George W. Bush on U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Monday, December 4, 2000
is the transcript of Texas Gov. George W. Bush's reaction to the Supreme Court
decision to send his case back to the Florida Supreme Court.
your reaction to the Supreme Court decision to vacate the Florida Supreme Court's
deadline extension, Governor?
BUSH: Well, we were pleased.
And I think America ought to be comforted to know that the Supreme Court is
going to make sure that the outcome of this election is fair. And we were very
pleased, and I'm grateful for their decision.
QUESTION: Governor, do
you wish the Supreme Court had gone a little bit further and given you a certified
BUSH: Well, we're pleased
with the decision. And I think America ought to be comforted to know that the
highest court of our land is going to make sure that the outcome of this election
is a fair outcome. And, again, I'm grateful that the court made the decision
that it made.
Remember, it wasn't all
that long ago that a lot of people boldly predicted that the court wouldn't
even hear our case, and now they're involved in making sure the outcome of the
election is fair.
QUESTION: Governor, yesterday
Secretary Cheney suggested that it's time for the vice president to concede.
Are you prepared to articulate that yourself?
BUSH: No, I'm not. I think
each of us is going to have to, you know--that's a very difficult decision for
anybody to make, and I understand that.
I do believe I have won
this election. I believe that I won it on the first count and on the second
count and on the third count. But the vice president's going to have to make
the decisions that he thinks are necessary.
And I know that he'll put--the
interests of the country will be important in his decision-making, just like
it would be in mine.
QUESTION: Sir, are you
saying you don't agree with Cheney's view...
BUSH: I think the vice
president [Cheney] is entitled to his view. But I do agree with this, that he's
going to make a great vice president.
QUESTION: Have we reached
the point where the national interests are now in jeopardy because of this protracted
BUSH: I wouldn't take it
necessarily that far. I will tell you, though, it's important for us to, at
least as far as I'm concerned, it's important for our team to move forward.
Tomorrow, the vice president
[Cheney], at my request, is going to go up to Capitol Hill to further our discussions
with the leadership and members of Congress, because we've got a very strong
agenda. And it's an agenda that I strongly believe has put me in the position
It's an agenda to strengthen
the military to keep the peace; it's an education agenda. There are some warning
signs about our economy that I think we ought to take seriously. And I talked
to the leadership about that at the ranch over the weekend. And those--which
argue for a tax relief package, and it's a tax relief package that I campaigned
And we need Social Security
reform. And one of the benefits of Social Security reform is not only to make
sure there's a Social Security system for the elderly today and for younger
workers coming up, but under my vision of Social Security reform, it will help
with capital accumulation, which will help the economic growth.
QUESTION: Have you spoken
to any more Democrats? And will Secretary Cheney be speaking to any tomorrow
on the Hill?
BUSH: I think the understanding
with the secretary is that he'll be meeting with Republican leaders tomorrow,
and Republican members, and no, I am not, since I talked to you on Saturday.
QUESTION: Governor, are
you looking to have a Democrat as Treasury secretary?
BUSH: Well, I'm not ruling
anything out. I know there's a lot of speculation going on, but I haven't made
any decisions yet, and if I did, I probably wouldn't tell you.
QUESTION: Do you think
the Florida legislature should go ahead and meet and vote on a slate...
BUSH: Well, I think we
ought to take this process one day at a time. And today's the day, evidently,
the judiciary's going to make some strong statements. And I felt like the Supreme
Court of the United States made a very positive statement on our behalf.
The sentiment I want to
convey is this, that I am comforted by the fact that the highest court of our
land heard our case and will make sure this election is fair. I think that's
very important for our citizenry to hear. And as far as what the legislature
does in Florida, that's going to be up to the leadership in the legislature.
QUESTION: Governor, people
are criticizing you for speaking about the judiciary affairs...
BUSH: When was that now?
QUESTION: When you talked
about the court issuing legal...
BUSH: Oh, you mean the
Florida Supreme Court?
BUSH: I felt like their
decision was not a fair decision at the time. And I felt like they had rewritten
the law and haven't--so therefore...
QUESTION: Are you saying
you will abide by the rulings of any and all courts in this matter?
BUSH: Well, I think the
court system is very important in the country. But I felt, like in the case
of the Florida Supreme Court, like I said in my statement, and like Secretary
Baker said in his statement, that they changed the rules. And the Supreme Court
And remember, many of the
experts were saying, "Well, the Bush team has no chance to get their case heard
by the Supreme Court." Not only was the case heard, but the Supreme Court acted
in a way that I think is positive for our campaign.