ad info

 
CNN.comTranscripts
 
Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 

TOP STORIES

Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's GO.com is a goner

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

 
TRAVEL

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Special Event

Congress Certifies Election of George W. Bush

Aired January 6, 2001 - 2:00 p.m. ET

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

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY. I'm Kyra Phillips. Gene Randall is off for the day.

If you've been watching our continuing live coverage, you may remember this moment, when members, 12 members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked out in protest as the joint session of Congress began counting the votes of the Electoral College.

You see the 12 members there who went before Vice President Al Gore but were ruled out of order under Sections 15 through 18 of the U.S. Code because they did not have the support of a senator. They could not continue with their objection of the electoral votes.

They held a press conference not long ago. They were able to voice what they wanted to say before Vice President Al Gore.

We're going to listen back in to the counting as we start off listening to the count of Rhode Island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... for the state of Rhode Island, providence plantations, to certify in pursuance of law that the list of the votes of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the said state cast by us as the electors thereof for president and of all the votes of the said state cast by us as the electors thereof for vice president for the respective terms beginning on the 20th day of January A.D. 2001 and herein contained.

Witness our hands at providence this first Monday after the second Wednesday, the same being the 18th day of December, A.D. 2000, signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested. Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Rhode Island seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears...

PHILLIPS: As we continue to...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and Al Gore of the state of Tennessee received four votes for president, and Joe Lieberman of the state of Connecticut received four votes for vice president.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of South Carolina, and they will read the certificate and will count... PHILLIPS: You're listening to the joint session of Congress as they count the votes of the Electoral College, Vice President Al Gore presiding.

Once again, we're going to bring in our Ed Henry from "Roll Call" magazine. He's been joining us all morning talking about the significance of the counting of these votes. I was saying to Chris Black earlier, our congressional correspondent, Ed, this is definitely not business as usual this time around.

ED HENRY, "ROLL CALL": Oh, absolutely. Normally members of Congress go right out of town immediately after being sworn in this past week. But a lot of members obviously stayed back this weekend to be here, to be part of history. A lot of journalists, obviously, also try to get away at this tie of year, but we have to stick around.

I think also one thing to look for is that we're up to South Carolina, which means Tennessee is very close, and there's been a lot of humor coming from Al Gore so far today. He's dealt with this with humor and grace. But I think when Tennessee comes along, he's going to have a little private moment of anguish there.

A lot of people in his inner circle have been talking in recent weeks and months about how losing his own state of Tennessee was probably the most difficult part of this whole ordeal. And if he had just won Tennessee, Florida wouldn't have mattered. And that really must eat away at him. And I think having to listen to the Tennessee electors read off going for George W. Bush is really going to hit him hard.

PHILLIPS: And as we await on Tennessee, back to Florida for a moment. That seems to be where all the action took place thus far. It must have been very difficult for Vice President Al Gore to have to gavel down a dozen of his supporters.

HENRY: Absolutely. As Chris mentioned earlier, I think it was on Wednesday there was a black caucus breakfast in which they had Al Gore as their keynote speaker. Al Gore, you know, again was supported by the African-American community by a nine-to-one margin in this presidential race. So it was a moment of thanks on both sides.

And during Gore's speech, there were some black caucus members shouting out, "Gore in Four," as in 2004. And so these are clearly members of the black caucus who want him to run for president again and plan on supporting him. And so there's obviously a lot of anguish on both sides that they can't -- you know, that Al Gore had to gavel them down, because they clearly are supporters of his.

Just this past week they got back together to catch up with one another since the race is finally over, and it's got to be difficult for both sides. And I think all...

PHILLIPS: (OFF-MIKE) No, no, go ahead, I'm sorry.

HENRY: Well, I was going to say as well, the black caucus, it's not just that they feel, members of the black caucus, that African- American voters were disenfranchised...

PHILLIPS: All right, Ed, hold on just a second. We're going to Tennessee right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the undersigned, being duly elected electors for president and vice president of the United States of America for the state of Tennessee at the general election held Tuesday, November 7, 2000, pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the U.S., United States, and in this state certify that the following candidates for president and vice president received the following number of votes by ballot at the meeting of electors held December 18, 2000, at the state capitol of Tennessee, George W. Bush, 11, Dick Cheney, 11.

Signed by the pertinent electors and dully attested, Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral votes of the state of Tennessee seem to be regular in form and authentic and appears therefrom that George W. Bush, of the state of Texas, received 11 votes for president and Dick Cheney, from the state of Wyoming, received 11 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president for the state of Texas, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: We the duly elected and qualified presidential electors of the state of Texas hereby certify that we did convene in the state capital, Austin, Texas, on the 18th day of December, 2000, for the purpose of voting for president and vice president of the United States. We further certify that the persons whose names are listed herein voted by individual ballot for president of the United States and for vice president of the United States, and the number of votes cast for each office numbered 32.

For president, George W. Bush received 32 votes and no votes were cast for any other person for president of the United States. For vice president, Dick Cheney received 32 votes, and no votes were cast for any other person for vice president of the United States. In testimony thereof, we have hereunto signed our names officially this 18th day of December, 2000, signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested.

Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Texas seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush, of the state of Texas, received 32 votes for president, and Dick Cheney, of the state of Wyoming, received 32 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president...

PHILLIPS: The votes of the Electoral College being counted for the state of Tennessee and Texas. Once again, we want to bring in our Ed Henry with "Roll Call" magazine. Ed, you were saying -- I guess we all were kind of -- our eyes were glued to Gore, wondering how he would react as the votes were called for Tennessee. What do you think was going through his mind? Was it hard to say the name, George W. Bush?

HENRY: I think it must have been. Obviously you can't read too much into it, but I think it's a punch in the stomach to the vice president. You know, clearly not carrying his home state blew the election for him, plain and simple. And that's really difficult.

I think as well you heard Texas. Clearly there was no mystery there, it was clear George W. Bush won Texas by a mile. And so you had the two home states back to back, and again it's just a painful moment for Gore.

I think also, you know, we heard from Eddie Bernice Johnson, who's the new chair of the black caucus this year, and she was talking about how in her words that Bush has, quote, "reached out to people who think like him but look like us."

And I think that what she was saying there is that the black caucus not only feels like African-American voters were disenfranchised in the election, they also feel like Bush has been able to combat that from an image standpoint by bringing out Colin Powell and Condy Rice and a lot of conservative African-Americans to, in their estimation, make it look like he's close to the African- American community when again the black caucus feels like they were -- you know, they really got the short end of the stick in Florida and around the country.

And they're concerned about what they characterize as voting rights act violations, and they clearly -- I think it was Corinne Brown (ph) from Florida as well who said literally that she was going to bring this election to her grave, that she -- that this will never be over.

And again, most Democratic members of Congress have moved on, have realized that you can't look like a sore loser. But clearly the black caucus is not giving up yet, and it's going to be quite interesting, because they also were demanding that a Democratic senator stand up and help them and sign one of their objections.

And I think another member, I think it was Carrie Meek (ph) from Florida, mentioned at the press conference that African-American voters elected a lot of these Democratic senators, and yet in the moment of need for African-American voters, in their mind, the Democratic senators were not there.

And I think that one bit of fallout from today will be to see whether or not the black caucus really holds the feet of some Democratic senators to the fire.

PHILLIPS: Well, Ed, you brought up another interesting point too, and I hate to say this, but I didn't even realize that there are no African-American senators right now. HENRY: That's right. Carol Moseley Braun was the last one. She was elected in '92. She only served one term. She was gone in 1998. Before that, I believe the last one was Ed Brook from Massachusetts, who was a Republican African-American member. He was only in the Senate for a short time.

And clearly, if African-American voters feel disenfranchised, and if they're upset about what's happened, I think clearly maybe if they want to do something about it, they're going to think about finding some more African-American candidates to run for the Senate. There are quite a few African-American members -- I can't remember the exact number, but clearly more than 20 or 25 -- quite, quite a few African- American members in the black caucus who serve in the House.

But again, no single African-American member of the Senate. It is pretty remarkable in the year 2001 that we have a Senate with 100 white members.

PHILLIPS: Ed Henry with "Roll Call" magazine.

We're also going to bring in congressional correspondent Chris Black once again, who's been following this.

Chris, any final thoughts?

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was interesting that Jesse Jackson Jr., a Democrat from Illinois, at one point tried to egg on the Democratic senators who were in the chamber and say, can one of them sign now?

It's important to note that very few Democratic senators showed up for this joint session today. There were only six that were even in the chamber, three of them senior, one of them, Chris Dodd, was a teller, so he was like a little bit busy and couldn't have really done it even if he'd been so inclined.

But this was something that mostly Republicans showed up for. Democrats, including Joe Lieberman, Democrat from Connecticut, who was Al Gore's running mate, and of course Joe Lieberman wouldn't have come today because today is the Sabbath.

PHILLIPS: Chris, Ed, thank you. Hold on. We're going to listen to the last couple of states here, I believe we're on Virginia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the state of Wyoming, received 13 votes for vice president. Signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested, Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the Commonwealth of Virginia seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush, of the state of Texas, received 13 votes for president, and Dick Cheney, of the state of Wyoming, received 13 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of Washington, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

DODD: Certificate of the Electoral College of the state of Wisconsin (ph). We the undersigned presidential electors of the state of Washington, being duly elected and qualified as evidenced by the accompanying certificate of ascertainment made and delivered to us by the governor of the state of Washington, and having met pursuant to the provisions of the federal and state law at the state capital in Olympia in the state of Washington, 12:00 noon on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, 2000, do certify that we have voted by ballot separately for the offices of president of the United States and vice president of the United States for the respective terms which begin on the 20th of January, 2001, and that the following are the names of all the persons who received votes for these offices, respectively, signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested.

Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Wyo- -- Washington seems to be regular in form, authentic, and it appears therefrom that Al Gore, of the state of Tennessee, received 11 votes for president, and Joe Lieberman, of the state of Connecticut, received 11 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of West Virginia, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certificate of vote. We, the electors for president and vice president of the United States, chosen by the people of West Virginia at the general election held on November 7, 2000, certify that we assembled in the office of the governor, state capital, Charleston, West Virginia, on December 18, 2000, and voted as follows.

For president, George W. Bush, five votes. For vice president, Dick Cheney, five votes. Signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested, Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of West Virginia seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush, of the state of Texas, received five votes for president, and Dick Cheney, of the state of Wyoming, received five votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors of the state of Wisconsin, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: We, the undersigned electors of president and vice president of the United States of America, being duly elected, qualified, and acting presidential electors for the state of Wisconsin, pursuant to the attached certificate of the designee of the chairperson of the state elections board, certified by Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the state elections board and exemplified by Governor Tommy G. Thompson and Secretary of State Douglas LaFollette (ph), respectively, having met and convened at the state capital in the city of Madison in the state of Wisconsin at noon on December 18, 2000, pursuant to Section 7, Title 3, of the United States Code, and Section 7.75 of the Wisconsin statutes for the purpose of casting our votes for president and vice president of the United States, and transmitting of the results of our determination in accordance with Sections 9-11, Title 3, of the United States Code, do hereby certify.

And Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Wisconsin seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that Al Gore, of the state of Tennessee, received 11 votes for president, and Joe Lieberman, of the state of Connecticut, received 11 votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, the chair hands to the tellers the certificate of the electors for president and vice president of the state of Wyoming, and they will read the certificate and will count and make a list of the votes cast by that state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the state of Wyoming, secretary of state, certificate of votes for president and vice president, whereas, according to the official returns of the general election held in the state of Wyoming on the seventh day of November, as duly canvassed by the Wyoming state canvassing board, a list is hereby given of the votes cast for president. And from which these electors were chosen in this certificate affirms that they voted for George W. Bush for president and Dick Cheney for vice president. It is signed by the pertinent electors and duly attested.

Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of Wyoming seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that George W. Bush, of the state of Texas, received three votes for president, and Dick Cheney, of the state of Wyoming, received three votes for vice president.

GORE: Is there objection? Hearing none, gentlemen and gentlewomen of the Congress, the certificates of all the states have now been opened and read, and the tellers will make the final ascertainment of the results and deliver the same to the president of the Senate.

DODD: Mr. Vice President, the undersigned, Christopher J. Dodd and Mitch McConnell, tellers on the part of the United States Senate, William M. Thomas and Chaka Fatah (ph), tellers on the part of the House of Representatives, report the following as the result of the ascertainment and counting of the electoral vote for president and vice president of the United States for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2001.

GORE: The state of the vote for president of the United States as delivered to the president of the Senate is as follows. The whole number of the electors appointed to vote for president of the United States is 538, of which a majority is 270. George W. Bush of the state of Texas has received for president of the United States 271 votes. Al Gore of the state of Tennessee has received 266 votes.

The state of the vote for vice president of the United States, as delivered to the president of the Senate, is as follows. The whole number of the electors appointed to vote for vice president of the United States is 538, of which a majority is 270. Dick Cheney of the state of Wyoming has received for vice president of the United States 271 votes. Joe Lieberman of the state of Connecticut has received 266 votes.

This announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2001, and shall be entered, together with a list of the votes, on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

May God bless our new president and our new vice president, and may God bless the United States of America.

Members of the Congress, the purpose for which the joint session of the two houses of Congress has been called pursuant to Senate concurrent resolution number one, 107th Congress, having been accomplished, the chair thanks the speaker and the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate here assembled and declares the joint session dissolved.

PHILLIPS: And once again, we're going to bring in our congressional correspondent, Chris Black. Chris, at 2:50 p.m. Eastern time, may we finally say it's over?

BLACK: We can say it's over now, Kyra. In one of his final duties as vice president of the United States, Al Gore has just declared George W. Bush, his opponent for the presidential campaign, the next president of the United States.

The Electoral College vote took more than twice as long as it should have, largely because of a protest staged by the Congressional Black Caucus, but in the end the results were exactly as we expected, 271 votes for George W. Bush, the governor of Texas, one more than needed, the 270 needed to be elected president, and 266 for the vice president.

One couldn't help but think that as they read the Electoral College votes for each state that Al Gore was reliving this long, long presidential campaign. He lost his home state of Tennessee. He carried the biggest state in the country, California. George Bush carried his home state of Texas, but Al Gore had to be thinking of moments during the campaign in the battleground states.

And obviously when Florida came, more than a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus tried to object. They did not, however, have a single member of the Senate, as is required by law, so those objections could not be sustained, it could not be heard.

They walked out in protest. They were trying to debate this. They said that they believed that the votes in Florida were fraudulent, that African-Americans in particular were disenfranchised. But their protest was in vain. George Bush is now the president.

This proceeding today has cleared the way for Inauguration Day on January 20th -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And Chris, Vice President Al Gore receiving a standing ovation as he gave the final address.

And next, I noticed he's signing up, and we lost our live pic -- no, it's back. Chris, he's signing a number of things on the desk up there. Do you know what exactly is taking place with him and the speaker?

BLACK: Yes, it is. They have to -- they do have to sort of sign the results. This is the record that goes into the Congressional Record and also to the National Archives. The procedure is very carefully scripted by law. The official results, as certified by the four tellers, two House members, two senators, and the president of the Senate, who is Al Gore, and the speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, have to go into the official historical record.

And that's basically what they're doing. They're putting their John Hancocks down to make this final step official.

PHILLIPS: As congressional correspondent, I want to ask you a personal question, Chris. It's all over now. What are some of your reflections, your feelings? What's sort of going through your mind right now?

BLACK: These are wonderful moments, Kyra, because they're incredibly historic. You really feel like you're seeing history unfold before your eyes. There's a lot of pomp and circumstance. Even the mahogany boxes that they have the Electoral College votes in are very historic. These particular boxes are only 20 years old, but they're modeled on a 19th century model.

And it's wonderful to see history up close and personal. But then to see these wonderful moments when members of the black caucus were objecting, their passion was very apparent, it's a great story. And it was actually great, great -- really interesting to watch it so closely.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, Chris Black.

And if you're just joining us, we have just wrapped up from the House of Representatives. Lawmakers met in a joint session with Vice President Al Gore presiding, to count the presidential votes one last time. They have all been counted, every state. It is complete.

And although Gore won the popular vote, it's the Electoral College votes that really matter. Congressional certification of the electoral votes showed Bush received 271 to Gore's 266. The certification is the final step, of course, before Bush takes the oath of office on January 20th.

GORE: ... number of electors appointed to vote for president of the United States is 538, of which a majority is 270. George W. Bush of the state of Texas has received for president of the United States 271 votes. Al Gore of the state of Tennessee has received 266 votes. The state of the vote for vice president of the United States, as delivered to the president of the Senate, is as follows. The whole number of the electors appointed to vote for vice president of the United States is 538, of which a majority is 270. Dick Cheney of the state of Wyoming has received for vice president of the United States 271 votes. Joe Lieberman of the state of Connecticut has received 266 votes.

This announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2001, and shall be entered, together with a list of the votes, on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

May God bless our new president and our new vice president, and may God bless the United States of America.

PHILLIPS: And as the U.S. Congress completes the final count of electoral votes, we leave you on that note, from Vice President Al Gore, and take a short break. We'll be right back.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top