight where Americans really realize that this is a person who's had a great relationship with the leading Democrats that he's been working with in Texas plus other Democrats in the Texas legislature.
I thought the symbolism of that location and the Democrat Speaker of the House introducing him in such a generous way was very helpful in helping set the tone for what could happen in Washington, and it could be so different than it has been for the last half dozen years.
PRESS: Let's hope so.
CARLSON: Congressman, speaking of setting the tone for the future, laying the foundation for events to come, I want you to listen, I know you've listened before, but to a selection of what Al Gore said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: Some have asked whether I have any regrets and I do have one regret, that I didn't get the chance to stay and fight for the American people over the next four years, especially for those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed, especially for those who feel their voices have not been heard. I heard you and I will not forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now, this is the one part that actually made my skin crawl a bit. But do Republicans, do you think, fear Gore coming back? I mean half the country by his, or technically more than half the country voted for him. Is he going to be a formidable opponent to Bush in 2004, do you think?
BLUNT: Well, first of all, let me say I thought he did a great job tonight. I thought it was the best speech he'd ever given and it showed a lot of his own personality in a way that most people hadn't seen it before.
I've been saying for the last couple of weeks that I thought his chances were diminishing to be their nominee next time.
He reversed a few days of that downward trend in this speech and it looked like to me in that part of the speech he was saying I'm really hoping not to give up this fight forever, but I'm giving it up for right now.
PRESS: Congressman, hang in there with us. We've got a lot more questions for you. We're going to take a quick break here. We want everyone to know, of course, that we are bi -- in the spirit of bipartisanship...
CARLSON: It's a new dawn, Bill.
PRESS: ... tonight, we will...
CARLSON: First we pronounce it, then we practice it.
PRESS: That's right. We're going to have a Democratic Congressman joining us in the second half hour, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. from Tennessee. We'll be back with Congressman Roy Blunt and with all of you. Get those nominations in for spin of the day. Bill Press and Tucker Carlson will be right back in a moment.
CARLSON: Indeed, we will.
CARLSON: Welcome back to THE SPIN ROOM. Tucker Carlson here with Bill Press. We want to hear what you have to say. You probably know our phone number by now, but in case you don't...
PRESS: Let's give it anyway.
CARLSON: Let's repeat it anyway. It's 1-800-310-4CNN. Our e- mail address, needless to say, is email@example.com and today we've announced is softy night on THE SPIN ROOM.
PRESS: So be nice.
CARLSON: So be nice because we're being nice. And, you know, Bill, one of the high...
PRESS: But not too nice, I mean, you know...
CARLSON: Well, that sort of goes without saying. In fact, actually, even during the commercial break, we got e-mail brought out onto the set and here's the initial reaction to softy night. Softy night? "No," says one. "Nice night? Take the fun right out of it," says Dave Armstrong. And my favorite, "In the spirit of true bipartisanship, let's see Press and Carlson hug." It's not signed. No dice to you, however. No way.
PRESS: I mean, look, don't ask for too much. We can't go too far in this stuff.
CARLSON: Baby steps.
PRESS: When we see Bush and Gore hug, maybe we'll hug.
All right, I've got a quick one here. Tucker, this is a very important question. From Juliana Birch (ph) in Otofino (ph), Idaho. "Now that the election is over, will THE SPIN ROOM doors remain open or will Bill and Tucker get the ax?" I wish I knew.
CARLSON: That is a great question. It is.
PRESS: We do know this, we will be on all the rest of this week, tomorrow night and Friday night, and next week every night at 10:30, a special time next week. Beyond that, who knows? Who knows?
CARLSON: And in the spirit of bipartisanship, it is, of course, time for tonight's hate mail moment. "When are you going to put sports back on at 11:00 P.M.? THE SPIN ROOM is awful. It is the last thing I want to see before I have to go to bed." You know, we're not sports, but I have to say, we have tons and tons of sports metaphors and personally, I think those are almost as good.
PRESS: Yeah, but don't ask for too many from me.
CARLSON: Oh, no. And one last piece of good news, Bill.
PRESS: All right.
CARLSON: Have you seen the latest stamp to come out of Turkmenistan?
PRESS: I must admit that I haven't. I don't usually use Turkmenistan stamps.
CARLSON: Not a stamp (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? It must be John Sununu. OK, well, let's take a look at the latest stamp to come out of Turkmenistan.
PRESS: Oh, there it is.
CARLSON: Oh, it is the Bush and Gore tugging on the presidential seal. You know, Bill, they're laughing at us in Turkmenistan. But the good news today is no longer. The Turkmenistanites can no longer mock us. PRESS: Well, I do think this stamp will become a collector's item. But let me just tell you something...
CARLSON: Like all (UNINTELLIGIBLE) stamps.
PRESS: ... we have a lot more to laugh at about Turkmenistan than they have to laugh about us.
CARLSON: That's a deep point.
PRESS: Our guest, I can hear him chuckling away there on this nice night, is Representative Roy Blunt, Congressman, Republican from Missouri. Again, Congressman, welcome back. Good to have you here.
BLUNT: It's good to be here. Now, did I hear the last days of THE SPIN ROOM may be, the days may be numbered or not?
CARLSON: We're huddled here in the bunker. We can hear tanks in the distance.
PRESS: But we -- all we can tell you is what we know. We're on all next week and then we'll tell you after that.
Congressman, I want to ask you today about the court because I think there are reverberations about the court that will be going on for some time. And Justice Paul Stephens, in that dissent last night, had some pretty strong words to say about the winners and the losers. I'm sure you read this this morning. Let me repeat it for our viewers. "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear, it's the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."
Now, I'm not trying to be a bad loser here, but when five Supreme Court Justices elect the next President of the United States, doesn't that undermine the objectivity and credibility of the court?
BLUNT: Well, it sounds like Judge Stephens was doing some spin of his own there, to me. I think that, you know, that really the constitution, the founders didn't leave this job to the courts. They left it to the legislative bodies. It was pretty clear that Americans didn't really want to see the Florida legislature and the Congress decide this. I don't think the court was really a great way to settle this, but it may have been the least bad way to come to some conclusion.
Once the Florida court decided they were going to start setting their own deadlines and writing the Florida law, I think the handwriting at that point was on the wall that another court was probably going to have to step in to either verify that or to reverse it, though that's not the way that the people that wrote the constitution would have thought this should have been decided, I don't believe.
CARLSON: Congressman, let's go back to the President-elect. Incidentally, congratulations. But I, you know, I'm struck tonight listening to the President-elect's speech that the issues that he talked about almost to an issue were traditionally Democratic issues. He talked about addressing Medicare and Social Security. He talked about guaranteeing the prescription drug benefit.
I wonder if maybe the kind of secret we're in for in a Bush administration is much more moderate policymaking maybe than we've expected. Do you think?
BLUNT: Well, I don't think so. I think they're exactly the issues he talked about during the campaign and the difference is, I've heard several commentators in the last few hours say that what we have to see here is governing from the center. I think that overlooks the fact that there's not a single issue that Governor Bush has talked about in the last 18 months that there aren't some Democrats in the House for sure, and I suspect in the Senate, who agree with exactly the approach he wants to take, which is a different approach. They were the same issues as he said in his remarks, but they were the same issues with a significantly different approach as to how to deal with education, with Medicare, with prescription drugs, with tax reform.
And I think you don't have, you can be bipartisan without saying, without compromising your view. You can look for Democrats that hold a highly similar view and try to involve them early.
CARLSON: But Congressman, I mean what, OK, look, the Republicans have, obviously, now they have the White House. They have both Houses of Congress, albeit by small margins, but they still have them. What's the use of controlling the federal government if you don't ram through your own ideological agenda, you know, your own right-wing mania? I mean why not? Why play along with this bipartisan talk? Why not just go crazy?
PRESS: What happened to nice night?
CARLSON: I'm sorry, Congressman. I'm losing control here.
PRESS: We're 25 minutes into the show. Tucker's gone off the deep end.
CARLSON: I'm sorry.
BLUNT: Well, I think the country is tired of the gridlock. I think they're tired of the partisan excess. But I don't think there's anything wrong with having a different point of view as to how to address these issues. I think in the House we clearly can do exactly what the Governor talked about in the campaign. We just have to do it strategically.
I've got to say, I'm not sure what can happen in the Senate. You know, the Senate, it doesn't take a majority, it seems, from the point of view of a House member, at least, it doesn't take a majority to get something done. It takes 60 people to get something done and consequential a lot of what we passed in the House this year never got to the Senate floor.
PRESS: All right, Congressman, you talk about reaching out to Democrats. Now, I know you've been talking with your colleagues. The phone lines have been buzzing all day today and everybody's talking about that President-elect Bush is going to have to reach out to Democrats as part of his administration, part of his cabinet. What Democrats is he looking to? Who's he talking to? Who's going to be in his administration? What do you hear?
BLUNT: Well, you know, I do know that he intended to call a number of Democrats on the Wednesday and Thursday after the election. Now we're six, we're half a dozen weeks or so beyond that. But he's going to be talking to Democrats who have already expressed an interest to work with him on issues like education, tax relief.
PRESS: Can you name any names?
BLUNT: I probably can't name any names, but I think those names will become apparent as he begins to call them. I began to have Democrats two weeks before the election on the House floor come to me as the Bush liaison with the House during the campaign and say if the Governor does win, I want to be involved in repealing the death tax or repealing the marriage penalty or I think that this idea he has on prescription drugs is a good idea. And he knows who those people are.
CARLSON: Buttering up the majority.
PRESS: Or getting a job in the administration. That's what they're doing.
CARLSON: Congressman, thank you for the insight into how it really works.
PRESS: Thanks, Congressman.
CARLSON: We appreciate your coming out.
BLUNT: Keep spinning.
CARLSON: We shall.
PRESS: All right, you bet we will. And we're going to have Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. joining us right after the half hour.
CARLSON: We certainly will, incidentally, in the spirit of bipartisanship, he is, in fact, an actual Democrat.
PRESS: So it goes.
CARLSON: And we'll be back with him and with you. Send us your spins of the day. Call us. We'll be back momentarily on THE SPIN ROOM.
PRESS: Welcome back to THE SPIN ROOM's special one hour session this Wednesday night, Bill Press, Tucker Carlson. Nominations for spin of the day wanted. Call us toll-free. That's a free call at 1- 800-310-4CNN. You can join the chat that's ongoing and your best comments, those of you who have the smartest and the wittiest comments go right on the screen for all of our viewers to see across the country at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send us an e-mail, nominations for spin of the day, to email@example.com.
CARLSON: You know, Bill, we have someone who's taken advantage of our...
PRESS: Free phone call?
CARLSON: ... special free phone calls. We have Johari (ph) in California. Are you there?
PRESS: Colorado, I think, isn't it?
CARLSON: Colorado. A western state.
CALLER: How are you, Bill?
PRESS: Good. And Tucker, thank you.
CARLSON: I know where this is going, all right.
PRESS: We got you. All right.
CALLER: You know, I'm a civil rights survivor and I'm resigned to the fact that we do have President Appoint Bush and I do think that Gore should have conceded, but I don't think that we the people should concede. I think that we have to fight on. We can't let the courts do everything for us. The courts decided that slavery should be legal. It was the courts that decided that separate should be equal and I think that we have to fight on until every voice is heard.
PRESS: All right, Johari, I have to say, I mean, you know, Al Gore said fight on, too, but he did say fight on but accept the court and accept President-elect and I think that's got to be the spirit.
CARLSON: Yeah, and it depends, is it the sort of fight on write an op-ed or is it the sort of fight on where the Secret Service shows up at your door and wants to ask you a few questions? I mean they're just, there are different ways to fight on.
PRESS: There, in fact, are.
CARLSON: And we hope Johari meant the former.
PRESS: There also are different ways to get on the good side of Bill and Tucker, as many of you have learned.
CARLSON: Well, there's a pretty clear way. But yeah, go ahead.
PRESS: And the clearest way is to send us gifts, for which we are going to take just a moment today to recognize some nice...
CARLSON: The FCC is going to get that.
PRESS: ... you do see in front of us that we have our favorite flag. It is the state flag -- it's a rug, rather, of the State of Wyoming, our favorite...
CARLSON: Not that we would step on it because we wouldn't.
PRESS: When the rug came, you remember, someone said that they wanted to, they sent us the rug because they could not send us a cow's skull.
PRESS: Well, guess what, Tucker? Mike Reed (ph) of Carmel, Indiana said he didn't want us to be without a cow's skull and so he has actually provided -- Carmel, I'm sorry. It's Carmel, Indiana. But I just want Mike to know wherever Mike is, this is not a cow's skull. This is like the vertebra, like the back of a cow right here. But anyhow, it's the thought that counts, Mike. We thank you.
CARLSON: But, you know, that's the...
PRESS: And that goes on the way of the rug.
CARLSON: To our side. Well, you know, Bill, I'll meet your gift and I'll raise you another. This, as you'll notice, is a little cheer up drabbler (ph). For those of you who are not Canadian, that means shut up in a kind of French spoken in Canada. And here is the note attached to maple syrup. "Dear Tucker and Bill, greetings from the great white north. After a long day on the dog sled, there's nothing better than returning to my trusty igloo and catching your show. With maple syrup by my side and through the miracles of tin foil and the aurora borealis (ph), I'm actually able to switch from the CBC to CNN."
Thank you, and that's from Colin Gosline (ph), Edmonton, Alberta. Thank you, Colin. Good for you for switching off the CBC to us. And thanks for the maple syrup.
PRESS: And now the greatest gift of all, Tucker. I haven't shown you this...
CARLSON: Well, Bill...
PRESS: ... because this is a surprise. This came from one of viewers...
CARLSON: This is nothing, hey.
PRESS: I love this. I'm going to let you wear it and this T- shirt...
CARLSON: I'm thanking you in advance.
PRESS: This T-shirt, I think, is the message that the Supreme Court sent to the entire country. It says, "Kiss My Hanging Chad."
CARLSON: It says "Kiss My Dangling Chad."
PRESS: Oh, I'm sorry. "Kiss My Dangling Chad."
CARLSON: But, you know, it's every bit as vulgar either way you read it.
PRESS: Tucker, there it is.
CARLSON: Thank you, Bill.
PRESS: It's yours.
CARLSON: I'll wear it with pride or, as I've said, without trousers.
Now, one of the things we've learned during this long epic saga, this almost six week saga, is that it's not only the political process that reveals its sausage making qualities, it's the media process.
PRESS: I'll agree with on that one.
CARLSON: The media-industrial complex.
PRESS: Everybody but us.
CARLSON: Well, that sort of goes without saying.
PRESS: Thank you.
CARLSON: I want you to take a look at something that took place on NBC just last night.
PRESS: This is the great Tom Brokaw, right?
CARLSON: This is the great Tom Brokaw. Notice the background. The background is normally static. All of a sudden, all of a sudden, woah. You know, I'll tell you, Bill...
PRESS: One of life's embarrassing moments. I hope we never make a mistake on this show.
CARLSON: I'll tell you, every 55-year-old liberal in America who was watching that promptly had a flashback and had to go to the emergency room. That was so jarring.
PRESS: We have wonderful e-mails tonight. Let's read a few more. From Mike Reynolds. "So, Gore or Hillary in 2004? Please, Bill and Tucker, expound." Hmmm. Gore or Hillary? That's a tough choice. You can see both of them out there, Tucker, and I don't think they would be sullying their reputations to run.
CARLSON: No, they wouldn't but I have to say I cannot imagine Mrs. Clinton -- and I still call her that -- giving a speech like the one Al Gore gave tonight. I just can't. The last time she gave a speech, it was the fast driving speech. I just can't imagine it. Speaking of fringe groups, one last one. "Now we can get back to the really important matters," says John A. Satrino (ph), and that, of course, is blaming Nader.
PRESS: Right. I've got it.
PRESS: And now, Margaret from Arkansas is on the phone. Margaret, we love you, those phone calls. Thank you for joining us. What's on your mind?
CALLER: Thank you.
First, I want to tell you that I just love your program.
PRESS: You're very kind.
PRESS: Welcome back to THE SPIN ROOM, the second half-hour of this expanded edition, one-hour special edition of THE SPIN ROOM this morning I guess we have to say, not tonight.
I'm Bill Press with Tucker Carlson. Thank you all for joining us.
And remember, we remind you all the time, we want to hear from you. You're the important part of this show. So get your e-mails in as well as your nominations for "Spin of the Day."
Telephone number, 1-800-310-4CNN. It's a free call, as Tucker loves to point out. And we'd love to talk to you.
CARLSON: No charge at all.
PRESS: Join our ongoing chat room at CNN.com. Or send us your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org, your e-mail.
CARLSON: You know, Bill, this is a special edition of THE SPIN ROOM. The second half-hour is that much more special.
PRESS: All the more special...
CARLSON: And that means, of course, we have even more e-mails from Canada. Now one thing about our Canadian viewers, they love to correct us. They watch very carefully.
And here's one. It's literally hot from the printer.
PRESS: Hot off the press, we might say. CARLSON: "Contrary to your introduction at the top of the show," that's exactly right. "Contrary to your characterization, approximately 60 percent of Canada's population lives in the Eastern time zone. Jeez, buy a map, will ya?" spelled Y-A. No.
Thanks for the correction.
PRESS: I just want to remind everybody Tucker said that about Canada in the Eastern -- in a different time zone, not I. I know.
CARLSON: I mentioned it in the most affectionate way.
PRESS: All right, here's one. "My prediction," I think people are starting to get off the niceness a little bit, which is nice. "My prediction, Gore and Lieberman move to Florida, set up their card table, and count six million votes in the next four years."
CARLSON: I can see them in sun hats and sunglasses. Here's one too. "Note to Bill Press, keep standing up for intelligence and common sense. Don't let those conservatives get their way, or we will all end up wearing togas and cow-towing to the warrior prince. Us lefties have to stick together."
You know, I imagine after four years, we're all going to be wearing togas. And I look forward to it. I don't think it's a bad development at all.
PRESS: As long as we're not wearing bow ties. Oh...
CARLSON: Oh, this is the nice show.
PRESS: ... got you.
CARLSON: Speaking of nice, we're going to bring in one of the nicest members of the current Congress. That would be Tennessee Democrat Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.
Thank you, Congressman, for joining us.
REP. HAROLD FORD JR. (D), TENNESSEE: Good evening. Thanks for having me on (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
PRESS: Good evening, Congressman. You are a brave man staying up this late...
CARLSON: We thank you.
PRESS: ... And at least we're inside tonight. We're not outside tonight. So be grateful.
CARLSON: We certainly are. Now, Congressman, you notice tonight before Governor Bush spoke, Pete Laney, who is the speaker of the Texas House, introduced him and said, "Here is a man I've come to trust and respect," though of course they're from different parties.
What would the current president-elect have to do to win your trust and respect over the next four years?
FORD: Well, I hope to be able to say that one day about the president-elect. And I congratulate him. And I congratulate Al Gore on a night that was very difficult for him and I think for his supporters, including me.
I thought he gave a stirring speech. And he gave an inspiring one, not only for his supporters, but all of America.
My suggestion to President-elect Bush, whom I look forward to looking with, his first two pieces of legislation to the Congress, one ought to be electoral reform to modernize and update all the electoral and the voting equipment across this nation, even to take a hard look at Hillary Clinton's legislation about the Electoral College.
And two would be to adopt Senator McCain's campaign finance legislation. To do that I think would take him leaps and bounds towards allowing him to deal with Social Security and Medicare and education reform. He would really gain the trust and the confidence of Democrats not only in the House of Representatives, but in the Senate.
If he were to do that, I think in large ways, in meaningful ways, he could seriously think about realizing some of the things he talked about this evening. But congratulations again to him.
And I thank Al Gore for a valiant, courageous, and inspiring effort on his part. And I hope that this isn't the last time we see Al Gore in a national race.
PRESS: Congressman, today Reverend Jesse Jackson was back in Florida, in Tallahassee I believe, holding another demonstration with a lot of people there in the streets and basically saying, "We're going to continue to protest in the streets. We're going to continue this." There's a shot of today's protest.
And Reverend Jackson basically said, "We're going to continue these protests until we see some change or get some changes." Earlier this evening, Congressman Alcee Hastings was on "Crossfire," and he was asked about the Reverend Jackson's call for continued street protests, and Representative Hastings said he disagrees with the Reverend Jackson. He thinks the way to do now is to work through the legislative process to get some changes in our electoral system.
Which side of this battle are you on? Are you with Reverend Jackson, or are you with Representative Alcee Hastings, Congressman?
FORD: I'm a new Democrat, Mr. Press. I'm with both of them. I think...
PRESS: Oh, how can you be?
CARLSON: That's the spirit.
FORD: I'm trying to get the third host spot on THE SPIN ROOM. So I'm with both of them. I think in order for Congressman Hastings' dream or desire to come true, you need Reverend Jackson out working to ensure that you create an atmosphere and a climate for that to happen.
PRESS: I can't start a fight between you two guys?
FORD: No, you won't be able to do that, unfortunately. If I can start a fight between you and Carlson about those gifts you guys have got, maybe you can get a fight started between...
CARLSON: There is no gift ban in cable, Congressman, thank Heaven.
FORD: ... But I think both of them are right in large part. And Reverend Jackson has every right, as did those who have protested, many called them the rent-a-mob, outside of the Miami-Dade County Building there in Miami, which I was there when all of that went on.
They had every right to do what they did. And Reverend Jackson has every right to do what he's doing.
I do hope that we can change some of this. And I think that Governor -- President-elect Bush would do well, not only for his party and for Democrats, but for the nation to ensure that we don't have this problem again and that we don't allow the Supreme Court to have any say in whom the president of the United States will be.
CARLSON: Well, I think everyone agrees with those suggestions. But since -- Congressman, since Al Gore went on TV tonight, and essentially, at least as I understood it, said to his supporters, "Look, it's over. We have another shot four years from now," he implied.
He essentially told them to accept what he's accepted, George W. Bush. Why in the world, what would be the purpose of Jesse Jackson, say, continuing to protest?
FORD: Well, you'd probably have to have Reverend Jackson on the show. And I know he's been on the show once or twice before, to ask him those things.
I do think that there's some value in ensuring that this doesn't happen again. And if Reverend Jackson and Reverend Jackson's efforts, a person I have great respect for, brings that about, then I think we all have something to be thankful for.
I thought Al Gore's performance tonight was as American as you could possibly imagine, was as big and as mature as you could possibly imagine. And I could imagine Governor Bush -- the part of the conversation he appreciated the most is when the vice president said that he wouldn't call him back tonight.
PRESS: Well, there was a lot of humor tonight, which I thought was very, very effective. And one of the kind of funny lines that the vice president used, Congressman, he said he was going to go back to Tennessee, take a few days off, and mend some fences, he said, "figuratively and literally." What kind of fence mending does he have to do down there?
FORD: We're going to have a lot of country music CDs and barbecue ribs out for him when he comes home. And...
PRESS: Does he still have a home in Tennessee, meaning does he still have a base in Tennessee?
FORD: ... Al and Tipper Gore will always have a home in Tennessee. His father was one of the great lines (ph) in the United States Senate, one of the great voices the Senate and our state has ever known. We will welcome our vice president home. And I can assure you, whatever he decides to do in four years or whenever it might be, the state of Tennessee will be there for him.
CARLSON: But it wasn't for him, of course, during the election. And I'm wondering first, did he call you up and say, "Gee, why didn't you help deliver the state for me?" And second, what did happen exactly?
FORD: Tucker is taking cheap shots (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
CARLSON: I can't help it.
PRESS: You should see him when it's not nice night.
CARLSON: Oh, you should see me in the morning. But what did happen in Tennessee?
FORD: Well, we did well in my part of the state. I think that...
PRESS: I like that.
FORD: ... not being -- you like that, Mr. Press? I think that not being home for a while, and I think a combination of factors. I think the gun issue and the environment issue and some of the things might have contributed.
Al Gore is one of the most decent, one of the kindest persons you'll ever meet and a person with great integrity in politics, something we miss in politics. And I think Governor Bush brings a lot of those attributes to the table and will probably be a good president.
FORD: Al Gore will come home in a few weeks. We look forward to welcoming him home. And not only will he be welcomed home, I think that many of us who worked hard for him and some who didn't vote for him will see fit to do whatever the vice president asks us to do. I know I will.
CARLSON: Well, I have to say, some of us look forward to that too. And we look forward to coming back in just a minute to talk more to you, Congressman Ford.
And we will be back. Get us your nominations for "Spin of the Day."
PRESS: "Spin of the Day."
CARLSON: That, of course, is the moment you see something so ludicrous, you whip a beer bottle at the TV and then dash off an e- mail to us. You know our address and our phone number.
CARLSON: Please use them. We'll be back in just a moment on THE SPIN ROOM.
PRESS: How many times do I have to say it? President-elect George W. Bush will be my next president...
PRESS: ... on January 20. OK?
CARLSON: ... it's like music, Bill.
PRESS: But only for four years. Thank you, welcome back to THE SPIN ROOM, everybody. Bill Press here with Tucker Carlson.
And I have one for you, Tucker. Say it, Tucker. Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton.
CARLSON: Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton.
CARLSON: But, you know, I'm man enough to admit that that hurt.
PRESS: It did hurt.
All right, Charlie from Connecticut is on the phone before we get back to Congressman Ford.
Hey, Charlie, thanks for calling.
CALLER: Thank you.
CALLER: I feel that this decision, and the speeches tonight especially, vindicate those few who said that we could not lose either way. These are both men of character. They have our country's best interest at heart.
And I am pleased and proud. I would pleased and proud to call either one president.
PRESS: Oh, Charlie. Boy, you got the niceness award of the night. CARLSON: You do. We set our phone screeners to N for nice. And it worked.
PRESS: There it is.
CARLSON: Speaking again of nice, we are back to a nice conversation with an excellent Democratic Congressman Harold Ford of Tennessee.
Congressman, thank you for joining us so late.
CARLSON: Now tell me this, at some point very soon, the niceness will evaporate. And I want you to listen to something that Representative Charlie Rangel of New York said recently, get your reaction to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: He will have to make an extraordinary effort to be bipartisan. The cabinet will have to reflect it. Meetings have to be held with our legislative leaders. The common goal and objective, even though it might not be as expansive as we would want, it can be done. But it's going to take an extraordinary effort.
And the most important thing is how does it start. If it starts off on the wrong foot, it's going to be a very, very difficult two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now, Congressman, the thing I noticed that was extraordinary about what Congressman Rangel said was how many times he used the word extraordinary. What exactly -- what is the extraordinary effort that President-elect Bush will have to put forth in order to satisfy you and Congressman Rangel and the Democrats?
FORD: Well, Uncle Charlie is a big fan of the word extraordinary. So that needs to be the prize first.
CARLSON: He certainly is.
FORD: On a very serious and somber note, my prayers and condolences go out to Congressman Julian Dixon's family and certainly...
PRESS: Indeed. Indeed.
FORD: ... his constituents and friends there in the greater Los Angeles area. I know you're from that area, Mr. Press.
PRESS: Bill, please.
FORD: I hope that Governor Bush, President-elect Bush -- and I'm easy to say it and glad to say it, I wanted to say something else, but I'm proud to say it -- will follow some of what my friend, colleague, and uncle said this evening, reaching out and making clear that his efforts will be genuine and sincere will go a long way towards helping to bridge some of the differences in the Congress and I think even help heal some of the differences in the wounds that this election and this process caused or imposed on the people throughout this nation.
I think Governor Bush is up to the task. President-elect Bush is up to the task.
I do hope, as I tried to say earlier, that electoral reform and campaign finance reform will be the first two issues that come to the Congress. If they are, I think we'll make a lot of progress on a lot of other fronts.
PRESS: I want to ask you about one of those, Congressman. And I want to state that four months ago, not knowing what was going to happen, I wrote a column saying that it's time to get rid of the Electoral College, but it would never happen until we had another President-elected who lost the majority of the vote, majority votes, but won the Electoral College.
It's happened now. Is it time -- or let me put it this way -- isn't it about time we got rid of the Electoral College and let the people elect the president?
FORD: I read that column. And I think there is a lot of merit to it. I wouldn't want to prejudge before getting into the debate. But I think there's a lot of merit to it. And I know that Senator Clinton -- Senator-elect Clinton -- and I know my good friend Tucker Carlson is proud to talk about -- that's her first piece of legislation, which she has specifically or explicitly talked about.
I hope that we in the Congress will consider it. And I think it's something -- and I can assure you, Mr. Press, if we do, I'll submit your column to the record for official use there in the Congress.
PRESS: I'm not going to let you do that unless you start calling me Bill.
CARLSON: You may not even be able to do that...
FORD: I'm from the South. I'm from the South. I can't help it. We call everybody Mister.
CARLSON: Well, Congressman, you seem like precisely the sort of middle-of-the-road Democrat the Bush administration is looking for. I wonder, in the not-all-that-unlikely case that you're asked to serve the Bush administration in some capacity, say, secretary of the interior, would you take it?
FORD: If you'd loan me some of those bow ties, I'll give a hard look at this whole thing, Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: Wow. Well, we'll memo to Karl Rove. They may be calling you.
PRESS: You recognize that you have to wear the bow tie attire. That's the conservative attire is the bow tie. That's the price of admission, Congressman.
FORD: I might have mine straight, though, unlike Tucker wears his. I'm going to put mine straight if I have to wear a bow tie.
CARLSON: That's the spirit, the Pee Wee Herman.
PRESS: You're a good man. Thank you for joining us tonight. Thanks for the attitude. Thanks for your contribution.
FORD: Happy holidays. Thanks for having me on tonight.
CARLSON: Thanks, Congressman. See you.
PRESS: Great to have him back. He's a great guy. I like him.
PRESS: Mr. Carlson, I...
CARLSON: Mr. Press, we'll be indeed right back with "Spins of the Day"...
PRESS: Whoa, love it.
CARLSON: ... our favorite segment of the entire hour. We'll be back in just a moment. Get those "Spins of the Day" in if you haven't already. And we'll read them. We'll be back.
PRESS: We're back in THE SPIN ROOM. Bill Press and Tucker Carlson and all of you.
Time for those "Spins of the Day." And we have them today, tonight, this morning, whatever it is, by phone, by e-mail, and by the chat room. Let's start right away in the monitor.
CARLSON: Show up outside. We'll read the signs you carry.
PRESS: That's right, those billboards outside.
PRESS: In the monitor, I think we have a "Spin of the Day" nomination from the chat room. Open sesame. There it is.
"Haven't the news channels learned anything from this? This isn't over until the electors vote."
That's a very interesting comment, you know, there, Tucker, because there are people talking about December 18, which is what, Monday? CARLSON: Right. And also, there's the -- the full Jihad, the Mujahadin of the Democratic Party is talking about January 5. But as far as I'm concerned...
PRESS: But on the 18th when the electors vote, if three electors were to change their position, I mean, Al Gore would be the president. I don't think it's going to happen. But I think it's a very astute comment.
CARLSON: You're making my spine tingle. You know, we have a caller from Florida. Perhaps...
PRESS: We have a chance yet.
CARLSON: ... Yes we do. Perhaps she's an elector of some sort. Victoria from Florida, are you there?
CALLER: Yes I am.
PRESS: Hi, Victoria.
PRESS: What's your comment tonight?
CALLER: Well, I just think that the Supreme Court has stolen my vote. And I think it's become so political that I can't have any credible view of any of their decisions in the future.
PRESS: All right, Victoria, I think there are going to be a lot -- I think there are going to be repercussions about this Supreme Court decision. We're going to talk about...
CARLSON: I'm not sure Victoria heard the nice part. This is the nice show.
PRESS: ... No, no, no, but now we're into...
CARLSON: We're back in the mean room?
PRESS: ... THE SPIN ROOM you can be as nasty as you want.
CARLSON: Oh, OK. Done.
PRESS: Like this one. Here's one from Ann Lindon (ph) from New York City. "My "Spin of the Day," George W. Bush comparing himself tonight to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Bush, you're no Thomas Jefferson."
CARLSON: I thought it was strictly (UNINTELLIGIBLE) description.
CARLSON: Now, this is not a "Spin of the Day." But this asks a question -- this is Craig writing -- that I believe needs to be asked.
"Does anyone have any information on Warren Christopher? It seems Christopher disappeared midway through the game."
I saw his picture on a milk carton tonight. But no, as of this broadcast, Warren Christopher has not been sighted.
PRESS: It is true, we haven't seen him for a long time. I have to tell you, the last time I see James Baker on television I hope was yesterday.
Here's a "Spin of the Day," Tucker, it's not enough for our viewers. They're so demanding. This comes from Jim Kinion (ph) from Edinton (ph) maybe, North Carolina? "How about a "Spin of the Week" award, a "Spin of the Month," or a "Spin of the Year?" How about a puppet presented to each winner and signed by you and Tucker?"
And he places in now, his nomination, for the spin of the past decade, former President Bush telling us in 1991 that Clarence Thomas was the best and most qualified person in the United States to be appointed to that vacant Supreme Court decision.
CARLSON: And that has turned out to be an incredibly, incredibly prescient description because, of course, he is.
PRESS: No. No, that has proven to be the "Spin of the Decade" indeed.
CARLSON: I'm going to have to cut you off before you disagree...
PRESS: Spin them all.
CARLSON: ... We have Alana (ph) from New York on the line with an online -- or a phone "Spin of the Day."
PRESS: Hey, Alana.
CARLSON: Alana, are you there? No she's not. Well, that's a very clever spin.
PRESS: All right, that spin leads us right into ours.
CARLSON: Well, it does. And we have now mine. This is mine. And I hereby declare it my last Jesse Jackson spin.
PRESS: Of the day.
CARLSON: Of the day.
PRESS: Of today.
CARLSON: It is my "Spin of the Day." This is -- listen to what -- this has been on television a lot. But you can't see this enough. This is what Jesse Jackson said about our new president-elect, George w. Bush. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: He's going to be the president legally. But he does not have moral authority because his crown did not come from the people. It came from the judges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Now contrast this to Vice President Al Gore. Now I think of this really as...
PRESS: It's about you and Jesse.
CARLSON: ... Japan, 1945, right? The American forces come in. Hirojito, of course, surrenders. He's whipped, he's beat. He gives up, hands over the sword. And yet there are a few Japanese soldiers on isolated islands in the South Pacific who don't learn for decades -- 1962, a guy comes out of the jungle, torn clothes, and shoots an Australian tourist.
That's who Jesse Jackson is. He's a guy who hasn't been told the war is over. It's very sad.
PRESS: This is so far over the top.
CARLSON: It's also true, though.
PRESS: Let me just tell you something. You don't have to wear your Speedo because George Bush won, OK? But I want to tell you something. I'll wear the Speedo if you never do another Jesse Jackson "Spin of the Day."
CARLSON: I'm going to...
PRESS: You will never...
CARLSON: ... I'm going to need a 12-step program to get me there.
PRESS: ... You will never hold on to that.
All right, I want to give you my "Spin of the Day," not my "Speedo of the Day." This is great because the day after the Supreme Court made the most political decision in the history probably of the Supreme Court, and of course, we never heard another word in those oral arguments from Justice Thomas, guess who was on CSPAN today trying to tell kids that the Supreme Court is not political at all?
Here he is. Clarence Thomas, yes, he does talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: They don't try to influence us. And they don't. We happen to be in the same city. We may as well be on entirely different planets. We may as well be on entirely different planets.
This is -- it's absolutely eerie. And just think about it. This is what you hear here. There's no buzzers going off. That's a political world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRESS: And you know something? We'd have to be on a different planet to believe him, to believe that these guys are not political. They are so political. And they proved it this time.
And by the way, I'm not just saying all the conservatives. This is a very political court.
CARLSON: I think -- I do think it is true that the liberals on the court are very political. But I think...
PRESS: Oh, you can't say that with a straight face.
CARLSON: ... I can't help it. It's the end of the night.
PRESS: Tucker, on that note, we end.
CARLSON: We do. But we don't really because we are coming back. We're going to be back tomorrow and Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. That's 11:00 in 60 percent of Canada.
PRESS: Then guess what? Then next week we're going to try spinning in a new time slot, half an hour earlier, 10:30 p.m. Eastern, 7:30 Pacific. OK?
CARLSON: We'll be here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others, it's time for me to go. Thank you and good night. And God bless America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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