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Breaking News

Bush Campaign Chairman Delivers Statement on Iowa, Florida Recounts

Aired November 16, 2000 - 2:03 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: We are going to jump out of Tallahassee, and scoot across to Austin, Texas, where chairman of the Bush campaign Don Evans is making a statement.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DON EVANS, BUSH CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: ... this selective manual recount is not accurate, nor can it be accurate. The more these punch cards are handled, the more errors we see. Last night in Broward County, as these ballots were passed from hand to hand, 78 pieces of chad were dislodged from the very ballots that were being counted. How can a manual recount be accurate when the ballots themselves are changing before our very eyes?

Third, the process must have a point of conclusion. It is not up to our campaign or the Gore campaign to determine when this point shall be. It is written in the laws of our land. It is written in the laws of each state. We believe these deadlines must be respected.

The deadline to conclude the election in Iowa is at 5:00 tomorrow evening -- this evening. With 1.3 million votes cast, Governor Bush trails by a very narrow three-tenths of 1 percent. Many of our supporters who worked hard for a Bush victory have urged us to contest this result.

Those recommendations are heartfelt and appreciated, but to do his part to ensure the fairness, accuracy and finality of this election, Governor Bush has decided our campaign will not seek a recount of the close vote in Iowa.

Both sides waged vigorous campaigns in Iowa, the results are exceptionally close, but Governor Bush believes the time has arrived for our nation to begin the process of moving forward.

A concluding deadline arrives tomorrow night at midnight in Florida, as the final votes come in from the overseas ballots. Once these votes are counted, we will know the final result of Florida's election and the nation's election. Win or lose, this election will be over.

For the sake of our country and so that we can begin to unite our nation, tomorrow's deadline must be honored.

Thank you very much. God bless all of you.

WATERS: Don Evans, chairman of the Bush campaign, making a statement and not taking questions as you see. The only news out of this is that George Bush has decided, according to his campaign chairman, not to contest the vote in Iowa and call for a recount there were the margin was rather slim, about 4,000 votes was what we heard at last report.

In addition to the decision on Iowa, George W. Bush saying the election there is close in Iowa, but we must move forward.

In addition to that, Mr. Evans arguing again that the manual recount being called for in Florida are unacceptable to the Bush campaign. The ballots are not designed to be handled by hand. he says.

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