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The Florida Recount: Both Parties go to Court Over Florida; Iowa Considers RecountAired November 15, 2000 - 2:40 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Vice President Gore is waiting things out with his family in Washington.
Let's check in with CNN's Patty Davis. She is there -- Patty.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the federal appeals court that just a little while ago said it was going to accept the case to hear -- decide whether or not those, the Bush bid on ending that manual recounts in the state of Florida, the Democrats say that they had expected that all along the federal appeals court would take that up.
Democratic sources telling me just moments ago that "they expect that this will get denied fast" -- that's a quote. The Republicans have a weak constitutional ground here. And they say they're going to fight this just the way they did in the lower court, the lower federal court, which is on state's rights. What the Democrats are saying here is that the hand counts are provided for under Florida law. So, we expect the Democrats to head into court to defend themselves on that. And they say that they will prevail on that.
The Democrats also -- the Gore campaign, headed into Florida Supreme Court today asking for two things: No. 1, do counties have the right to go forward with those hand recounts? What's the deadline on that? And No. 2, what should the standard be for those ballots that are being looked at? Should it be a hanging chad? a pregnant chad? Whatever, let the Florida Supreme Court decide that once and for all. The Gore campaign says that it wants to speed the process up in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN CHRISTOPHER, OBSERVER FOR GORE CAMPAIGN: We hope that Secretary Harris and the Bush campaign will join with us and support this proposal to have the Supreme Court of Florida take charge of these questions and bring them to a speedy, rapid resolution. We think it offers the best hope for moving the count here in Florida to a fair and speedy outcome for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: Now, the Gore campaign is calling Secretary of State Katherine Harris the Jeb Bush appointee there in that state. They're calling her partisan and they're referring to her as the co-chair of George W. Bush's presidential campaign there in that state. A top Democrat on Capitol Hill told CNN this, today, about Harris:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D), MINORITY LEADER: Of course she has a very tough job to do. But I wonder if it may not be time to recuse herself. Obviously there is a perception problem here. I certainly wouldn't allege any wrongdoing. But I think there is I very serious problem of perception. And that is something that she ought to consider doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: As for Vice President Al Gore, he is sitting all of this out here in Washington, D.C., at his home. Of course, he's in touch with his top aides there in Florida, but he is letting them do all of the public relations on this. They are out front on this issue and not him right now -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Patty Davis in Washington. Now over to Lou.
WATERS: And hang on; Republicans may ask for a recount in Iowa today. Al Gore's lead in that state has dropped to 4,000 votes.
CNN's Jeff Flock is looking into that matter for us from Des Moines.
Jeff, what's going on?
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines here, Lou, they have been crunching numbers ever since the canvasses ended yesterday. We are live here now with a man who said that he would make a decision last night, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, Kayne Robinson.
Have you made up your mind about recount?
KAYNE ROBINSON, IOWA GOP STATE CHAIRMAN: Actually, we haven't. We're still counting precincts. There are 2,200 precincts in the state. We have to analyze what went on in all those precincts and then compare it to previous elections, so it is a long, laborious process.
FLOCK: Have you found anomalies yet that would lead you in that direction. It sounded to me like, in our discussion earlier, you're laying the groundwork for the recount here.
ROBINSON: No, what we are doing is trying to find out if there are anomalies that would add up to changing it from the way it is right now; and so that takes a lot of analysis. We even compare it to previous elections. There are, however -- been a lot, a lot of changes. Thousands and thousands of votes have changed since the first announcements.
FLOCK: You made up about 1,000 votes in the canvass, correct? ROBINSON: That's right. But if you look at all of them, the change for Bush and the change for Gore, both up and down since the beginning, is many, many thousands of votes.
FLOCK: The clock is ticking on this. You have in some counties tomorrow as your deadline and in other counties the next day. How rapidly can you make this decision?
ROBINSON: Probably sometime tonight or early tomorrow we would have to make it in order to make the proper notification. But what we do, of course, is advise Governor Bush. We do that through the Bush chairman here, Joe Gunderson, and then Governor Bush's people will make their decision.
FLOCK: Are they leaning in any direction as we speak?
ROBINSON: No, we're just providing information.
FLOCK: Is there any way in your mind, 4,000 votes, you can make up 4,000 votes without serious anomalies, which you say you haven't found yet.
ROBINSON: Well, the swings from the beginning have been far more than 4,000. If you add up all of the swings and changes, they have been far in excess of 4,000. So, it is possible although we are going to determine that in the next few hours.
FLOCK: Kayne Robinson, we will remain on your doorstep until then. Thanks very much, appreciate you joining us.
The decision has not yet been made in Iowa but my read on it is they are clearly laying the groundwork for it, if it comes to that.
I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting live from Iowa Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines.
ALLEN: Thank you, Jeff.
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