The new communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris, Jamal Simmons, who served as the deputy communications director for the 2000 Gore-Lieberman campaign, claimed repeatedly over a period of nine years that former President George W. Bush’s victory over former Vice President Al Gore in 2000 was illegitimate.
@jpodhoretz I worked for Gore 2000 & believe W's 1st term to have been illegitimate. Yet when in the room w/him I stood and gave ofc respect
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) June 15, 2012
I worked for Gore. Thought W was illegitimate. Still stood for him in respect for office. Members of Congress should go to inauguration.
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) January 6, 2017
The Trump vs Biden equivalency is wrong. Trump was an anti-Democratic huckster grifting the country while unleashing our demons. Biden is the #Democratic version of McCain – a good man I disagreed with. I thought W stole the 2000 elex but I still stood when he entered a room. https://t.co/d2xHkgvCZh
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) January 21, 2021
In 2017, C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush and later U.S. ambassador to the European Union under President George W. Bush co-authored a comprehensive piece in National Review with Elise Passamani, his director of research, in which they examined the false charge repeated by the national media that Bush’s victory was illegitimate.
The authors noted that the popular narrative foisted on the public by Democrats and the media claimed that the Supreme Court, via a partisan 5–4 decision, selected Bush as the president. They then decimated that perspective, stating:
The outcome hinged on an equal-protection argument that sprang directly from rulings issued by the Florida courts and was not an invention of the U.S. Supreme Court. Furthermore, seven of the nine justices agreed with it. And yet, almost nobody knows that Justices Breyer and Souter joined with the majority on the question of equal protection.
The authors recalled how the media “repeatedly informed viewers that the polls were closed in Florida, even though the polls were in fact still open in the ten Panhandle counties in the Central Time Zone. By suppressing voter turnout in the Panhandle, the most conservative part of the state, during the final hour of the election, the press had a hand in instigating the five-week legal battle for the presidency that followed. In the end, the winning equal-protection argument in Bush v. Gore was introduced into the litigation by a small group of disgruntled Panhandle voters, who testified in the circuit court in Tallahassee about being disenfranchised by the media on Election Night.”
“On Sunday, November 26, 2000, after nearly three weeks of counts and recounts, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified the official results and declared Bush the winner of the state’s electoral votes,” the authors pointed out. “Vice President Al Gore’s election contest began the next day, when his lawyers filed a lawsuit in the Leon County Circuit Court in the state capital of Tallahassee, the venue for contesting a statewide election.”
The authors continued:
The Gore team contested the results in three counties, requesting new manual recounts in two of them, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, both of which Gore had won handily. … The Bush team wanted all recounts to end, and the Gore team wanted selective recounts only in counties that had overwhelmingly favored their candidate. …
Judge Sauls ruled from the bench, denying Gore everything he had asked for. Additionally, the judge found that any recount would need to include “all ballots in all the counties in this state,” which was exactly the remedy requested by Myers and his clients. …
Subsequently, Gore appealed to the Florida supreme court, which reversed Sauls’ decision and awarded the vice president a manual recount of unreadable ballots in Miami-Dade. However, they also mandated something Gore had not asked for: a manual recount of undervotes “in all counties that have not conducted a manual recount or tabulation of the undervotes in this election.” …
However, the Florida supreme court failed to establish a uniform standard by which those undervote ballots would be counted, and they ignored the existence of overvotes (ballots for which machines detected more than one vote for president). …
The numerous retellings of the Florida recount and Bush v. Gore largely ignore the testimony (and even the very existence) of the intervening voters in the Leon County Circuit Court. Nowhere is this more glaring than in C-SPAN’s documentation of the Sauls trial. Nothing on the C-SPAN archive website acknowledges that the video is incomplete or abridged. Teresa Cruce and Jeanette Seymour are among the witnesses who have simply vanished. …
Since 2010, C-SPAN has maintained all its recordings dating back to 1987 in a free online library. There are two large segments missing from C-SPAN’s video of the Sunday of the Judge Sauls trial. Together, these missing segments cover approximately 20 percent of the trial transcript. Nine of the twelve witnesses who testified that day are absent. Nothing on the C-SPAN archive website acknowledges that the video is incomplete or abridged. Teresa Cruce and Jeanette Seymour are among the witnesses who have simply vanished. …
By excising them from the history of the case, the media have obscured the meaning of the rulings of Judge Sauls and the Florida supreme court. This helped to successfully delegitimize George W. Bush before he was even sworn in as president. Ultimately, Bush v. Gore demonstrates how “fake news” becomes “fake history.”
Two days after the National Review article was published, National Review offered this update:
Within hours of the publication of this story, C-SPAN altered their online archive, and nearly four hours of missing footage from the Sauls trial suddenly reappeared. Apparently they had the footage close at hand. You can now watch the testimony of Teresa Cruce and Jeanette Seymour here, starting at 27:18.
Previously, C-SPAN showed the Sunday of the Sauls trial in a single video that was 7 hours, 44 minutes, and 11 seconds long, as you can see in this screen capture taken the day before this article was published.
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