Former Vice President Al Gore said Sunday that he hasn’t felt any regrets over conceding the razor-tight 2000 election to George W. Bush.
“No, I have not,” the Democrat said on “CNN’s State of the Union” about that concession, which occurred exactly 20 years ago after the Supreme Court ruled in Bush’s favor in a dispute over counting the votes in Florida.
The decision halted a recount in the state, which Bush won by 537 votes out of some 6 million cast. The Republican ticket of Bush and Dick Cheney won the Electoral College with 271 electoral votes, one more than the minimum needed to prevail.
“You know, Winston Churchill once said of the American people, … : ‘They generally do the right thing, after first exhausting every available alternative,’” Gore continued. “And there were no remaining alternatives after a final Supreme Court decision.”
In a televised speech to the nation, Gore said that while he was deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court decision that ended his campaign, “partisan rancor must now be put aside.”
President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election much more decisively than Bush did, but that has not stopped President Trump from launching an all-out effort to cloud the results with false conspiracy theories and long-shot legal challenges directed at the results in four states that flipped from Republican in 2016 to Democrat this year.
“MOST CORRUPT ELECTION IN U.S. HISTORY!” Trump exclaimed Sunday on Twitter.
Trump’s last significant hope to overturn the election results in court was swatted down on Friday, when the Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit brought by Texas lacked standing to intervene in how other states conduct their elections. Legal experts had widely considered the case meritless, but Trump had nevertheless billed it as “the big one,” and many elected Republicans, including 17 other state attorneys general and at least 120 House members, backed it.
“I would encourage those who are still supporting the lost cause of Pres. Trump’s reelection, to put the country first,” Al Gore says. He hopes that tomorrow’s electoral college votes will be “a point, at which some of those who have hung on, will give up the ghost” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ourvnjfFwo
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 13, 2020
Gore told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he hopes the Electoral College’s virtual meeting on Monday will let some of Trump’s supporters move on. The vote itself is a formality in the modern era, and there’s little doubt that Biden will emerge with the majority represented by his Election Day victories. (The new Congress will count the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6 when it is sworn in.)
“I’m going to express the hope, Jake, that with the Electoral College that votes tomorrow in all 50 states, and with President-elect Biden receiving the majority, that that will be a point at which some of those who have hung on will give up the ghost,” Gore said Sunday.
“It’s hard to escape the interpretation that they’re frightened that President Trump will tweet them into political oblivion if they don’t do exactly what he says,” Gore said of the many Republican attorneys general and House lawmakers who had backed the quixotic Texas case. “But you know there are things that are more important than bowing to the fear of a demagogue.”
For his part, Trump seemed somewhat resigned about the imminent Electoral College vote when asked about it during a new interview with Fox News.
“I don’t know. We’re going to speed it up as much as we can. But you can only go so fast. They give us very little time,” he said in the interview, which was taped Saturday but aired Sunday.
Trump spoke vaguely about “numerous local cases” he would continue fighting, though none of them is positioned to change the Electoral College vote or the next occupant of the Oval Office. He also continued to escalate his rhetoric about the election, which he described as a “sham,” “shame” and “rigged.”
“It’s not over,” Trump said of the Supreme Court ruling. “We keep going. And we’re going to continue to go forward.”
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