Remarks to Campaign Volunteers and an Exchange With Reporters in Columbus, Ohio
The President. Thank you all for doing this. Listen, we've come to thank our volunteers here in Ohio. They represent thousands of people all across the country who are making the calls and turning out the vote. I have been uplifted by the fact that thousands of people are working on my behalf and the fact that thousands pray for me and Laura and our country.
One of the best ways to help send a signal about how appreciative I am is to come and thank people in person. Obviously, Ohio is an important State. It's a State that we intend to carry. I know we've got a lot of work to do. There's a lot of people, as you can tell, in this building, working hard in Columbus, and they're working hard all across the State of Ohio. So this is an exciting time. The polls will be closing in 5 or 6 hours—however long it is. [Laughter] And I'm confident we'll carry Ohio, and I'm confident we'll carry the Nation. And I look forward to leading this Nation for 4 more years. I'm running because I've got more to do, more to— more work to be done to keep this country secure, more work to be done to make sure prosperity reaches every corner of the land.
I want to thank all our supporters here in Ohio for their hard work.
Q. Are you getting updates on legal wrangling out there on the plain?
The President. No, I really haven't. Call my lawyer. [Laughter]
Turnout for the 2004 Election
Q. Sir, does a big turnout help both sides, and should it?
The President. Listen, I am for a turnout as big as possible. I believe everybody should vote. We have a duty in this country to vote. I hope every citizen in Ohio and elsewhere does their duty. And I think it's—and I think we'll have a good turnout, and I will be grateful if there's a big turnout. I think it's good for our system.
Q. Is it going to be a divided country, no matter what happens, if it's a close election?
The President. Oh, you know, I was asked that question by another one of the pundits earlier, trying to guess about the outcome of the election. You need to talk to the experts. I can just tell you what I've seen. I've seen enthusiasm, a willingness for people to put in extra hours of work. And we'll find out how it goes tonight. This election is in the best of hands: It's in the hands of the voters of Ohio and voters all around the country.
Q. Sir, you may think you're no pundit, but you've clearly paid pretty close attention. Give us a sense of how involved you are in tracking the numbers and voter turnout and——
The President. Well, David [David Gregory, NBC News], since I last talked to you, which was outside the voting booth in Crawford—[laughter]—which was a couple of hours ago, I've had a couple of cups of coffee. I spent some quality time with my wife. I am going to run this race out to its fullest. I will be able to—both of us will be able to say that we campaigned as hard as we possibly could. I have made the differences as clear as possible about why I think I am the best leader for the country for the next 4 years. You know, we'll find out tonight what the American people think, and I'm looking forward to it.
Thank you all.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:42 a.m. at the Ohio Bush-Cheney '04 campaign headquarters. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
George W. Bush, Remarks to Campaign Volunteers and an Exchange With Reporters in Columbus, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/212917