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Gore Camp Expected to Flatly Reject Bush Campaign's Offer to Accept a Final 5:00 Florida Ballot Count

Aired November 14, 2000 - 11:32 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Dade County, yet another county in Florida that has decided it wants to do a manual recount of presidential votes in that county. Of course, that will depends on the decision that we're waiting to hear out of Tallahassee from the state circuit court judge, deciding on whether or not the 5:00 p.m. deadline will be extended past today. Also the deal we heard from James Baker being offered by the Bush camp.

With more on that let's bring back in Jon Karl who might have more reaction from the Gore camp on that proposal from the former secretary of state.

Jonathan, go ahead.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Daryn, we expect, shortly, to be hearing from Bill Daley, the chairman of the Gore campaign. We are told that Daley will come to the cameras on Capitol Hill and he will flatly reject this offer that has been made by former secretary of state James Baker on behalf of the Bush campaign.

Baker was saying, hey, let's all accept this 5:00 deadline today. Whatever hand counts are in are in, the Bush campaign won't object to those hand counts; but that that would be the final tabulation, with the one exception being those overseas ballots that would be counted on Friday.

The Gore campaign -- Daley expected to say this is a non-offer. It's, essentially, exactly what the Florida secretary of state has said, and that is a matter that is in court and that the Gore campaign is challenging, saying that the Florida secretary of state has no right to impose this deadline, cutting -- effectively cutting off those hand counts in those counties.

There is another point that Bill Daley is expected to make when he comes to the cameras shortly, and that is this whole notion of hand counts somehow being faulty. This is a point the Bush campaign has made; and also this notion that, somehow, that the Gore campaign has picked, selectively, democratically-dominant counties to make the hand counts. Well, Daley is expected to say that there were a number of counties in Florida that were Republican-dominated counties that have, through this recount process, gone through with hand recounts. So he's saying, this is not a matter that was selectively done and, in fact, there are several counties in Florida -- seven is what the Gore campaign is saying; seven counties where there were hand counts done, hand recounts done. And those were predominantly Republican counties where, in fact, Bush picked up votes.

KAGAN: And Jonathan, just for people who might be joining us right now, to, once again, look at the offer that the Bush camp came out -- just a few minutes ago, after the top of the hour we heard James Baker make the offer that, if both sides would agree to go with the count as of 5:00 p.m. today, including any hand recounts up to this point, also including any overseas absentee ballots that might be coming in up until Friday, and then everybody drop all their lawsuits at once was the offer put out there by the Bush campaign.

Given what you know in the Gore campaign and, as you say, Bill Daley is going to come out in a just a few minutes and flatly reject that. You're not really surprised by that reaction from the Gore camp, it sounds like.

KARL: No, not at all; because, you have to remember, what's happened is the Florida secretary of state has already said that she want this deadline, that is codified in law -- a deadline of today at 5:00. And the Florida secretary of state, under her deadline, would still have allowed the -- whatever hand recounting has already been done, at least that's what the Gore campaign lawyers are saying.

So they see James Baker's offer as precisely what has already been said by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and that is the matter that is, right now, in court. In fact, we're waiting -- sometime in the next half an hour -- the other thing we're waiting for is to hear what the judge there in the Leon County courthouse will say about that. So the Gore campaign really sees this as a non-offer. So it's not a surprise that we'll see it, in a few minutes, flatly rejected by Bill Daley.

KAGAN: OK; when Bill Daley comes to the microphones in Washington, D.C. we'll show you that live here on CNN. And you mentioned that decision we're waiting to come out of Leon Harris -- out of, sorry, Leon County in Tallahassee. That is expected at the top of the hour. Judge Lewis expected to rule on whether Florida must stick with the 5:00 deadline today.

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