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CNN Today

Special Interest Groups Prepare for New White House Pecking Order

Aired December 26, 2000 - 4:27 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: From family matters, we turn now to raw politics. With the White House going Republican, a new day is dawning for the nation's special interest groups.

CNN's Chris Black now on the new pecking order.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The presidency is more than an honor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone knows who won...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's for me to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: And who lost, but what about the hidden winners and losers? Interest groups from the right to the left spent more money, ran more television ads, and knocked on more doors than ever before to elect a president. For the National Rifle Association and Social Conservatives, the gamble to bet on the Texas governor paid off.

RICHARD LESSNER, AMERICAN RENEWAL: It's clear that the Bush victory is owed in large part to the religious right voters, the conservative religious voters, those who espouse traditional family and moral values in America.

BLACK: And energy companies, the tobacco industry and big business look forward to a change in the federal regulatory climate.

LONNIE TAYLOR, VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The business community spends over $700 billion on an annual basis just in compliance with federal regulations. We'd like to see that changed.

BLACK: The biggest supporters of Al Gore are steeling themselves for a hostile administration. Black Americans voted for Al Gore by a 9-1 margin.

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Don't hold your breath if you think that a Bush Justice Department is going to investigate voting rights violations in the Florida -- in the state where his brother is governor. It's not going to happen.

BLACK: The anxiety level among supporters of abortion rights is also high.

ALICE GERMOND, NARAL: You know, politicians come and go, but the Supreme Court justices are there for 20, 30, 40 years, and the impact of those appointments are with us a tremendously long time.

BLACK: Exit polls showed more than 60 percent of labor union households voted for Gore. But labor says Mr. Bush cannot ignore their concerns.

JOHN SWEENEY, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: I really think that Governor Bush is going to have to look at the issues that the plurality of citizens voted for in this campaign, and those are working family issues -- health care, Social Security, education. And if the governor wants to build confidence with working families, he's going to have to address those issues.

CROWD: We want clean air.

BLACK: Environmentalists preferred Al Gore, but are hoping for the best.

DANIEL WEISS, SIERRA CLUB: George Bush is at a crossroads: He can follow the path of his funders, which would be to weaken environmental laws, cut down our trees, drill our public lands for oil or he can follow the path that the vast majority Americans want him to follow, which is to reduce mercury pollution from power plants, protect our wild places, clean up our water from mega-hog farms.

BLACK (on camera): Though the election is now history, the winners and losers will be part of the push and pull of competing pressures on the new president.

Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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