- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Vice President Al Gore's presidential bid appeared on life support last night after a Florida judge refused to order additional ballot counts.
But at this point, Mr. Gore has no plans to concede.
"Absolutely not we're focused on getting this recount," Gore spokesman Chris Lehane said last night.
Mr. Gore's attorneys filed an appeal with the Florida Supreme Court.
But Gore aides braced for Democratic defections after a day that began with a setback in the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Everyone always expected this would ultimately be resolved before the highest court in Florida, the state Supreme Court," Mr. Lehane said.
"There is a principle at stake here a fundamental democratic principle of one person, one vote," he said. "We need to do everything possible to make sure every ballot is counted."
Democratic leaders continued to back Mr. Gore last night.
"We are united in our support of the decision to appeal this ruling," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt said in a joint statement.
Earlier yesterday, Gore running mate Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Gore campaign chairman William M. Daley sought to shore up Democratic support in a series of conference calls.
They warned Democratic lawmakers that the vice president planned to appeal if he lost in Leon County Circuit Court.
Mr. Gore maintained his public relations effort on several fronts yesterday.
The vice president continued to plan his own administration, meeting with his transition team at the Old Executive Office Building.
An hour before the Florida court's ruling, Mr. Gore and Mr. Lieberman shook hands and posed for photographs, but they ignored reporters' shouted questions.
Mr. Gore's aides are most concerned about losing the support of centrist Democrats.
Sen. Bob Graham, a centrist Democrat from Florida, told CNN he still backs Mr. Gore. But he said the time for counting ballots is slipping away.
"There's a clock ticking and Al Gore cannot afford to lose even a matter of hours in getting these votes counted," Mr. Graham said.
On Capitol Hill yesterday, Mr. Gephardt told reporters that Democratic support remains solid.
"I think everybody's going to see it through," Mr. Gephardt said.
"Everybody realizes this is a razor-thin margin in Florida. We're going to have to be patient and see it through and find out who got the most votes."
Mr. Gore's advisers called the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling a "no-decision" that did not damage his call for recounts.
But his attorneys and congressional Democrats conceded that time for hand recounts is running out.
"If matters are delayed, there is no doubt that is to our disadvantage, because we want to get this done quickly," Gore attorney David Boies told reporters in Tallahassee.
The U.S. Supreme Court "made it very clear that it was neither agreeing or disagreeing with the Florida Supreme Court, but merely sending it back for more clarification," Gore adviser Ron Klain told reporters in Tallahassee.
"And as a result, I don't think it's a win for either camp," Mr. Klain said.

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