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Patty Davis on Al Gore's activities

Patty Davis
Patty Davis  

CNN Correspondent Patty Davis is reporting in Washington, where she is covering Vice President Al Gore's activities.

Q: How closely has the vice president been monitoring the legal actions today?

DAVIS: Vice President Al Gore does not have a public schedule today, but he is certainly monitoring each and every event as they occur down in the state of Florida. He keeps in constant contact with his aides. They report back to him. He is at his home in Washington, but there is no question about it that he is very, very closely involved in every single decision -- legal and public relations -- that this campaign is making.

The campaign in general still remains positive, even after a setback Wednesday night when Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Republican, decided that she was going to go ahead and certify the Florida election without the hand recounts, which is what the Gore campaign wants.

The Gore campaign is convinced Al Gore won this election. They say he won the popular vote and their belief is that if they can just ... get these hand recounts done in these Florida counties, they are convinced Gore will win this election. That's why they are pressing forward.

Q: What do they believe is their strongest argument for the necessity of these hand recounts going forward?

DAVIS: They believe Florida law says clearly that hand recounts are allowed. ... Chris Lehane, a spokesman for Gore, said, 'Harris has been acting less as a secretary of state and more as a Bush co-chair ... and people will be questioning that.' He also said that her decision as an election official not to count valid ballots is a decision comparable to a treasury secretary not accepting revenue.

Q: If Florida were to certify the election results Saturday and Gore still trailed, would the Gore camp be willing to concede defeat at that point, or how long are they prepared to carry this out?

DAVIS: The Gore campaign says that Vice President Al Gore offered a way to end all of this legal wrangling last night when he came out with a proposal to include hand recounts in all Florida counties and that he would abide by whatever the outcome is and drop all lawsuits. They say they were surprised that Texas Gov. George W. Bush decided to reject that.

But they say they are prepared to pursue this in court as long as they have to.

Q: Has the Gore camp moved ahead with transition plans in case the vice president wins?

DAVIS: The Gore campaign for months has been looking at the transition. However, they are not doing so publicly. They criticized the Bush campaign for going ahead and publicly talking about the transition, when nobody knows what the outcome of this election will be.


Thursday, November 16, 2000



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