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Joseph Lieberman Calls for End to ProtestsAired November 24, 2000 - 2:51 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to keep an eye on that case as it's being made, but before we hear the conclusion of their case, we're going to step away to the Naval Observatory, residence of Vice President Gore, for some remarks we expect in a few moments from vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, who is expected to speak.
We haven't been given any kind of indication of what his remarks will entail or what they will address. As we know, there's an awful lot going on, on several fronts during the -- this part of the campaign. There are recounts under way. There are judicial challenges to those recounts. There are cases, briefs before the United States Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court. And this hearing, which you are -- which we've just stepped away from in the upper right of your screen there on overseas military ballots.
But here now Joseph -- Senator Joseph Lieberman.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good afternoon. How are you?
Since the counting of the Florida vote began, Vice President Gore and I have had a simple and fundamental goal: to ensure a full, fair and accurate count of the votes in this election, one that honors our constitution and reflects the will of the American people.
The votes have all been cast. Many of them have not yet been counted. But the time for electioneering is long past and this is a time to lower the rhetoric and lift our national dialogue.
In order to come together as one nation behind our next president, whoever that may be, we have to move through these difficult days with reason, deliberation and abiding respect for the workings of our democracy.
That is why I am deeply disappointed by reports of orchestrated demonstrations on Wednesday inside a state building, a government building, in Miami-Dade County, not just to express a point of view, but to disrupt and halt the counting of ballots.
These demonstrations were clearly designed to intimidate and to prevent a simple count of votes from going forward.
Shortly afterwards, one of the commissioners said -- and I quote -- "We would be up there now counting," end quote, if it weren't for those objections. He then joined his colleagues in deciding to give up the effort to count the ballots altogether.
This is a time to honor the rule of law, not surrender to the rule of the mob.
This is a time for patience and respect, not intimidation and violence. According to one network news report last evening, the demonstrators in Dade County were guided by -- and I quote -- "a Republican public relations officer," end quote.
These demonstrations are a disservice to our democracy. And there are now reports that these very same methods may be taken to Broward County for similar demonstrations and similar disruption.
Vice President Gore and I call on the demonstrators, and all who may be organizing or encouraging them, to stop these activities immediately. And I hope that Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney will join us in this call.
We need a fair count of the ballots in question, and that must include freedom from intimidation. That is what the American people deserve and that is what our democracy is all about.
Thank you very much. Good afternoon.
FRAZIER: Senator Joseph Lieberman there issuing a call for calm and an end to the demonstrations, which he calls "orchestrated," on the part of protesters from the Republican Party, protests, he says, were orchestrated not simply to voice a point of view, but to disrupt a count under way, the count of votes, of course, in Miami-Dade County.
Now, the vice president's comments came at the time -- at the same time as that count proceeds in Broward County and in Palm Beach County, and at the same time that the bush campaign's attorneys are making a case for the additional counting of overseas ballots filed by the military, which have already been rejected on various technicalities.
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