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Bush Busy Mapping Out Future Agenda

Aired December 3, 2000 - 0:05 a.m. ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No chad here. Just Dennis and George and Trent and Dick. The Bush transition in exile let the cameras roll again Saturday, recording the opening of a session at the Bush ranch about next year's legislative agenda.

DENNIS HASTERT, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: It's time to start to plan to get those things done. You just don't do them at a turn of a nickel or just in a second's knee jerk. It takes some time. It takes some planning.

CROWLEY: Casual Saturday dress - but beyond that, George Bush and Dick Cheney sitting around a table with Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Speaker Dennis Hastert looks a lot like a Republican leadership meeting in the Oval Office, which is part of the point.

The other part is the need to begin to put people and priorities in place.

GEORGE W. BUSH, REPUBLICAN PRES. CANDIDATE: I do want to continue to talk about tax relief, particularly given the fact that there's some warning signs on the horizon about our economy. And I believe the agenda that we'll be bringing to the Congress is one that will help the economic growth of the country.

CROWLEY: Members of Congress didn't get much face time in the Bush campaign. It was counter to the Texas governor's strategy of running as an outsider against the status quo.

But even if the election isn't over, the campaign sort of is.

BUSH: Well, I'm soon to be the insider. I'm soon to be the president.

CROWLEY: But the ferocity of the courtroom battle in Tallahassee is the undertow that pulls at the certainty exuded by the Bush camp. Sometimes you feel it, as when George Bush described a Friday phone call to Louisiana Democrat Senator John Breaux.

BUSH: I knew it might put him in an awkward position that we had a discussion before the -- before finality has, you know, finally happened in this presidential race.

CROWLEY: Bush described the conversation as a comfortable discussion about the general state of things.

(on camera): Without cable television at his ranch in Crawford, Bush could not watch the proceedings in Leon County. But to no one's surprise, his team pronounced it a good day and said it seemed to them that Gore lawyers had spent too much time in front of television cameras and not enough time preparing for court.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Austin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

END

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