tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 3, 2016 2:48am-3:35am EDT
continues. is withlian zelizer princeton university, a history and public affairs professor and also the author of "the fierce urgency of now." thank you for joining us this morning. during this campaign, the donald trump campaign has raised this specter of what happened with the election of 2000 between george w. bush and al gore. can you paint the picture of not only what's been said about it in the context of this campaign but whether there is merit to those comparisons? guest: in 2000, it was a very
close election between al gore and parts of the bush. -- george w. bush. there was a dispute about the count in florida, looking at particular ballots in certain counties. what we saw after the election there weress where recounts over contested votes that ultimately ended in a supreme court decision that stopped the recounts. that's very different from what we're hearing today. today, we've heard from donald trump about the idea of a rigged not abouthere it's contested ballots after the election in certain areas, but the entire political system. it's about the entire media being stacked against one candidate over the other. combined with allegations of voter fraud without any evidence that has happened. --re are two very different
two very different kinds of issues. recountt gore ended the -- they are different. more about the people involved than the actual voting process. caller: exactly. then, it was about how you count the votes. there were ballots were you cannot see exactly who someone voted for. today, there is one aspect of the voting process that is emerged -- donald trump has argued that there will be a lot of voting fraud in this election. we've heardargument from many conservatives for over a decade now. that's why we have new voter id laws put into place in many
states. people will try to vote by saying they are someone they are not, they will claim the identity of dead people. this is something he's warned about and he has called on his supporters to go and monitor on election day to make sure that no such fraud takes place. in 2000, we heard about the infamous hanging chads. now, we have a paper ballot system in play today. caller: the 2000 election exposed some of the inadequacies of how we conduct our voting. it was very archaic is still run by local governments. it was sloppily done in some places. the butterfly ballot dispute in 2000 really focused on some democratic counties in florida where many voters have voted for , patrickm candidate
buchanan, even though it was pretty clear that is not who most of these voters wanted to vote for. howaised questions about the ballots are constructed and we saw television coverage during the recounts of local officials trying to figure out who people voted for, looking through a magnifying glass to see if the paper was still singing -- hanging. be conscientious fraud and that that of identity to vote? there's no evidence that this exists on any substantial level. politically, it's been a very potent issue. donald trump has used that. in addition to his broader claims that the entire system is rigged against them. talkinglian zelizer about these comparisons in the modern day with this election,
even going back to 2000, examining aspects of that. .emocrats, 202-748-8000 for republicans, 202-748-8001. for independents, 202-748-8002. the legal ramifications of this year's election that's what you -- what dot happen you expect might happen? are there lessons learned as far as the legal process we can gain from the year 2000? areer: both campaigns preparing for any kind of challenges that might take place contestselections, after election day. in 2000, the elections works for an area -- were extraordinarily close. neither candidate was able to reach the electoral college
total. that's why the 25 votes in florida mattered so much. ago, it looked like hillary clinton might have a pretty substantial lead. which case the trump campaign manager try to obtain recounts in any close states, but it was -- we don't know if the letter from the fbi the other week will narrow the election and create a much closer outcome. in which case i think both campaigns will be prepared in some of these battleground states to mobilize for a recount. campaigns remember 2000 and they remember the republicans it asjames baker treated
a political issue. they thought about how to debate the frame -- frame the debate in the media. they were much more effective than the democrats. the campaigns are not only preparing the legal battle, but thinking of the politics of the postelection. there's the issue of the courts. for many people after 2000, the courts and a lot more political. --ecially the spring court the courts seemed a lot more political. especially the supreme court. the memory of that will shape the legal debates that might unfold. as discrepant are as people think they might be, if this has narrowed, it will be harder to conduct a recount challenge. host: james in virginia on our
line for democrats. caller: good morning. on a scale of one to 10, i give you 11 cool points. i love your program. was saying it's actually different with al gore and president bush than it is now because one is being contested in the other is just saying it is rigged. he is trump has said going to contest it if he does not win. he did not say if it was close. he did not say if one state was very close that he said if he does not win, he's going to contest it. that is an issue we need to be addressing.
if there is voter fraud in a state that has already caught individuals for voter fraud, does that substantiate what donald trump is saying that there is widespread voter fraud? on the first point, that is true. f al gore spent the final months of the election arguing that this was not going to be a fair election and also saying he would not accept the result if he didn't win -- we did not hear that from al gore. he was talking about social security reform. he was talking about social policy. and theis all unfolded --pute emerged over florida first, the networks were saying that he won in florida and later, fox called it for bush.
today, the republican nominee is talking about this being rigged and is being unfair, long before there's any evidence to support that. combined with his claim during the debate that he would not necessarily concede on election night if it seemed that he lost. after the supreme court decision would offer a concession speech. his demeanor was different after this was resolved. might be some fraud, but we have to remember there is very little evidence of systematic butter fraud. a study that looked at how much this happens. it's very small. a handful of examples where there is concrete evidence of this. it's very unlikely at this point that that kind of problem is
going to be central after the campaign. the one other issue is hacking. computer voting and whether there's any effort to undermine that. again, that is speculation, not based on evidence that on election day, that would somehow turn the boat. vote.n the host: katie on our republican line. i'd been calling in since the early 1990's. i love c-span. i am going to keep on the subject. i never liked bush. bush did some underhanded things when he was governor here. forook people's properties
and all this malls kinds of stuff. i never liked bush. i just thought he was crooked and it was always about the money for the bushes. i think they stole the election from gore. and those are my thoughts on that. host: thank you, katie. caller: that sentiment -- guest: that sentiment comes from the governor of florida at the time was his brother, jeb bush. not only did the bush family have a lot of clout in florida, the republican party was quite powerful and there was some sentiment, usually among democrats, but some republicans that the recount process was not handled well. and the republicans within the
state and the bush campaign were essentially in florida in 2000 trying to stop the recount. they were trying to delay and obstruct and they realized the longer they did, the closer they would get to the deadline where decision had to be made. that left a bad taste in the mouth of many americans in both parties that it was not handled well. added to that was the supreme aurt intervening act making decision in december to stop the recount. there were many people, mostly democrats, but some republicans, who thought it was not the right way to handle this. some of that feeling continues to linger. there are some doubt argue that it was unfairly handled. very different that the entire political process nationally is rigged, which is hard in our system.
it is so fragmented. this is really about the recount in a particular state being handled poorly. i think it gives rise to those kinds of memories. southlet's hear from carolina. danny is up next. caller: yes, good morning. i think i have a pretty unique perspective on the 2000 florida fiasco because i was working the polls in south carolina at the time. we used the exact same voter machines. withroblem with florida the counties and the basic problem was they were not doing the basic maintenance on the machines. as they were not cleaning up the trays that held the chads. they got so full you cannot punch through.
that was the beginning of the problem. added this idea that you had a bunch of people who voted for the wrong person because they thought they were voting for one in voting for someone else is ridiculous. it was clear on those machines how to vote for whoever you wanted to vote for. guest: there are 2 separate issues. the first is the actual process of a voting. 2000.ecame a big issue in how the machines work, how they were handled, how they were maintained. in 2000, it was surprising to many people how antiquated our voting system was. in an age of computers and the internet merging on the scene that we still voted in ways that looked more like the 19th century than the 20th century.
this became a discussion after this all ended with calls for reforming the voting process, including electronic voting. in terms of people being confused, it is always hard at this point to understand the intention of what voters were doing. there was substantial evidence that in places like palm county, people have not voted for the person they intended. the reason it was an issue was patrick buchanan was on the ticket, very controversial. he had been associated with anti-semitic statements and organizations and many jewish american voters voted for him. it was unlikely that is who they intended to vote for. this was a heavily democratic aereo. that was one of the issues they gave rise. it was not just in florida.
we have learned in many parts of the country how poor the actual machinery of our election process and that is in part because we leave it to local government who is often strapped for cash and did not have the funds they needed or the manpower they needed to have the system.data we have shifted more and more to electronic voting. host: was there ever a resolve of the ballots that were in question? was there ever a result of who would have one? byst: there were recounts newspaper organizations. most of them from what i have seen showed that al gore did have more votes. in awas pretty consistent lot of the findings that came after the election was all --
over. host: democrats line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to -- what i have seen saying thatom trump he trashed the election process that if he he would say he did not win -- the election process is junk. if he doesn't win, but if he does win then it is ok. i think that is a representation me -- the wayl the he has handled himself through his election process.
a tabloid type candidate. host: thank you. professor zelizer. guest: that has what has been troubling to some of his opponents and even to some of his supporters that by calling into question the entire process, many trump's supporters will have trouble believing in the legitimacy of the outcome and if he is not the victor. even if he is the winner, and some ways to hear these kinds of statements as a theme, as a closing argument for the campaign would just confirm and strengthen some of the cynicism and distrust many americans have and how in how our political system works. in an area where we have a polarized election, it is hard
to get one side to listen the other side and the other side might have legitimate arguments, this idea that in the entire system is not just flawed, not just broken but rigged. it is unfair to create an even more toxic government -- governing environment. as i think the caller was saying , in some ways to undercut for some voters him as a candidate. it is saying i will not follow the rules if i look, but i will follow if i win. some have emerged with the fbi and comey letter. the system seems to were more in his favor than before. some will see it as confusing in which way the rigged system works. teaches atuest
princeton university and is the author of "the fierce urgency of us," julian zelizer joining looking at this election and going back to 2000. we will take you back right now. our board conceding after the decision by the supreme court. al gore: moments ago, i spoke to george w. bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president. i promised him i would not call him back this time. i offered to meet with him as soon as possible so we could start to heal the division of the campaigns and the contest we just passed. almost a century to half ago, stephen douglas told abraham lincoln, who just defeated him, partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. i am with you, mr. president. in it same spirit, i say to president-elect bush, what remains ranker must be put aside
and may god bless his stewardship of this country. neither he nor i anticipated this long and difficult road. neither of us wanted it to happen. yet it came and now it has ended. resolved as it must be resolved through our democracy. over the library of one of our great law schools is inscribed "not under man but under god and law." ,hat is the ruling principle the source of our democratic liberties pretty i tried to make it my guide as it has guided american deliberations of the complex issues of the past five weeks. the u.s. supreme court has spoken. let there be no doubt -- well i strongly disagree with the court's decision, i excepted. i except the finality of this outcome which will be ratified next monday.
tonight for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, i offer my concession. host: professor zelizer, analysis of that from al gore. guest: it is a pretty remarkable speech. if you remember the moment, he references his early concession call, which is on the night of the election. what happens is about 2:16 in the morning, fox news called it for george w. bush, called florida for bush and all of the networks followed. gorecame clear after al had offered a concession that it was not settled yet. gore talked to bush and said circumstances have changed and a very tense interaction between them when bush is saying the
governor, his brother, called it and it was over. gore said they would have to have a recount to figure out what the vote was area he referenced in the speech with a joke. --e broadly, the joke was the speech was hard for many democrats. many do not accept what the supreme court had done. they believed the recount should continue until we had full knowledge of won the vote. al gore decided what was most important was protecting the political process, stopping the fight, sending a signal to democrats and republicans that he was done and he would accept the legitimacy of the decision that he did not agree with. for hisof the call supporters and the country to think of the values, patriotism rather than partisanship. that will not work very well in
the next few years. at least for the moment, it did. that concession was enormously important. although it comes on while after the actual election day to place , it was soon after the supreme court decision and was an important moment many historians certainly will consider of leadership for the person in the end lost the election. it was very important in healing temporarily some of the wounds that emerged. , massachusetts, independent line. trump, hesay with says it is a rigged election. can, i can take money that he had collected from
insurance, billions of dollars and say i can. them because iy can. i am entitled to that. muscleman because i can. pull apart in the handicapped because i can. i can man. he turns around and talk about women badly because i can. where does it stop to this man? i am telling you right now, i can take him apart. goodbye. guest: thessor? fundamental critique, many critiques that donald trump has heard and has been criticized for many things but with the rigged election in addition to calling digital question the legitimacy of our political system before there is any evidence that any problems exist
of the kind he is talking about. we have many issues were our political system can be reformed. there is an ongoing discussion about whether he understands the limit of power and our political system. that is why the idea of a concession speech is so important. the idea of accepting the outcome is so important. as a candidate, you understand if you do lose, that is it and you have to accept the results and the new leader of the country. it is not new with donald trump. he was part of the birther movement in 2011, which people consider a similar kind of argument raising questions about the legitimacy of our president, the person who is in the white house through arguments about where he was born. i think this is the danger that people fear and they connect it
to a broader outlook he has about how he handles all kinds of issues for business to his personal life and now politics. host: california, democrats line. caller: i have a couple of questions. expect to haves people such as yourself say that we have fair elections when we side andhe democratic for the primary had a news bc -- nbc callin the election for california the day before for hillary clinton, knowing the polls do not close until 7 p.m. on the west coast?
that type of behavior in the -- beingsenting partieses for certain and corporations instead of seeing the citizen as the most important piece of democracy as being a fair process. --the primary, they called there were ballots that had still not been counted when it they gave the delegates to hillary clinton. within day, for me alameda county, my ballot stub from your ballot, the part you keep for yourself to check and see if your vote was counted, to this day, my vote has never been counted. host: thank you. guest: we have to distinguish ofween the arguments we have
accusing the whole system in a coordinated fashion being rigged from real problems that exist in our election process. some of which is the caller talked about and others which others have mentioned. a finance system that many people urgently feel needs to be corrected because there is too much private money flowing into campaigns and candidates are forced to constantly asking for the funding they need to run advertisements and the organizations that they need to win. we have talked about allocation -- allegations of voter fraud. the real problems many people eating our though voter fraud met -- many people think our though voter fraud mechanisms that has led to the disenfranchisement of voters. often at this might fall hardest on a disadvantage communities, latino, african-american, where
some of these ideologues -- id laws and mechanisms might dissuade people from voting. there are problems in how the media covers elections. there are issues that have been ways on which contests are called. this is part of 2000. one of the argument is fox should not have called it election for george bush in the early morning hours. it was not clear. a network that is more conservative than others, the other networks followed quickly. many people said why didn't they do that, they made a collective mistake. they framed the 2000 election as george w. bush has won and al gore was going to contest then an election night where nothing had yet been resolved and nobody won. many problems with our system.
many of the mechanisms we use in counties to vote and we need to have a discussion and talk about reform. are serious policy issues that cannot be pushed aside nor should they be ignored. afraid to connect to the kind of arguments about a rigged election which people do not want to engage in. those are serious questions. a lot of of interest and discussion about reform. it was a pillar of bernie sanders campaign, how financing works is skewing and breaking our political system. host: caffe in delaware, republican line. caller: good morning. --ill give you three just basic reasons why trump has legitimate complaint. obama lied about knowing when he clinton's emails.
loretta lynch met with bill , that has the appearance of total corruption. brazille send questions to hillary clinton before the debate. has had to trump deal with the most corrupt government that i have ever seen in my lifetime. i am retired. i have to go all the way back to nixon to see such corruption in our federal government. it is just a deplorable. host: thank you. what is remarkable about the obama administration's ,egacy at this point, the issue the scandal, the allegations of corruption are actually far fewer than we have have -- had a in a longistrations
time. there has been much less evidence. even with the toxic, partisan environment we have in washington than president clinton even under president bush. i am not sure the comparison with watergate is really fair simply on the measure of how many instances there have been of actual corruption. obviously in the severity of what we're talking about, there is a lot we do not know in terms of how this e-mail issue has been handled. it is too early to tell what happened on the inside. at least in the end, the fbi director, through his letter, sent the political winds in favor of donald trump. weeks, thel
administration has not ended up working in favor of hillary clinton. actually the opposite. this is not an administration where there's a big record of corruption. there are a lot of other issues that people point to where they disagree with the president's policies overseas or health care. they do not like him personally, but corruption, it is not the scale and scope we have seen in previous administrations. host: our guest to talk about these comparisons between two 2000 and potentially -- and potentially with the election next week, julian zelizer. take us back to 2000 for george bush. part of his acceptance beach. we will play a little bit of it. -- part of his acceptance speech. our country is bent through a longer trying period. foroutcome not finalized
longer than any of us could have imagined. vice president gore put our hearts in hopes into our campaigns. we both gave it our all. we share similar emotions. thiserstand how difficult moment must be for vice president gore and his family. he has a distinguished record as a congressman, a senator and a vice president. this evening i received a gracious call from the vice president. we agreed to meet early next week in washington. we agreed to do our best to heal our country after this hard-fought contest. all of, i want to thank the thousands of volunteers and campaign workers who worked so hard on my behalf. i also salute the vice president and his supporters for waging a spirited campaign. that thank him for a call
i know is difficult to make. the vice i wish president as senator lieberman and his family the best. i have a lot to be thankful for tonight. i am thankful for america. and thankful we were able to resolve our electoral differences in a peaceful way. host: professor, what about that -- what you gain from that? guest: obviously, his central message was one of reconciliation. he does not ignore the bitterness and anger that existed nor does he totally ignore what happened. he is in that speech reaching down to al gore, to the democrats and asking the nation to move beyond what it had to live through through a very difficult few weeks. it was strategic.
the big question after 2000 was how do president-elect bush govern after what happened. whoe were many democrats did not believe the outcome was the right one. the process had been handled poorly and the supreme court with the majority of conservative justice had unfairly stopped the recount process. that message was important to personally and politically because he wanted to set up the first year where he was going to govern aggressively despite not having a mandate. it is a really remarkable first year in that respect with policies like no child left behind where he is not hesitant early on to star governing and push forward his agenda even after the way election unfolded. that speech is an early effort to send a signal he was going to move and his administration was
going to move beyond all of the controversy of the election and the recounts. host: gary in indiana. morning, c-span, your guest. all i have to say about that outcome 60 years ago -- 16 years ago. speech,tage of bush's if i had been mr. gore, i am not sure i would've been such a good work about it. douglas' talk about -- what was it -- oh, shoot. patriotism over partisanship. the supreme court's decision was over partisanship -- patriotism damn it.
gore was president there might not have been a 9/11. guest: some of the sentiment that still exists. frustrated with al gore during the recount process, they felt the democrats were not tough enough. the republicans handled it as a political issue and understood the way the recount happened and to the way it was talked about in front of the media and the way they strategically talked about the timeline in politics that would ensue down the investigation was much better than the democrats who the writer jeff said it was a legal issue than political. and at the end, it was a losing way in which to handle this. whoe were some democrats was not happy that gore was conceding. they thought it should continue.
gore disagreed. he did not want to create a constitutional crisis. he did not want to put the nation and ongoing period of jeopardy. he felt the last battle had been fought. he made the decision. remembering there were many supporters who did not agree he should do it. it reflected a broader problem with the democratic strategy during those weeks. that is important going through 2016. since then, democrats and republicans prepare methodically for election challenge. they have legal teams and money to support legal teams in case recount should happen. they remember 2000 and think through what the political strategy will be if there any electoral college loaded states
where there is the ability to contest the vote and how they will do it. the political strategy for doing that. election day is just one part of the process. i think there is an ongoing legacy that has really reshaped the campaign. it has kept to the issue of the vote on the table. that is why you have these heated battles over voter id laws. there are many democrats who have been very opposed to vote a restriction mechanisms that have been put into place for the requirement of different kinds of identification when you go to vote two states who have made it harder to vote by registration or limiting early voting. many democrats thinking of the lesson of 2000, every vote should count and we should make it easier not harder to vote. it still shapes our conversations. host: julian zelizer at