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Election 2000: Palm Beach County Canvassing Board Suspends Hand Recount; Bush, Gore Campaigns Eye Leon County CourthouseAired November 14, 2000 - 10:38 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: As we reported earlier, there are major developments coming out of Florida today. For one, the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board voted 2-1 to suspend its hand recount of ballots cast in the presidential race.
CNN's Tony Clark joins us from Austin, Texas with reaction from Governor Bush's campaign.
A lot of confusion back and forth going on Tony?
TONY CLARK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, there are so many twists and turns in this that the campaign officials are simply having to -- well, they say, sit and watch. I think it's more like perhaps hold on because the things change so fast.
Dan Bartlett, who is a spokesman for the Bush campaign, told me earlier today, that campaign does appreciate what Palm Beach officials did, in suspending the manual count until they get some sort of definitive position, because they've heard one thing from the attorney general and another from the secretary of state.
The Bush campaign continues to argue that manual counts are, in the words of Dan Bartlett, "fundamentally flawed." That they should go with the machine counts. There have been two machine counts. One, the initial count, and the other the recount. And they say that those are the ones that should be certified.
And he said that the important thing, now, is to follow, what he says, the Florida law, which sets the certification by 5:00 today. He also points out that it's important in the Bush's campaign feeling to follow what they believe is the law, that you would only do a manual count in the case of where machines have had some sort of error, some sort of failure, and he said that there is no indication at this point that there is that sort of thing.
So all eyes at this point waiting for the decision from the courts about whether or not that 5:00 time frame stands today. If not, the expectation is, an appeal of that.
But as I say, Kyra, the word here is simply sit and watch and wait, like everyone else -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Tony, with the latest from Austin, Texas, thank you. We will check in again with you later on -- Daryn.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: But first we want to check in on the Gore campaign. CNN's Jonathan Karl is handling that for us once again.
Jonathan, good morning.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Daryn.
At the Gore campaign, all eyes on the Leon County courthouse. Waiting for that decision on the motion to prevent the Florida secretary of state from calling it official, calling the election official at 5:00 today. That decision, as we have been saying, expected sometime around noon.
But what the Gore campaign is doing is already looking ahead to the next step. They anticipate that regardless of what that judge decides this will be appealed to Florida supreme court. And they have called in David Boies to handle their case. David Boies is one of the most prominent trial attorneys in the United States. He is the man who headed up the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. He also handled the case for Napster. And last year declared lawyer of the year, very prominent guy, very prominent trial attorney. He will be handling oral arguments in the appeal that is almost certain to happen once the decision comes down in Leon County courthouse.
Meanwhile, from the vice president himself, no word. The vice president's last public comments came yesterday late at the White House, where he said that he is looking forward to a speedy conclusion to this. But more important than getting this done quickly is getting it done right.
Also, one other development here, here in Washington, Bill Daley, the chairman of the Bush -- of the Gore campaign, is in Washington today. He's up on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional leaders in both the House and Senate meeting the with the Democratic leadership. He is meeting with them basically just to keep them apprised of the latest developments in this very fast developing story -- Daryn.
KAGAN: What about word, what about word of this potential deal that has been discussed maybe between the Gore and Bush camps. The Gore people would be willing to drop their lawsuits in Florida, if, what have you heard on that?
KARL: Well, there was a report today by Ron Brownstein, in the "Los Angeles Times," talking about one potential scenario, which is where the Gore campaign would agree to drop its lawsuits in places like Palm Beach County, if they could have a deal where there would be hand recounts in all 67 counties in Florida.
It must be said that is something that has been talked about by lawyers on the Gore team, but it is not something that they are moving towards right now. Right now that is several steps down the road. All eyes again waiting on that decision in Leon County, and there has been no communications, by the way, between the two campaigns that we know of on such a deal. That is definitely something that is several steps down the road. But not something that is ruled out by the Gore campaign.
KAGAN: But no takers so far. Jonathan Karl, in Washington, thank you very much.
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