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Saturday

The Florida Recount: Republican Protesters Surround Gore's Residence

Aired November 25, 2000 - 1:39 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: For more now on the counts, the court fight and reaction from the Bush and Gore campaigns we turn to CNN's Bill Hemmer, who is live in Tallahassee.

Hey, Bill.

BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Andria; hello again.

You now, last time we talked about all the moving parts here in the state of Florida; well nowhere are they watching these moving parts any closer than in Austin, Texas and in Washington, D.C.

First, live to Austin and Eileen O'Connor with the Bush campaign -- the latest from there now.

Hello Eileen.

EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Bill.

Well, there's a large group of protesters encircling the block for about the last 40 minutes. Basically they're saying "Gore has to go." And they've also been carrying some signs in reference to the Democratic allegations that the Republicans have been orchestrating those protests down in Florida and that those were rented protesters. They say that "I'm not rented." They've also said, Lieberman we're not thugs; protesting is American, contesting is whining. They're carrying all these signs around and around the block. Basically, in support of -- they have placards saying "President Bush."

Governor George W. Bush is currently still at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. He will be coming back here at some time this afternoon. He is going to be, then, in position to be here for tomorrow when those manual recounts are completed and the certification should take place in Florida, as you said, about 5:00 p.m.

Now, the Gore -- the Bush campaign is basically saying that they're not going to say what they will do if Al Gore picks up enough votes in order to overcome the lead already by George W. Bush in Florida. They are not saying anything. They say they have 10 days in which to contest the election. As you know, the Bush lawyers are busily preparing their briefs to go before the U.S. Supreme Court. They say they have a simple argument -- basically, they believe that the Florida state Supreme Court overstepped its bounds by mandating those manual recounts be included in that final tally -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, keep us posted; Eileen O'Connor in Austin.

Now to Washington, and Chris Black with the Gore campaign.

Hello Chris.

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello Bill.

Bill, we have a very noisy crowd of Republican protesters outside the naval observatory, the official residence of Vice President Al Gore. It's a young, very Republican, very conservative, very noisy crowd. They're taking advantage of a day off, this Saturday, to make their voices heard, chanting things like, "Get out of Cheney's house," and "No more Gore" -- Bill.

HEMMER: Chris, we were talking last hour with George Mitchell, the former senator, here in Tallahassee about the idea about Democratic unity, and is it starting to split in any way or is it still unified?

What are you hearing there in Washington on that issue?

BLACK: Well, as you know, Bill, I cover Capitol Hill, so I'm in pretty close touch with the Democrats on the hill. And from what I'm hearing from everyone, people are pretty much holding tough with the Vice President.

There's a very strong sense within the Gore campaign that the Supreme Court decision to hold a hearing on this case next Friday has actually bought them some time. There is sort of a more natural endpoint, if you will. They've got another week to show that Al Gore got more votes than George Bush in Florida, which is their main contention.

And they also feel extremely encouraged by the fact that the vice president is picking up so many votes in Broward County. One of the chief Gore observers in Broward told me this morning that, by the end of the count, which they expect will end sometime later today, they expect Al Gore will pick up more than 500 votes. And they say that proves their case: that if there's a fair count, Al Gore can show he got more votes than George Bush in Florida.

HEMMER: And Chris, hang with me here -- I hope you can still hear me. What is Al Gore doing today and do we know if he's watching this coverage of these protesters that really have parked themselves behind just about every camera we have across the country?

BLACK: Well, he does watch CNN pretty closely, I know that for a fact. He's been monitoring the activities pretty closely from here at the naval observatory.

But, actually, today the vice president is taking advantage of this holiday weekend -- his family is still around -- to go out. We're not sure where he's going exactly yet, but he is actually leaving the mansion momentarily through, I might say, a back door, and will bypass the demonstrators. But he can't miss them -- you can hear them all the way up in the mansion. They're very noisy -- they've got bullhorns and everything.

HEMMER: Well, rest your voice. Chris Black, there in Washington, thanks again.

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