Katherine Harris: Gore Fought Against Statewide Florida Recount

In an appearance on Monday's Hannity and Colmes on FNC, former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris responded to the HBO movie Recount, about the 2000 Florida recount of the presidential election, as she charged that the movie ignored Harris's early attempt to implement a statewide recount in Florida, a move which was fought by the Al Gore campaign. According to Harris attorney Joe Klock, who worked on the recount case, Gore "wanted no part of" a statewide recount, instead preferring to "count in their four carefully-selected counties," which were predominantly Democratic.

The segment began with a clip of actress Laura Dern negatively portraying Katherine Harris in the movie Recount. Harris responded:

I'm quite accustomed to being mocked in terms of my appearance, but when the truth is so flagrantly disregarded ... we had to respond. In fact, in the closing scene of this film, when two of Gore's lead campaign consultants were leaving by the airplane, they said, "You know, we should have gone after that statewide recount at the beginning." Had the author of this film ... bothered to do the research, then, perhaps, he would have learned that indeed we did that from the very start.

Sean Hannity elaborated:

In a nutshell, you had ordered and asked the Florida Supreme Court, if I recall, and you tell me if I'm wrong here, to order a statewide recount. You wanted them to use uniform counting standards. You did so one week after election day. But it was the Gore campaign that, you know, cherry-picked four heavily Democratic districts that wanted different standards of deciding. Isn't that true?

Klock answered:

We filed that action at 3:00 in the morning on November 15, and by 9:00 in the morning, the Gore people were all over it. They wanted no part of that. They only wanted to count in their four carefully-selected counties. There was such an outrage about it, and then later that day, the Supreme Court dismissed it without prejudice.

Harris added:

If Al Gore had allowed us, and if the Florida Supreme Court had not intervened and rewritten the law, which they're not supposed to do, we could have certified, which is a mere procedural action, and then after that, they could have petitioned any justice for a recount statewide, with uniform standards. And they would have had the time to complete the statewide recount, which we wanted to do.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday June 2 Hannity and Colmes on FNC:

KATHERINE HARRIS, FORMER FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm quite accustomed to being mocked in terms of my appearance, but when the truth is so flagrantly disregarded -- Joe Klock, who was actually the attorney during the recount -- we had to respond. In fact, in the closing scene of this film, when two of Gore's lead campaign consultants were leaving by the airplane, they said, "You know, we should have gone after that statewide recount at the beginning." Had the author of this film, who was the actor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, bothered to do the research, then, perhaps, he would have learned that indeed we did that from the very start.


...

SEAN HANNITY: This is too important, now. I didn't see the movie before I interviewed Kevin Spacey, but I did pick up from the trailer and other parts that they had attacked you, and I asked him about that. After seeing the movie, it was so biased and so radically left wing, I want to bring Spacey back and tell him where he was wrong because here's the truth: In a nutshell, you had ordered and asked the Florida Supreme Court, if I recall, and you tell me if I'm wrong here, to order a statewide recount. You wanted them to use uniform counting standards. You did so one week after election day. But it was the Gore campaign that, you know, cherry-picked four heavily Democratic districts that wanted different standards of deciding. Isn't that true?

HARRIS: You're absolutely right. Joe?

JOE KLOCK, ATTORNEY FOR KATHERINE HARRIS: We filed that action at 3:00 in the morning on November 15, and by 9:00 in the morning, the Gore people were all over it. They wanted no part of that. They only wanted to count in their four carefully-selected counties. There was such an outrage about it, and then later that day, the Supreme Court dismissed it without prejudice.

HARRIS: Let me say this very simply. If Al Gore had allowed us, and if the Florida Supreme Court had not intervened and rewritten the law, which they're not supposed to do, we could have certified, which is a mere procedural action, and then after that, they could have petitioned any justice for a recount statewide, with uniform standards. And they would have had the time to complete the statewide recount, which we wanted to do.

HANNITY: But the ironic part is you wanted a statewide recount.

HARRIS: I did. I thought-

HANNITY: You wanted every vote counted. And they're the ones that selected the Democratic counties. They're the ones that wanted-

HARRIS: Well, let me say this. Let me just say this. We just wanted it to proceed in an orderly and fair fashion. That's why I hired independent counsel to assure that. But the key point here is this: Had they allowed me to certify on time, there would have been time for the statewide recount. I was elected to follow the law. I swore that oath. And by doing so, I was protecting Al Gore's legal rights. His political team was concerned that, because of the virtue of that certification, it would harm him politically. So he listened to his political advisers, instead of Dexter Douglass, his Florida counsel, who said that I should, indeed, certify on time according to the rule of law and as the law was written.