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Bush and Gore Campaigns React to U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Aired December 4, 2000 - 1:54 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Governor Bush should be back at the Texas statehouse by now. Let's see if there is any reaction to the Supreme Court movement today.

Here is Jeanne Meserve with the Bush campaign in Austin, Texas -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, what are seeing at play here is the fundamental difference between the Bush and the Gore campaigns. In short order after the U.S. Supreme court decision, the Gore campaign had dispatched its lawyers to make the public case that this wasn't really bad news for them.

You had David Boies and Laurence Tribe both speaking publicly, making their case. The Bush campaign and the Bush lawyers, on the other hand, are speeding very cautiously. We did speak with one campaign aide who said: We are reviewing this. We don't want to make a premature opinion. We don't want to jump to any conclusions. Although, of course, we have heard the interpretations that this is positive news for us, there is no celebration, he said. There is contemplation.

And another Republican who is working closely with the legal team down in Florida said: We want to get substance right. We are still analyzing this. So almost two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court acted, still no reaction from the Bush campaign or from the governor, himself. As you mentioned, he came back today from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. He'd been down there since Tuesday: relaxing and also doing transition business.

While he was down there, we saw General Colin Powell go and visit him. Powell, of course, suggested as a possible selection to be secretary of state. Also, over the weekend, he met with Republican congressional leaders. Today he came back. We're told he was going to be doing state business, transition business. You can also bet that he is consulting heavily with his lawyers in Florida and in Washington to try and discern exactly what this U.S. Supreme Court ruling means, and where they go from here -- Lou, back you.

WATERS: All right, Jeanne Meserve.

Now we are going across the country. Here Natalie.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we have the Bush campaign proceeding very cautiously. Let's see how the Gore campaign is proceeding, following the news from the United States Supreme Court today.

Here is Eileen O'Connor in Washington -- Eileen.

EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are calling it a draw, basically, Natalie.

They say that this U.S. Supreme Court decision should have no effect on the legal proceeding in the Leon County Circuit Court with Judge Sanders Sauls -- although it has, as you know, delayed that decision. They are hopeful that that decision will go forward very quickly. And they said then, of course, that decision will be appealed to the Florida state Supreme Court -- the Gore campaign saying that, despite the fact that this is now -- that Judge Sanders Sauls' decision has been delayed, they don't think this is going to delay the recounting of the ballots too much.

And so at least that is what they are saying now. The vice president was supposed to have left here about an hour ago for his offices at the White House. He was going to have a transition meeting with his advisers, Roy Neel, the head of his transition team, obviously giving off the impression: We are going forward. We are planning for a Gore -- possible Gore administration.

They don't believe this is over -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Eileen O'Connor, we will probably talk with you again soon if we hear something from Judge Sauls, which everyone's waiting for to happen next in Tallahassee.

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