Here’s the longer version of Clinton’s remarks:
Q. [to Clinton] Talking about elections, Robert Kennedy Jr. just wrote an article in Rolling Stone claiming the Bush Administration stole the last election. Do you think it was, and how can we guard against something like that going on in the future?
WJC: I must say I read Robert Kennedy’s article in Rolling Stone, and I think all of you should if you haven’t. And before I read it, I was convinced that President Bush had won Ohio… I… I thought it would have been ironic if he had lost the election in the electoral college and won the popular vote–that is, if he went out the same way he came in. ButÅ but I think thatÅ I think that — two things. I think there is no question that Al Gore would have won Florida if all the votes had been counted and the people who intended to vote for him had their votes counted.
Between the people whose votes were thrown out for erroneous double voting instructions in Jacksonville, and the 3400 Jewish Democrats who voted for Pat Buchanan in the butterfly ballot, and several others, there’s no question that several thousand more people in Florida intended to vote for Gore and showed up on Election Day. And I still believe that the two Bush v. Gore decisions will go down as one of the four or five worst decisions in the history of the United States Supreme Court. I think it was a disgrace. And I think ifÅ if Gore had been ahead and Bush had been behind, the Supreme Court would have voted nine to nothing to count all the votes by uniform standard. That’s what I think would have happened. You may not agree but that’s what I… I used to teach that course, Constitutional Law. That’s what I think.
In this case, I think… You know, I don’t have an opinion, but I thought Robert Kennedy made a very persuasive case, and what was clear is that the Secretary of State, now their candidate for governor, was a world-class expert in voter suppression, and that he was doing everything he could to keep voters that he thought were Democrats from voting–in every way that he could. And I think that is wrong. And I hope that the voters of Ohio will repudiate it. I mean, you know, we ought to be in the business of getting more people to vote, not fewer.
We don’t have as many people–heck, they had 70 percent of the voters voted in Iraq in the last election, they had a better voter turnout than we did, and a bunch of them were risking their lives. So I don’t think we ought to be ratifying the public service of anybody who thinks it’s his job to keep people from voting and that’s [applause]… but I don’t have an opinion because I didn’t know anything about it ’til I read Robert Kennedy’s article. But he sure as heck raised a–he made a compelling case, those numbers that he said in some of those precincts, the probability of the vote total being that much at variance with the exit polls was one in 600,000.
And it happened over and over and over again. So if you haven’t read the article, I urge you to read it and when you go back home I urge you to look at… you know, again this is without regard to party, I just don’t think we ought to be suppressing voters. We ought to be getting them to the polls and letting them vote and letting them have their say.