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Cheney Hospitalized with Chest and Shoulder Pains; Resting Comfortably at George Washington University HospitalAired November 22, 2000 - 11:30 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: At this point, we know that Dick Cheney is resting comfortably at George Washington University Hospital. Don't know very much about the condition, and what exactly happened. We just know that he had chest and shoulder pains and he is now resting comfortably, has had the proper tests, and we're going to turn over to Jeanne Meserve, who is in Austin, Texas. We are waiting for a news conference around noon, where George W. Bush is supposed to have some reaction to his condition.
Jeanne, is that true? And do you know anything else at this point?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I can tell you that the campaign's communications director, Karen Hughes, was spotted a few minutes ago and asked how Secretary Cheney was doing. And she said everything sounds encouraging. As you know, an EKG that was done this morning showed no change and his early blood test showed no change in cardiac enzymes, both very good signs.
We know that Governor Bush was awaken at about 5:00 this morning and told that Secretary Cheney had been admitted to George Washington University Hospital and he did phone Secretary Cheney there.
Now when the governor entered the state capitol an hour or so ago, reporters yelled questions at him about how Secretary Cheney was doing. He refused to answer those, saying he would have a statement shortly. We expect that come up in 15 minutes to half an hour's time. He will be speaking to us from the State Capitol Reception Room.
Bush is expected to address not just Secretary Cheney's condition. but to have some reaction to that Florida Supreme Court ruling last night, which is allowing those hand counts in Florida to go forward -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Jeanne, do you know if the governor has visited Cheney since he has been in the hospital since this morning.
MESERVE: No, because the governor is here in Austin, Texas, and Secretary Cheney is in Washington, D.C. They have simply communicated by telephone that is it.
PHILLIPS: I am sorry, I meant to say, had plans to go visit him. I apologize. MESERVE: Not that we have heard anything about, no. I think all attention this morning has been on preparing the statement this morning, which is supposed to address Secretary Cheney's condition, and of course reaction to the Florida Supreme Court.
We don't know at this point exactly what the campaign is going to do. They have talked about several options. Last night, Secretary Baker, in his very heated remarks after the ruling, hinted that they might turn to the state legislature and see if they wanted to do something about the way electors are chosen in the state of Florida.
Certainly also, the campaign has raised constitutional issues throughout this, saying that having the hand counts done in only selected counties made the weighing of votes arbitrary and unfair. So it is possible we could see further court action by the Bush campaign in federal court, perhaps. We don't know yet what option, either of those, or any others, they might choose, but hope to get some illumination when Governor Bush speaks to us within the half hour -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: CNN's Jeanne Meserve in Austin, Texas, thank you -- Leon.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's turn to Washington now, and our political analyst Bill Schneider is going to join us now to give us another perspective on the situation now with Dick Cheney.
Bill, can you give us an idea of the repercussions that occur to you, now, if Mr. Cheney does stay in the hospital, and if things actually deteriorate?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we all of course hope for the best for Secretary Cheney, and the indication at the moment are encouraging. So I believe that nobody is going to take any precipitous action.
He, of course, is in a vice president -- still a vice presidential candidate. Nobody is vice president-elect at this point, because neither ticket has achieved an electoral majority. If for some reason he were to be declared -- or declare himself incapable of running for vice president, because, remember, the actual selection occurs on December 18th -- That is when the electors meet in their respective state capitols -- If for any reason he decides that he cannot serve as vice president, then there is a procedure. Governor Bush would recommend another choice and the Republican National Committee would have a special meeting, probably here in Washington, most likely to ratify George Bush's choice, unless it were a particularly controversial choice.
The last time I can remember that happening was in 1972, after the Democratic Convention, when the first choice of the Democratic nominee, George McGovern, was Tom Eagleton. After there were revelations about his medical treatments in the past, he left the ticket and was replaced by the Democratic National Committee. He was replaced by Sergeant Shriver, who became the running mate. The difference here is this is after election day. But I don't think there would be any difference in procedure because the electors will still not have voted until December 18th. So between now and December 18th, Cheney could theoretically be replaced, although it is not clear at this point, there is any need to do so.
HARRIS: How likely is that the party itself would recommend to Governor Bush that he at least consider doing something like that?
SCHNEIDER: I think that it's very unlikely. I think this will be left in the hands of Governor Bush and Secretary Cheney. They will make the decision about what is best for Secretary Cheney, what is best for the Republican ticket. I think the decision will be left in the hands of the two nominees, and the doctors. They are the ones who really should make that decision. My guess is the Republican National Committee will take Governor Bush's advice.
HARRIS: And again, let's reiterate, no matter which way this goes, we certainly do hope that Secretary Cheney does recover and recovers well.
SCHNEIDER: Of course.
HARRIS: Bill Schneider, thanks much. Appreciate it.
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