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Election 2000: Gore Calls Off Further Recount of Florida Ballots, Expected to Make Statement Tonight; Bush Camp Quiet

Aired December 13, 2000 - 10:23 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: Welcome back to CNN MORNING NEWS. Once again, we received word, just a few minutes ago, that Vice President Al Gore is making a decision to call off any effort for any further recount in the state of Florida, which would, conceivably, mean it is over. We expect to hear from the vice president later tonight.

Let's go to Austin, Texas, Jeanne Meserve, covering the Bush camp.

Jeanne, I would imagine it's a little too early for reaction from the Bush camp.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. I have placed some telephone calls, gotten no reaction yet. They have been in a relatively silent mode since the Supreme Court decision last night, the only public reaction thus far from Secretary of State James Baker who said Bush and his running mate, Cheney, were very pleased and gratified by that decision.

But they want to give Al Gore an opportunity to make his decisions and, probably, to make his statements also. Governor Bush this morning got a national security briefing, and then we know he made a battery of telephone calls we're told...

KAGAN: Jeanne, let me interrupt you just a moment. I'm just going to interrupt you just a moment because we're showing some videotape right now -- this was taken just a few minutes ago. This is the Texas governor, George W. Bush, arriving at the state capitol we saw live, as he left the governor's mansion. And since we know this is videotape, we know as the governor walks up, and walks up the steps of the capitol, that he's going to have a few words to say. So we're just going to go ahead and follow this tape along and listen in.

And let's listen to what the governor had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Is it over as far as you're concerned? BUSH: See what happens, thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Will we hear from you later?

BUSH: I hope so, yes. We'll see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: Just a couple words there, we'll see what happens -- as the tape goes to black, there.

Now, if we do the timing, that probably was taken -- that video tape -- before the word came out that Al Gore was going to call off any recount effort from the state of Florida.

So, Jeanne, if you can go ahead and pipe in here. I would make sense that the governor wouldn't any reaction because he probably had not at that point -- a few minutes ago -- heard the news.

MESERVE: That's right, it was just minutes before we heard the news from the Gore camp that Gore was going to be making a speech tonight -- so no reaction.

I don't know how intelligible that was to you listening to it. Through my ear piece, I could hardly make it out, although Tony Clark, our reporter who was on the scene there, did tell me what was said. If you want me to repeat it, I will.

KAGAN: OK, go ahead.

MESERVE: He said good morning. He was asked if he's cleaning out desk, to which the governor responded with a laugh. And then he was asked if he would have some remarks later, and he said: I hope so we'll see. And he said he -- he felt good. I'm also told buy our camera crew at the governor's mansion that when he left there this morning, he gave the old thumb's up sign.

I started, before the videotape rolled, to tell you about what we know the governor did this morning. We've been told that he made a battery of telephone calls this morning, to just about everyone he knows, as one aide put it. He spoke to James Baker, who, of course, has been in man down in Florida calling the legal moves and that has been the public voice of the campaign at many of the critical moments, including last night.

He also spoke to his running mate, Dick Cheney, who, as Frank Sesno mentioned, is headed up to Capitol Hill a little later today.

He spoke to Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, two key players in his campaign.

He also spoke to Andrew Card. He's his designee to be White House chief of staff if there is a Bush presidency. But as yet, no formal reaction from the governor or from the campaign to this latest development, that Al Gore will be giving speech to the nation tonight.

Back to you, Daryn.

KAGAN: Jeanne Meserve, in Austin, Texas, thank you very much. I'm sure that we will be checking back with you and that reaction will be coming out of Austin.

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