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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Bush Campaign's AppealAired November 24, 2000 - 3:28 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: If you're just joining us, the United States Supreme Court has within the last couple of minutes agreed to hear the Bush campaign arguments, which will try to stop the hand recount of ballots in several Florida counties and which would argue that the hand recounts that are already completed should be disregarded in the final tally of votes in Florida.
Of course, those hand recounts continue in two counties right now. One of them is Broward County, where our Susan Candiotti has been keeping an eye on events and where she is now -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Stephen. I'm joined now by Senator Bob Dole, former Senator Bob Dole, who has agreed to join us.
Senator, first of all, we'd like to get your reaction to this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court indeed to hear allegations that this hand recount must stop in various counties, and they're going to hear it Friday, by the way.
BOB DOLE (R), FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I don't know any details. I just think it's good news. I mean, when the court's willing to hear, that's a step in the right direction.
I just left the process, you know, watching after two hours. I think it's a flawed process. I don't attack any of the people, even though most of the Gore votes are 2 to 1, two Democrats versus one Republican.
But it's kind of bizarre to sit there and somebody say, well, I see a little light, well, I don't see a little light. How do you know the intent of the voter and what about the 800 military ballots that haven't been counted when they signed the ballot? That seems fairly clear to me.
So there's sort of a double-standard here going on. But anybody can exercise their options, and I'm pleased about the Supreme Court.
CANDIOTTI: What -- what would be the best hope, in your view, for the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the recounts altogether, quite clearly? What chance do you think there is of that happening? What is it that the Bush campaign attorneys will have to prove, in your view, in order for that to happen? DOLE: Well, on my left is an outstanding lawyer, Mr. Madigan, and he may have a better view of that, but it seems to me that, you know, the best view would be to stop all of this and say that it shouldn't happen in the first place. Would that be right, Mike.
MICHAEL MADIGAN, BUSH CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: Yes, these counts are just so subjective that even the best people have to guess at what the voter meant and I think that's one of the major issues that the court is going to look at as to whether this a process that could possibly yield a fair and complete vote.
DOLE: The thing that occurred to me upstairs is that they're not counting votes, they're casting votes. I mean, they're deciding somebody based on something meant to vote for someone and they're actually casting the votes upstairs, manly on two-to-one votes for Gore, and while I was there they counted 114 ballots, Gore picked up a net of I think, nine or 10.
CANDIOTTI: Now Senator Dole, the chairman of the Broward County Canvassing Board agreed unanimously, along with the other two members, to adopt this broader standard that would include consideration of these so-called dimpled ballots and others because it was the advice of the attorney representing this board that to do anything less than...
DOLE: The new attorney representing the board. The previous attorney did not have that view and they now a new attorney representing the board who has a broader view. First, as I understand, based on the Illinois case and now we find out that wasn't the Illinois case. They didn't count any of these indented ballots but they're counting them upstairs and I don't think that they should be.
CANDIOTTI: The canvassing board chairman believes that they are -- that this is the best way to -- that this method would hold up legally in court to consider a ballot in its entirety. And that's what they insist that they're doing and they insist that they're doing it in a fair and equitable manner.
DOLE: I didn't come down here, as some Democrats have, to start jumping on everybody and accusing everybody. I just say the process is flawed and I was there an hour-and-a-half, an hour and 45 minutes. When they had votes, you could see Gore two-to-one. But you know, I'm not saying anybody's -- that their integrity isn't up to snuff. But I'm just suggesting, you know, politics does play a part in elections and there are two Democrats there and one Republican. And it seems to me that we ought to go after the process. It shouldn't be happening. We shouldn't be counting at all. That's what the Supreme Court ought to say. Stop.
CANDIOTTI: I'd like to know, Senator, there was a letter signed today and submitted to the Justice Department signed by six Democratic Congressman led by Florida Representative Peter Deutsch and they are calling for a Justice Department investigation into possible violation of federal law for trying to intimidate the recount process, specifically in Miami-Dade County, which was started and then stopped. DOLE: Of course, I wasn't in Miami-Dade County. Neither was Peter Deutsch there. But you know, there are people behind me. There are both people's sides represented out here. This is what America is all about. Nobody's being hurt. They're expressing themselves. They have a right to the express themselves. I watching all the television I could on Miami-Dade and I didn't see anyone being shoved around. So my view is let them write letters. Congressmen write letters by the hundreds and sometimes people even read them. You know, so...
CANDIOTTI: Thank you very much, senator, for your time. I appreciate it. This process continues in Broward County. The Broward County Canvassing Board plans on working until at least 8:00 tonight and resuming their work. And Senator Bob Dole clearly gratified that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review this matter.
Stephen, back to you.
FAZIER: Susan, thank you so much. Senator Dole, thank you for joining us here. Now we're going take one more short break here. But please don't go away. We've got more from our correspondents at the Supreme Court and experts in the Supreme Court's deliberations and we're also expecting comments soon from Gore campaign lead attorney David Boies. We think that'll be happening in the next 10 to 15 minutes so don't go far. We'll be back in just a moment.
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