Tags: Bush | Cautiously | Declares | Victory

Bush Cautiously Declares Victory

Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM

He said he was confident a second tally in Florida would send him to the White House. But the Democrat vice president has withheld concession pending the result of the legally mandated recount triggered when balloting showed Bush winning by less than 1 percent.

Gore urged "respect for the rule of law" in a brief statement Wednesday afternoon.

"We now need to resolve this election in a way that is fair and forthright, and in a way that is fully consistent with the Constitution and our laws," Gore said.

"Because of what is at stake, this matter must be resolved expeditiously, but deliberately and without any rush to judgment."

Texas Gov. Bush said he and his running mate, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, were ahead of Gore and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut by more than 1,700 votes.

"The final vote count there shows Secretary Cheney and I have carried the state of Florida," Bush told reporters outside the governor's mansion in Austin, Texas, where Cheney joined him.

"If that result is confirmed in an automatic recount, as we expect it to be, then we have won the election."

Bush said he would send former Secretary of State James Baker to Florida to represent the campaign during the recount, which is expected to be completed Friday evening.

"He's a man of impeccable credentials and integrity, and someone the American people can trust to make sure the outcome is finalized as quickly as possible and in a calm and thoughtful manner," Bush said.

Meanwhile, Gore aides sidestepped questions about potential legal action by the campaign in Florida in light of what some Democrats called irregularities in balloting. But lawyer teams from both campaigns were set to arrive in Florida Wednesday, and the emergence of Baker, a major figure in GOP circles, as Bush's representative represented a step-up in tension revolving around the Florida recount.

Both candidates must have Florida's crucial 25 Electoral College votes to garner a 270-vote majority in the electoral system and thus win the presidency.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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He said he was confident a second tally in Florida would send him to the White House. But the Democrat vice president has withheld concession pending the result of the legally mandated recount triggered when balloting showed Bush winning by less than 1 percent. Gore...
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Wednesday, 08 November 2000 12:00 AM
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