Former Vice President Al Gore offered one of the most important concession speeches in American history following the extremely close 2000 election.
Gore conceded defeat to George W. Bush following weeks of legal battles over the recounting of votes in Florida, on December 13, 2000.
In a televised speech from his ceremonial office next to the White House, Gore said that while he was deeply disappointed and sharply disagreed with the Supreme Court verdict that ended his campaign, ”partisan rancor must now be put aside.”
“I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College” he said. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
Gore had won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 votes, but narrowly lost Florida, giving the Electoral College to Bush 271 to 266.
Had he chosen to claim ‘fraud’ or refused to concede, it could have split the country and created deep partisan divides endangering the Republic just months before America was attacked on September 11, 2001.
WATCH: Jim on History, Al Gore’s Important Concession