Text: Texas. Gov. George W. Bush
Friday, November 10, 2000
Following is the transcript of Texas Gov. George W. Bush's news conference.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Thank you all for coming. I'm here with Secretary Cheney,
Larry Lindsey, my chief economic adviser, Condi Rice, national security adviser,
Andy Card, who you know, and Clay Johnson.
There was a count on Election Night and there's been a recount in Florida
and I understand there are still votes to be counted, but I'm in the process
of planning, in a responsible way, a potential administration. There's been
a series of ongoing meetings that the secretary and I have had on a variety
of subjects so that, should the verdict that has been announced thus far be
confirmed, we'll be ready. And I think that's what the country needs to know,
that this administration will be ready to assume office and be prepared to lead.
Larry's in particularly is going to talk about the markets and Condi is going
to bring us up to date on a lot of matters. There's issues in Israel right now
that I'm looking forward to hearing about. And these meeting will go on for
a while. And then tomorrow the secretary and I are going to be up at the ranch.
We'll have more meetings.
And any questions you have about what's happening in Florida I would ask you
to refer those to Jim Baker. Secretary Baker is in charge of the process, he's
doing a very good job down there, so I would ask that any questions you have
about the politics of Florida, Mr. Baker can handle those questions.
QUESTION: Governor, generally, though, do you think it's time for Al
Gore to give up?
BUSH: You know, I think each candidate and each team is going to have
to do what they think is best--in the best interests of the country.
And I think in the best interest of the county, it's in our country's best
interest that we plan in a responsible way a possible administration. And there's
been two votes, and we're pleased with the results of the two votes.
QUESTION: Governor, since you seem so sure that you will win, have
you given thought to resigning early as governor of Texas to give your full
BUSH: I am mindful that there's still votes to be counted. And we're
each--I believe, as does Secretary Cheney, that the responsible course of action
is to prepare, and that's what we're doing here in Austin, Texas. We're taking
our time, in a very low-key manner, preparing for a possible administration.
But there's still votes outstanding. And I understand there's still votes
QUESTION: Traditionally, Governor, though, when you're in a transition
period you get the cooperation of the outgoing administration. Are you making
any contact with the outgoing administration?
BUSH: I think that's a little early, Frank. Right now, you know, there's
still votes to be counted.
QUESTION: What do you say to people who if you take office think you
will be illegitimately taking office? What would you say to those people?
BUSH: Repeat the question, please?
QUESTION: Some people outside--some of the protesters will say that
it won't be a legitimate presidency because of how close it was. What would
you say to those people?
BUSH: I would say we have a Constitution, and that's--this is--and
I live by the Constitution.
We've had two vote counts already. And I'm pleased with what's happened. And
I'm sure there's going to be some people disappointed that their man didn't
get in, but there's also going to be a lot of people very happy.
And our job will be to unite the country. And I'm confident that the Bush-Cheney
administration will be able to do so in a dignified way, in a way that...
QUESTION: You talked about bipartisanship (OFF-MIKE) what would be
your first step to extend an olive branch (OFF-MIKE)
BUSH: I think we've got to make this--just put the election behind
us and then we'll be glad to explain what our strategy will be. Right now, we're,
obviously, planning in a way that I think Americans responsible, a responsible
way. I think it's up to us to prepare the groundwork for an administration that
will be ready to function on day one.
QUESTION: Would the cutoff day then be the tabulation of these absentee
ballots? Would that be...
BUSH: I think you ought to be--again, I--Dean Reynolds, do you know
something? It's been a long time since I've seen you, Dean. We haven't spent
much quality time together.
It's good to see you.
It's good to see Sam Berman over there, too.
How quickly we forget.
You're Dean Reynolds? OK. I'm George W.
QUESTION: Nice to meet you.
BUSH: Yes, it is.
I beg your pardon. What was the question again? I forgot.
QUESTION: November 17th, when the tabulation of all the absentee ballots,
is that the cutoff date? Is that when you will figure that the election is over
and these court challenges and all that can go their way?
BUSH: Again, I refer you to Secretary Baker there in Florida.
QUESTION: Do you have any concerns about your ability to govern, given
that Gore got the popular vote?
BUSH: I think they're still counting the popular vote. And, no, I don't
at all. I'm looking forward to bringing this nation together. I've had a record
of being somebody who can unite and reach across the partisan divide to get
positive thing done.
QUESTION: Is Mr. Lindsey under consideration for a possible treasury
secretary job in a Bush administration?
BUSH: We're--Mr. Lindsey has been a loyal friend and a person whose
judgment I trust.
QUESTION: Governor, if you decide he's right, at what point do you
think this dispute pressure can take on the (OFF-MIKE)
BUSH: You know, it's hard to tell. I think--it's certainly unprecedented
in modern times. And more quickly this gets resolved, the better off it is for
And we believe that the responsible course of action is to be well-prepared.
It's in our nation's best interest that--that, should I assume the presidency,
that this is an administration that is planned well and is prepared to assume
the highest office of the land. And it will be. And we will be prepared.
And it's good to see you, Frank. It's my pleasure.
Excuse me. I beg your pardon, Dean.
BUSH: That's all. Thanks.
BUSH: I appreciate you all coming, thank you very much.
QUESTION: Did you have a good workout, Governor.
BUSH: I did. I should have stopped and kind of bragged about it, but
I--you know, I was afraid you might have asked me questions. That would have
been my workout.