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I think the notified about the cost of selections from court costs election Ralph Nader on.
I do not reinvent myself and every turn.
I am not running and borrowed clothes.
This has grown ups and it was bush who.
Awarded by the courts the presidency United States.
And I stand here tonight as my own man and I want you to know me I.
The fact that he didn't win the popular vote was a key political component of his ability.
It's a stretch this out for 36 days everybody was hungry and we -- -- tired and pissed off.
We wanted to -- the home.
Court's landmark decision in 2000 help determine the 43 president of the United States.
Hello I'm Bret -- and welcome to Fox News reporting 36 days but decided the presidency.
The 2000 campaign between George W.
Bush and Al Gore.
Was a very tight race as a result election night coverage was filled with mistakes and -- projections by all of the television news networks.
That led to endless legal battles in the courts of Florida and finally the US Supreme Court.
Join -- as we look back at those disposable 36 days as the fight for the White House continued between then vice president Al Gore.
And Texas governor George W.
-- Too much bitterness in Washington it's time to have a fresh start.
One of the reasons I was success shows ago texas' -- I didn't try to be all things don't.
People the only way we could convince voters to vote for Al Gore was not to ask them for third Clinton term.
We're entering a new time.
We're electing a new president.
And I stand here tonight as my own man and I want you to know me.
-- Well about a week and a half before the election.
Karl Rove suggested that George Bush could actually win by as many as nine points across the country.
-- -- Bret yes the bush campaign has asked me to wait twenty minutes on the story so they can get their ducks in Iran no we just.
-- just over four days left before the polls close on presidential election 2000.
Revelations about governor George W.
Bush there's a report out tonight -- four years ago.
I was I -- -- in Kennebunkport Maine for do you -- That's an accurate story.
Karl Rove still blames me -- -- -- for breaking that DW -- story -- -- -- -- believes that George W Bush's election campaign was derailed with suburban women voters as a consequence of that either legalize.
The bush people tried to -- third -- campaign of planet and I don't think anybody believes that the Friday before the election we had -- last tracking poll of Florida.
The last tracking poll of the campaigns have with three points ahead.
But I remember very early in the morning getting a phone call from very accomplished this -- -- it home.
Who said I think I just voted for.
Pat Buchanan and what can I do about it gore attorney and Florida election law expert Mitchell Berger -- -- trying to contact the Democrat who designed the ballot.
Truth -- sold for -- the election supervisor and Palm Beach who.
Wouldn't answer the phones which we literally had to knock down doors when we don't know what's going on with the butterfly.
Behind the scenes more trouble was already brewing at the television news networks.
Katherine Harris sent to each of the television networks a letter.
Saying once the polls are closed in the central time zone then you can call the election but we wouldn't want you to unduly influence the outcome of voters who are still waiting to vote.
The consortium tabulating the exit polling data for the networks and -- Voter news service Joseph Gordon -- Head of bush.
I believe there was a flash from the Associated Press which.
Said that based on their projections.
Or was going to win Florida John -- was in charge of the Fox News decision desk at nine.
Florida is one of those rare states that has to close in times in this case it was 7 and 8 o'clock.
Local time in this case the call was made eleven minutes before the close of those western intelligence when the call came out.
From another network within about thirty seconds my cell phone rang.
From a very very prominent bush campaign official who said that's.
-- -- And they didn't activated an abbreviated the Fox News decision desk team was also trying to make accurate projections.
Based on faulty voter news service stated I believe that what happened is that it's model.
On which it based its projection was out of date and that the exit -- models if not -- those changes efficiently it's not just arithmetic.
There's a lot of weird voodoo and instinct that goes into this and there's an impetus to jump the gun at any rate it did create.
A situation where.
All the networks including fox.
Rush the end and made this call before 8 PM potentially affected voter turnout and -- We've just been able to make the call on the state of Florida and -- -- projects that Al Gore will carry the state of Florida you see.
So -- percentages -- disregard those we project a win for Al Gore.
And not long afterwards.
We hear David that rove was gone crazy in -- demanding that the call Florida -- Provoked people to give up and walk into our -- banks in California.
And get reports an orange candy people walking in the -- -- lines because they're hearing that the election is over.
Even former democratic strategist Bob Beckel believes the early call robbed bush of votes in Florida central time zone and our -- and with the projections -- probably eight to 101000 coach after the initial call for poor.
Of new exit poll data begin to come -- from against Bush's traditional areas of strength.
The panhandle counties television's changing from being the observer.
To be in an actual participants.
So I went on -- it'd -- and engaged in dialogue was shock which his response was we have a policy here at C it is you know calling.
People voted and 75% of the precincts this it may be better make it a 100%.
Florida is now too close to call and -- are and some -- embarrassed to tell you that our call and it turned out to be how -- after we.
Put Florida back in.
-- We realized.
That the data that we were getting from -- Was not going to support.
A conclusion there were a number of different.
Voting methods used to Florida.
Paper ballots computers machines and then the infamous push pins and so that required a different.
The rate of return on the balance of.
The latest all told tally.
That is a lead of just under 30000 about 29000 what 400 votes something like that.
In that state was this crucial point five electoral votes than.
It was just minutes before we made the call course.
That we had concluded there were not enough outstanding votes to overcome to -- Bush's lead.
Michael yeah I got an eruption -- now projection George W.
Bush the winner in Florida and doesn't -- -- the winner of the presidency of the United States and said you know bush is one of course of let's go.
Let's get this done so he gets to the war memorial in Nashville.
-- got out.
Parties and I'm all right on stage one of Al Gore's staffers literally grabbed him by the arm from behind as he was putting his first step on the stairs of the -- So mr.
vice president you can't do this history was made in preemptive -- preempted and we didn't even know it's split second -- His entire life has behaved at this office.
And now it appears to have slipped away and I kept -- the board campaign George Bush had in fact won the election.
But there were some questions -- called back.
And I asked for someone.
And they set -- just met.
-- obviously pandemonium.
Had gore headquarters I said hey it's and norm look at you know -- somebody picks up the phone says OK look here's the deal we're sending our -- down to Florida -- challenging the vote in the.
For this was now.
Unfolding flew us second to separate line and the -- just for -- educated and almost an -- and vice president Al Gore has called governor bush.
And retract -- -- conception.
Tyrod -- -- had finished -- conceded -- bush gore told me you have to be snippy about.
But since it was set my brother -- or a a course that something well I don't think your brother gets to decide.
Just an -- so.
It's -- this race for governor bush.
-- -- -- -- Dinner hall was premature.
The big razor thin bush lead of just 6000 votes and dropping it was less than one half of 1%.
Florida law required an automatic statewide recount.
Dawn breaks in the the city is not slept.
Reporters are passed out of park benches under -- is I took like three shirts I mean how long can -- last.
Three -- of the whole world descending on the West Palm Beach kind of things.
By the next day the Porta potty company showed up there was a river of -- and going through that parking lot of an inch deep nobody was prepared.
Once the recount was under way Jeb Bush the governor of Florida at the time recused himself from the process.
Up next uproar over the infamous butterfly -- There's that any sense.
Thank you might want or the rest of it is out.
No I didn't know what I -- was.
But I didn't.
The hand recount of votes in Florida is the unforgettable.
Image from the 2000 presidential election Florida's election procedures.
Voter intent and equal protection for voters.
Became the key issues and a contentious and memorable lines in some -- they actually weren't counted up to balance again Bill -- points out each county had its own rules for the first recounts in other counties.
They double checked the tally sheets.
You know their books and if everything -- up they said well that's army most of the land mass implored Republican.
And -- so unless the court was going to order them do -- the war on.
The first of 48 lawsuits was filed the day after Election Day -- -- -- -- Exhibit day the butterfly ballots the ballot had a new design with larger print to help the elderly of Palm Beach County.
But it violated Florida law by not listing the candidates in a single called.
With the butterfly ballot with what appeared to be the second hole from the right side was really -- hole.
That -- for Pat Buchanan as opposed to vice president who.
Analysts say the butterfly ballot cost gore approximately 2800 vote.
It is -- that was published.
And hey guess what they're helping -- After the election to former secretaries of state were called again.
James Baker went to Tallahassee to be the field general for -- Warren Christopher was there for -- murder -- -- I think on the edge of a constitutional crisis.
-- following rules laid down by the laws of Florida.
As secretary stated I am chief elections officer and -- -- lights and this is his first election Britain's.
Ever god through obviously all that relies on to the person -- -- -- Who's half her as -- -- today the official certified results Katherine Harris had been elected to have her position as Florida's secretary of state.
Harris ran the election imposed deadlines and certified the vote but she was also the volunteer co chair of the bush campaign in Florida.
The difference at 1000.
And she crossed that.
David Boies was Gore's lead attorney in the courtroom she moved from being somebody who was sympathetic -- one side and maybe would -- decisions.
Where she was the -- in law.
And actively trying to prevent votes from me how she was obviously under.
Media scrutiny as a Republican in this situation John Bolton the head attorney for bush in Palm Beach County while there might have been some.
Advantage ultimately it wasn't going to make any difference in the final themselves with Katherine Harris was at the center of the storm.
Her demeanor expressions and even -- -- became a target for the late night comics and Saturday Night Live and I think she would -- portrayed -- -- As far as controlling the machinery of politics as far the majority of people on the canvassing boards were democratic.
And as voters in Florida took to the streets Al Gore and his family -- touch football at the vice president's mansion in Washington I got back.
-- in Texas George W.
Bush began to assemble his cabinet.
We're going to continue our discussions about them.
About the future.
In the Democrat stronghold of South Florida.
The focus became the -- automatic vote recorder and the punch card ballot warnings were clearly posted.
But thousands of folks were rejected by the computers.
Those cars were not -- -- There is swinging doors today.
That's accountable then there's the trials and that's the one that's the only hope I everywhere but what we're actually back.
It's an old IBM punch card machines by the 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon if the machines -- emptied out.
When you press down on top you're not crescent.
Who do not getting complete whole point.
It was one person from the legislature one person from the judiciary.
And one person from the county executive and then behind them were one Republican observer and one democratic observer.
The recounts in south.
Florida began to add up for -- I'm gonna watch I'm -- on the latest vote totals in Florida -- Texas governor George W.
Beating Al Gore by 388 votes according to the -- from the Florida circuit courts federal appeals courts and the State Supreme Court.
-- for and against continuing the recounts and amending the boat continued at a fast pace -- Katherine Harris was still in Jong.
I decided it is my -- Under Florida law.
To exercise my discretion.
And denying these requested amendment.
I happen to thank the gore folks make big mistake.
One -- to ask for recounts.
Only in four.
Base their mantra had been count all the -- We couldn't ask for 67 counties to be counted because the headline would have been sixty counties they no recount.
Reach out over.
One week after the election Al Gore asked for recounts to be expanded -- -- also prepared if governor bush for first.
To include in this recount.
All the counties in the entire state of fort George W.
Bush responded and fortunately what the vice president propose is exactly what he's been proposing all along.
Continuing with selective hand recounts that are neither fair -- accurate.
Or come pounding the era.
By extending -- flawed process statewide.
After ten years the Palm Beach County canvassing board has just altered its policy the recounts did continue but the rules began to change until tonight it had been their policy that indented ballots would not be counted in other words.
The whole -- -- right through the ballot.
If the trends continue Al Gore may be able to come from behind to pull off an upset.
Well another bizarre day here in Tallahassee Florida was like a -- ring -- it was a real roller coaster in the course of one day you can think it.
-- in the morning that bush was gonna win.
Completely downcast -- -- and everybody was hungry angry lonely tired and pissed off that we wanted to win in the home when I left to come home Thanksgiving.
I thought my work was done I -- the -- -- be counted and we'll find out who really won the election.
And on Thanksgiving -- out an unusual protest erupted.
Because ballots were being counted out of public view.
What those protesters did was -- media isn't.
And one of the public to see.
What was going on that was staged demonstrations I think -- -- saying they were K street lobbyists.
And by the Democrats and yet the press he's done it as if it was some sort of pitchfork wielding mob it wasn't anything.
The so called Brooks Brothers riot was so effective it literally stopped the recount procedure in Miami Dade County.
And the butterfly ballot would later be ruled valid by the Florida Supreme Court.
Just ahead how overseas military ballots became a political minefield.
For how do.
GOP backers wanted gore to move out and -- people are there any -- and sore loser and get out of Cheney's house.
They were furious the vice president was still trying to -- count every vote the democratic strategy was.
As long as they were behind keep -- they may have been saying count all the votes.
But that wasn't their actions Ben Ginsberg was senior counsel for book he tried to disenfranchise.
The military supported bush.
A lot more than they supported gore only -- to work military balance and -- -- And no signature.
There was a -- can really explain.
Public perception of gore suffered.
However the toughest political battle Democrats faced was just starting to ignite.
The Palm Beach County canvassing board missed the 5 PM filing deadline mandated by the Florida Supreme Court.
Secretary of state Katherine Harris and -- could not granted extension.
Good citizens working all weekend long -- things didn't and Katherine Harris would wait another hour of the appropriate deadlines.
Profiling certified returns I those mandated by the legislature that woman took her office and turned it into -- political operation for George Bush.
That's wrong she had to play -- Nobody likes an uncle passed it and -- it changes the game the proper return either returns that were certified by those deadlines she's gonna.
And the vote count on a certain -- certain hour and you Bush's coaching.
I hereby declare.
Governor George W.
Bush the winner of Florida's 25.
Electoral that it's.
Everything she did was by the numbers Ted Olson also joined Bush's legal team.
Our performance made her -- a bit of a double crew relative -- character who was doing the bidding of candidate George W Bush's -- Katherine Harris basically did what the law required her to do about what the statutes and the secretary of state made.
Reject late filed.
Balance Leon County circuit judge Terry Lewis ruled Harris did not have to extend the deadline she has discretion to protect.
Vice president gore and I have no choice.
But to contest these actions the Democrats weren't going to give -- they had to find a way to overturn this result by hook or by crook.
The vice president filed an election contest action.
Challenging both -- in three counties.
The case was assigned.
To judge Sanders sauls they wanted to really should not going to be -- -- Sanders also involved with not any -- and -- Hasn't been as -- as it happens quickly.
Gore's legal team wanted to have a decision by December 12.
Which was before the deadline for Florida's final -- him.
And a number of counties votes that had been fairly counted were simply set aside.
And many votes that were cast have not yet been counted at all.
Republicans say wait just a minute there has to be some determination.
That it is necessary to recount those votes Republicans ask judge Sanders sauls to order all one point six million ballots to be -- at the same time.
The judge ordered it done and was told it would be -- 168.
Boxes they go where Kabul bigger -- managed to match.
We reached the theater of the absurd for the most powerful office in the world -- Not since the OJ Simpson's bronco chase had cable news captured his journey like the trucks carrying contested ballots.
The boxes arrived scored lawyers argue once again -- hand count -- -- results rejected a number of legal.
And include a number he leads the only issue on an election contest is whether I'm not that bored.
Has abused its discretion.
You could have been a few holes like who -- Obama and those were not being counted -- votes.
A little uncomfortable and we're we're here.
Reasonable people could -- disagree -- -- -- -- not that was a vote or not force there along with her.
The marathon trial lasted the entire weekend but judge -- promised -- decision by Monday morning.
-- Al Gore finally gained some momentum and overtake George Bush the judge's ruling after the break.
Hello and welcome back to Fox News reporting.
36 days that decided the presidency.
-- -- -- I was in Tallahassee covering that non -- court battles that had Americans glued to their televisions.
Wondering who our next president would be.
It was now -- 27 in the recount as everyone awaited a key decision from judge Sanders sauls.
Florida judge refusing Al Gore's request to order hand recounts of disputed ballots are credible.
Statistical evidence that -- The statewide election in the state of -- it would be different from the result which has been sort of the state election.
Judge -- Sanders Sauls stealing the biggest blow yet the gore campaign's fight for the White House.
Giving -- nothing a clean sweep for bush in court saying the gore team even failed to prove there's any reason to contest Florida's certified vote.
I had to be looked at from my state.
Perspective you have this equal protection.
Issues and that alone must be applied equally to all citizens but I think that all illegal votes were counted.
Unless it is reversed by a higher court judge Sanders sauls also gave the bush campaign its clearest and most important victory.
What has become a long legal battle for the president.
They won we lost we're appealing.
Hi this is going to be resolved by.
The Florida supreme court judge -- who's obviously been criticized a lot.
He was a decision in time thoughtful -- still in jeopardy for bush another 25000.
Absentee ballot -- Being challenged by the Democrats.
Democrats -- ten.
To us to be sort of contrary to the notion of count all the votes.
Basically they're talking about.
-- clerical errors this is one of the absentee ballot application requests.
And at the Republican Party sent these out.
And the friends are left off the voter identification number of what the wrong one in their Republicans say just because of this clerical mistake.
The votes should not be thrown out.
More than enough votes were potential -- taken away from Democrats.
Because they were not that given.
The same access that Republicans were.
Democrats complained in two separate courts before judges Lewis and Clark and so we.
Fought that rigorously both suits have potential switch the lead from -- to -- 9000 ballots in Miami Dade.
And our alleged not.
Registered by the machine.
That have ever been manually review David Boies pleaded again for the Florida Supreme Court to order an immediate recount of contested ballots.
We -- here today December 7 what is the time parameter.
And being able to.
-- -- we believe these ballots can be counted in the time available.
Obviously time is getting very short David -- is very quick I think -- you have remedies that some.
He has an ability to get to the heart of the matter and he has the ability.
In very simple terms.
-- Circuit Court judges rejected democratic lawsuit asking for 25000.
Absentee ballots to be thrown out they interfere with somebody's.
Right to let's just clarkin has you don't throw out the -- simply because of some players.
Unless you can find that somebody's window was -- We are -- gratified with the two strong -- From the two judges here I'm Leon County Circuit Court.
Affirming the right to vote while the bush legal team was rejoicing over the George Lewis and judge Clark decisions -- something.
Bigger was about to be announced by the Florida Supreme Court as a precaution public information spokesman Craig waters was offered a bulletproof vest.
-- about a divorced three.
The majority of the court has reversed the decision of the trial court in March and addition.
The Circuit Court shall order a manual recount of all undervotes and any Florida counting.
We're such -- -- has not yet occurred this was a huge win for Al Gore to.
New lease on his political life before spring quarter ended up ordering in statewide recount.
Ecstatic this man all the counting would have to be completed within the safe harbor deadline of December 12 I was pretty shocked because twice.
The Florida Supreme Court.
Reversed Florida trial courts without really.
Setting forth their reasons for doing that and the decisions that came out of the Florida Supreme Court.
I think you could only describe as -- we really thought one.
Because now we had a statewide recount then Al Gore -- four cents.
Eight days after the election and national health today's ruling back -- justices of Florida Supreme Court.
Is of course disappointment the bush lawyers asked the eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for an emergency motion to stop.
The recount they were -- not.
We felt this wasn't the federal election.
And it ought to be the federal courts and federal constitution.
That -- those decision.
Our lawyers here file -- petition in the Supreme Court.
Think by 9 PM that night less than five hours later with all the exhibits and all the papers and emotion in addition to stop.
In a shocking turn of events today the United States Supreme Court halted the manual recount in Florida there's no doubt.
That by delaying.
It is -- a very serious issue as to whether that count can fully be completed.
By December 12.
Enormous disappointment it was in my view very bad decision.
There was no in reference -- -- -- harm.
The end -- -- to democracy -- With Al Gore trailing by just 177.
Votes the US Supreme Court stopped the Puerto -- on Saturday.
-- little time to prepare attorneys for Al Gore and George Bush we're told present oral arguments for the High Court in just two days.
Setting up a showdown Monday at the US Supreme Court.
And in depth look at this -- games bush people when we return.
We didn't know what was gonna come out of that building.
It could have been won and lost a couple of dozen times on both sides when it after the Supreme Court Al Gore might have been able to pull Iraq out of his hat.
You will hear argument now on number O 949.
Bush and Richard Cheney vs Albert gore.
-- On day 34 to recount the focus moved from Florida to Washington.
Of course no cameras were allowed but the audio from the US Supreme Court was released soon after Ted Olson began just just just justice thank you.
-- brief court we didn't know we'd ever get to the Supreme Court until pretty much until we got there.
Com and we got there on two occasions.
-- -- -- Florida Supreme Court decisions in my view if we were stuck for the Florida Supreme Court we were toast and with the case now in front of the US Supreme Court.
The -- team faced a similar dilemma.
He is that this was hey -- -- who's going to be present in that state and who was going to a point.
Next Supreme Court justices.
It's something that.
People on the court have -- interest the court of Chief Justice William Rehnquist consisted of five justices appointed by Republican presidents.
And four by democratic presidents.
Despite -- -- political split.
The court's first vote was unanimous on December 1 bush lawyers argued that the quote arbitrary standard list selective manual recounts.
Threatened to overturn the certified results of elections they had one.
The United States Supreme Court nine to zero vote -- -- basically what are you doing.
What are your standards down there what's going on.
And that's largely court -- paid one bit of attention whatsoever.
To -- direction from the United States Supreme Court.
On December 8 the bush team used the Florida's courts lack of response to convince the US Supreme Court to halt the recount.
On Monday December 11 Ted Olson's argument was in erupted almost immediately.
Can you begin by telling us our federal jurisdiction.
-- the federal question here.
The federal question -- -- principle we kept emphasizing was.
There were rules.
In the Florida election.
The Florida Supreme Court and changed those rules so we said that's unconstitutional.
It may not be the most powerful argument we -- yeah I think that.
It was apparent the justices had ideas of -- -- from Portland I but your point was that the process is being conducted in violation of the equal protection cause him as a standard.
He interrupted and asked about the equal protection clause was very much ready for that question what are your opinion would be -- -- The penetration of the the ballot card would be required.
Equal protection I don't think -- anything that anybody was expecting to become the critical.
Issue of the -- in Florida said we're gonna have.
Votes counted not on whether voter has technically following all of the rules for -- -- talent.
But can we discern the voter's intent.
The justices continued to focus on the punch cards and Katherine Harris was again at the center my decision.
And this process.
Has been made carefully -- -- standard did.
It does the secretary of state says she had not said we're not only was there not a standard but there was a change.
A two or three times during the course of this process.
Bruins when your -- thank you -- chief justice and -- court David -- began by defending the Florida court's rulings.
I think we're not and obviously this court and this -- -- awards best interpreter.
That is all the sports Supreme Court did -- to say that -- is important you've got to complete your job.
You can't have your job erupted.
You can't have -- -- erupted because Katherine Harris.
Shut the window got to finish your job.
Why -- this standard.
The one that voters are instructed to all of for goodness sakes -- mean it couldn't be clearer the justices continued to be concerned with the standards I think there must be -- uniform standard I think there is a uniform standard.
Is whether that standard to -- I think that there again and again I think it can vary from individual to individual so that even in one can can -- from table to table I'm -- -- dollar.
Now there was a state like stand.
It was subjective standard -- -- of the hour.
And what Justice Souter was looking for what's the objective standard that we can apply thank you pictures submitted.
Leaving court that day the drama continues as neither side was confident the end was near one doesn't know what being what -- Supreme Court is going to do.
Every time I made a prediction about what the last argument was I've been through.
-- -- You are looking live.
-- after 35 days of confusion and legal complexity the night of December 12 2000 was reminiscent of election night if in fact the standard has changed.
They may have to go back and recounts of votes that have previously -- got it again in the rush to be first the news networks initially got it wrong.
There was a little bit -- confusion about exactly what the US Supreme Court is saying is simply as you can tell us the sorry I was -- -- it is somewhat of a complicated breakdown here.
There's quite a long dark and.
And when the final ruling came matters -- pandemonium -- television reporters at the Supreme Court.
We're having a lot of difficulty.
Because there were a number of opinion.
Meanwhile amid the debris of 35 days of nonstop legal maneuvering James Baker -- the bush team had to decipher the documents to.
And we read through the opinion.
All that it was over in the -- six opinions were written with a two decisions the most important dealt with federal law.
What the Supreme Court has done is say that the Florida Supreme Court.
Violated the fourteenth amendment of the constitution which offers equal protection.
-- a lot of hand recount to go forward in Florida without a statewide standard.
The Florida supreme court's decision or unconstitutional.
-- -- 72 vote.
Seven to -- and constitutionality.
So they say here it's okay if you go back and establish a recount that the legal.
But they also say you don't have time to do it.
Factor for parts of that decision simply -- Time has run out -- has grown ups that it was bush who was awarded by the courts the presidency then stated know it 727.
Held that the constitution was being violated by the practices of gore campaign was insistent and at 3 minutes before 11 o'clock here in the east just before eight in the west.
It appears now that the next president of the United States is all but signed sealed and delivered.
And I picked up phone call with governors and Austin.
Got him I said congratulations.
The majority opinion in the Supreme Court decision bush V gore stipulated that the case can never be used again.
Due to the complexities of the particular case.
The -- essentially ended Al Gore's chances in the Florida recount but it took some time to figure that out.
Gore had yet to be seen in his lawyers still think he had any hope for victory.
Bush's legal team was starting to celebrate it.
-- The story is just ahead.
After the break.
-- Al -- is deciding whether to put out the white flag or keep on finding.
More was up late and with family and advisors going over the ruling and talking over options although the Supreme Court ruling was complex and confusing.
By early morning on December 13 it had become pretty clear.
That vice president Al Gore had run out of options.
Can you hear behind you -- a lot of people are hearing that drumbeat.
Maybe it's time for him to coed Ed Rendell let DNC chair -- said last night after mister Korda fold its tent and a senior advisor before himself saying this ruling was confusing but not very encouraging.
In fact going on to say it looks pretty devastating.
My recommendation applies that it was over when has faced court takes -- decision and says you can't go back.
I don't think that he had any remaining legal options but Mitchell Berger a long time friend and attorney disagrees.
He believes gore could have continued the -- absolutely.
And several -- Constitutional -- I would -- constitutional crisis.
So the burning question on everyone's mind.
-- would vice president Al Gore do next we have heard nothing from Al Gore in the ten hours since this decision was handed down he and his lawyers have been -- Feeling if we have not.
Seen or heard from George W.
Bush he seems content to allow vice president gore the opportunity.
Speak first we were very careful to recommend that he not go out and claim victory.
And he'd give vice president gore punished bass playing come into his own decision and conclusions.
The only option gore had left was to go back to the Florida Supreme Court and convince them to push the December 12 deadline to the eighteenth when the Electoral College would -- We'll right our wondering if Al Gore's gonna concede at all where -- -- come out and say I still got legal options to try to pursue it took him almost another.
Day to get -- but he got there.
Finally twelve hours after the Supreme Court decision campaign chairman William Daley put out a written statement.
The vice president has directed the recount committee to suspend activities I think there was a sense of relief.
-- -- Great national trauma had ended.
Next on special report Al Gore is set to speak to the nation at 9 PM what George W.
Bush to follow -- ten.
He seems reasonably relaxed about all this get a previously scheduled holiday party with -- and supporters he will actually attend that party.
I lasted from about six to 8 PM he said look we fought a very good fight.
The fight is over and we are told that he was planning on calling the governor probably in -- Over to the old executive office building.
Just moments ago I spoke with George W.
Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43 president of the United States.
And I promised them that I wouldn't calling back this time.
Al Gore and his advisors.
-- -- very responsible.
Statesman like decision by a conceding.
Allowing the country on there was probably the most honorable that I've ever seen.
Politicians say it was a magnificent speech tonight for the sake of our unity as a people and strength of our democracy.
I offer my concession he wanted to see this country united.
Because this concession speech.
Vice president -- deserves.
The nation's thanks for concluding that the best interest of the country were more important than his best -- we will stand together.
Behind our new president.
It was universally praised as the most human real.
Warm and accessible speech that Al Gore heretofore considered robotic and never give up I was -- Very nixonian performances -- about Florida kick around anymore and instead we got an eloquent and gracious.
I think it's it's hard work.
We have received a gracious call from the vice president.
We agreed to -- early next week in Washington.
And we agreed to do our best to heal our country.
After this hard fought contest.
It's a tribute to the United States that we can have a very.
Serious internal disagreement.
And in the end one country one.
Our nation must rise house tonight I would get calls from.
Former -- stage once.
An election and I think the system.
And I -- -- it's like.
Happening in your country you might -- -- streets we can comply.
Even -- decision.
And we respect the rule -- you've got to have a way to stop these products.
Bush won the first camp in Florida he -- that we can.
News media and universities did subsequently -- there's never been in camp that bush did eventually win in Florida on December 18 Electoral College representatives cast their votes for president.
And on January 6 2001.
Congress -- those votes vice president gore presided.
It was officially -- The country had a new president elect.
-- -- -- -- Though they execute the office of president of the United States we continue to transfer.
Political power peacefully one of the real strengths of our country.
-- -- The 2000 Florida recount and the US Supreme Court decision that ended.
Will be analyzed and debated for years to come and extremely rare moment in US history for the presidency literally hung in the balance.
The passion and the -- on both sides with the linger into the first weeks and months of president George W Bush's administration.
In the country would be forever changed.
Based on what happened.
During those 36 days.
That's our show tonight -- -- -- Washington thanks for watching.
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