Bush Says He's Won Florida and the Presidency
(CNSNews.com) - Republican Presidential candidate George W Bush said Wednesday in Austin, Texas, that the final vote count shows the Bush-Cheney ticket carried the Sunshine State with its 25 electoral votes, thus producing a Bush presidency. However, Bush told reporters that he also expects the count to be confirmed when the statewide recount is completed late Thursday.
"The final vote count (in Florida) shows that Secretary Cheney and I have carried the state of Florida. And if that result is confirmed in an automatic recount, as we expect it will be, then we have the won the election," Bush said.
Bush has asked a former Secretary of State to travel to Florida to oversee the recount for the Bush campaign.
"We have asked former United States Secretary of State James Baker to travel to Florida on our behalf. 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.
Bush called the election a close contest that produced a huge turnout in what Bush called "one of the most exciting elections in our nation's history."
Earlier, during an interview on NBC's Today program, Gore's campaign manager William Daley said former Secretary of State Warren Christopher has agreed to oversee the vote recount on behalf of the Gore campaign - to "make sure that obviously this is done in a professional way."
"He will give great confidence to those who are watching this process on behalf of this [Gore] campaign," he said.
Daley called Christopher's participation an important step in the recount process.
In addition to the recount of votes within the state of Florida, an additional, estimated 3,000 absentee ballots, primarily from Florida residents in the military overseas, await counting. It is estimated that process may take as many as ten days to complete, and those votes may have a significant bearing on who, Bush or Gore, ultimately wins the state, and with it, the presidency.