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Transition of Power: Bush, Clinton Meet at White House; Meeting With Gore Expected Later

Aired December 19, 2000 - 1:15 p.m. ET

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

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: So here it is a day after capturing 271 votes in the Electoral College -- officially, that, by the way, would be one more than needed, and no recounts were necessary -- George W. Bush is today meeting face-to-face with the man he defeated, right after a little visit with the man he will be replacing.

CNN's Patty Davis joins us now from the U.S. Naval Observatory -- Patty.

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joie, President-elect George W. Bush met today earlier at the White House with President Clinton. The president stepped outside as Mr. Bush's limousine pulled up to meet Mr. Bush. The two then walked down alongside the Rose Garden, through the colonnade at the White House and into the Oval Office to talk business, transition and other issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I'm grateful and I look forward to the discussion. I'm hear to listen. And the president is kind enough to offer some advice. If he is, I will take it in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: Now, President Clinton's only advice: get a good team and do what you think is right.

Mr. Bush's next meeting will take place here at the vice president's official residence about 2:30. That's about 90 minutes from now Eastern time. He'll be meeting with Vice President Al Gore.

Now, the talk there: unity, healing. These two were very bitter rivals as they went up against one another in this campaign for the past couple years. They're talking to today conciliation. The two will meet here at the vice president's official residence. There will be a photo-op of that meeting. In fact, we will be able to hear what it is they're talking about, the first time, in fact, that they have met since their testy third debate some months ago.

It's a tradition that the two will meet -- that the two candidates meet, as it is that the president and the president-elect meet. And Vice President Al Gore expected to continue that conciliatory theme. In fact, he came back from a vacation in the Virgin Islands earlier today. Just for that meeting to take place here at his official residence -- Joie.

CHEN: Patty, I'm wondering how much of an agenda there will be between these two gentlemen. Or is it really mostly the public show of them being able to get together in a polite environment?

DAVIS: It is certainly a public show. We're talking images here. In terms of business being done, most of the business conducted between the president, President Bill Clinton and President-elect George W. Bush. As for the vice president, it's important after this five-week, very bitter recount effort, going back and forth every day in the courts, that they both show that they're willing to move beyond that, there's an orderly transition here, and that the vice president is standing fully behind Mr. Bush -- Joie.

CHEN: CNN's Patty Davis at the Naval Observatory, the vice president's official residence, soon to be home of Dick Cheney.

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