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Recalling Gore’s response to the 2000 Supreme Court election ruling

It went like this — which I borrow from the coverage of that day’s events, 20 years ago yesterday — after Gore privately called Bush to concede the night before.

Vice President Al Gore, as president of the Senate, presided over a joint session of Congress that certified the state-based Electoral College vote, which showed that George W. Bush defeated him by a count of 271-266.
Vice President Al Gore, as president of the Senate, presided over a joint session of Congress that certified the state-based Electoral College vote, which showed that George W. Bush defeated him by a count of 271-266.
REUTERS/Larry Downing

In 2000, after an election that had to be decided by the Supreme Court, and by a 5-4 party-line ruling, George W. Bush’s election over Al Gore became final.

Because Gore took his challenge to the election result all the way to the Supreme Court, he was derided by Republicans as “Sore-Loserman” (that was a play on the Gore-led ticket of Gore-Lieberman).

There was certainly evidence that Gore was robbed. The vote in Florida was insanely close with many, many vagaries in the administration of the election and the counting.

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But, as we wait to hear what Donald Trump will say after today’s vote in the Electoral College, I thought you might like to be reminded what the alleged “sore loser” Gore said after the Supreme Court decision came down. It went like this — which I borrow from the coverage of that day’s events, 20 years ago Sunday — after Gore privately called Bush to concede the night before:

This is America, and we put country before party. We stand together behind our new president.

I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am, too.

But I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country.

Gore never actually said that he agreed with the ruling or that he believed Bush had defeated him fairly in the election but said he was conceding “for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy.”

He said he had privately called Bush to acknowledge his acceptance of the result, then, referring to the events of Election Night, when he had called Bush to concede then called back to say that closeness of the result in Florida caused him to retract his concession, he added: “I promised him that I wouldn’t call him back this time.”