Stahl: Is there no emotion here? NEXT: "WE NEVER SAID THAT MORON WON!"
Gore: Yes. It is the emotion of a parent watching their child be bullied by the son of the richest, most powerful family in town, and that parent knowing that he might not be able to stop it. Knowing that the people who should stop it are in cahoots with that powerful family.
Stahl: Those emotions that -- What about Katherine Harris? Weren't you angry at her?
Gore: I think she has lousy taste in men, and the legal mind of Anna Nicole-Smith. The things we do for love, huh? Or an ambassadorship.
Stahl: Have you given any thought, any thought to what would happen if it doesn't work out for you?
Gore: Very little because, you know, coming up to the election, I was pretty well prepared to win, somewhat prepared if it didn't work out. What I was not prepared for was neither outcome.
Stahl: This has to be so hard?
Gore: Well there was a cartoon in one of the papers this morning that showed both George W. Bush and me running as sprinters toward the finish line and the finish line was being held by two other runners and it keeps on getting farther away. It won't last forever. I'm expecting that it will be over with within the next two weeks.
Stahl: One way you could win this election if the absentee ballots in Seminole County and Martin County are thrown out. People say that's a huge contradiction because you're arguing every vote counts and now people's intended votes wouldn't be counted. Why haven't you repudiated the lawsuit to invalidate those legitimate…
Gore: I decided not to join that lawsuit. But what has come out in that other lawsuit since I decided not to join it has been very interesting. Apparently the Republican supervisor of elections threw out all the Democratic ballot applications that were missing this number they're talking about, but let the Republican Party workers with their computers come right into the courthouse, apparently illegally, and change the Republican applications, throw away the Democratic ballot applications, and accepted the Republican ballot applications. That certainly doesn't seem fair to me.
Stahl: Sounds like you like that case.
Gore: Like it? I'm not exactly thrilled that a partisan elections official took it upon herself to give differential treatment to the requests of voters she liked (republicans) and voters she didn't (everybody else). There was no good reason not to allow democrats the same access, when they requested it. I'm also more than a little concerned that the GOP operatives who changed the ballot requests were left alone and unsupervised with election computers that contain the voter records for Seminole County. Many of my supporters showed up to vote on election day, voter registration card in hand, only to find that their records had been deleted. Deleted by whom, is what I would like to know, and what I think we all deserve to know.
Stahl: I want to read something in today's New York Times: 'Whichever man ends up having to concede is going to feel tormented, rejected, humiliated, victimized, angry, cheated, ashamed, lonely, and bone tired.' Oh, my. Now I know why you're fighting so hard.
Gore: I'm not tired. I'm not the one handing the reigns of my life over to my vice-presidential nominee and napping my life away. I'm in this for the duration, and I am jazzed.
Stahl: But you don't think you're going to concede. They're saying if you end up having to.
Gore: How can I lie to the people? Especially after all these facts have
come to light? I can't unring that bell, make them forget what they now know. I can say the words, "I concede," but everyone will know what that means. It means that our process has failed the people it purports to serve. It will not change the fact of the people's will. It will not change history.
Stahl: You have been described by people who have seen you as a lost soul in deep denial wracked by 'what ifs.'
Gore: Dr. Laura, I presume? Please, I am doing the only emotionally healthy thing I can do. I am fighting for what I believe in, what I know is right, and for the people who entrusted me with their votes and asked me to see those votes safely home. I can do nothing but what I am doing. I made a promise, and I am keeping that vow. I am not in denial, I am in service.
Stahl: That's person in denial is not the person I'm seeing but I don't see you behind the scenes. Are you in deep denial?
Gore: No. No. I deny that. [BIG SMILE]