Jonathan Karl: Gore campaign 'bleak' after Supreme Court
CNN Correspondent Jonathan Karl is in Washington covering the presidential campaign of Vice President Al Gore.
Is this the end of the line for Gore?
Certainly several top Democrats believe it's the end of
the line for the vice president. Several in the vice
president's inner circle believe it's the end of line.
But his legal team is looking over this decision, trying to
see if there's any daylight at all, if the door's open even a
crack. In the words of one his very top lawyers, the
situation is "bleak."
(Gore attorney Laurence) Tribe said the gracious thing to do
is for Gore to concede; he has since retracted that.
(Democratic National Committee Chairman) Ed Rendell himself
has come out and publicly said Gore should concede. That
prompted a rapid response from the Democratic Party saying
Rendell speaks only for himself.
What is the Gore camp going through right now?
KARL: The Gore camp has been through near death experiences several
times during this recount period, but there's a clear sense
within the campaign that this is over, this is the last
chance they had and that the Supreme Court has slammed the
door shut on their chances to get the recount they want in
But his legal team is studying the opinion, looking for any
possibility ... They are not prepared to give in, to give up
How did the Gore camp react to Laurence Tribe's early comments?
KARL: When Laurence Tribe made his comments, it prompted a very
quick and negative response from the other top lawyers on the
Gore team. They got on the phone with Tribe ... and suddenly
Tribe was back out "clarifying" what he had said.
You saw some pretty rapid backtracking from Laurence Tribe,
but once a statement like that is made it's pretty hard to
take it back.
How did the Gore camp react to Ed Rendell's comments?
KARL: The response to the Ed Rendell comments was left to the DNC
and to his co-chairman, Joe Andrew, who came out immediately
after Rendell's comments and said Ed Rendell speaks only for
Mark Fabiani, a spokesman for the vice president, when asked
about Rendell and other Democrats who have come out saying
similar things, said "In every party there are people more
interested in getting on TV than in being fair and
Those are pretty tough words. One person that Fabiani was
directing his comments at pretty specifically was Sen. Robert
Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey, who on CNN said that the
last votes have been counted in Florida and implied that the
vice president would need to call it quits by Wednesday.
What about Jesse Jackson's comments on the court's decision?
KARL: Rev. Jesse Jackson has come out and harshly attacked this
decision and the Supreme Court itself. He said this decision
will go down in infamy with the Dred Scott decision because
both disenfranchised black voters. He's called the court an
extreme right wing court and said that Bush will have no
The Gore campaign is not commenting on Jackson's statements.
The vice president has said for some time now that whatever
the Supreme Court decides should be respected and he has
directed his own staff not to criticize the court. But Gore's
top aides are eagerly pointing reporters to people like Rev.
Jackson who are criticizing the legitimacy of this decision
and of the court itself.
In short, no official reaction from the Gore campaign but
many of them eagerly agree with what Jackson has said.
What do you think will happen next?
KARL: It's really speculation at this point. The expectation among
Democratic allies of the vice president and among those of
his aides who are willing to speculate is that the vice
president will concede tomorrow (Wednesday).
But all along the vice president has kept his own counsel. He
has not yet talked to anybody about conceding and truly will,
as his lawyers tell me, look over this decision very
carefully in an effort to see if there is any chance to
pursue this case further with the Florida Supreme Court. They
believe that the door may be closed, but then again they are
working to see if there's a crack that he can get through.
But tomorrow all eyes will be on the vice president, waiting
for him to make a statement about his intentions, and you can
be sure he will make a statement about his intentions, but
you can't say with certainty what those intentions are.