Katherine Harris Unhappy With 'Recount'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 2, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BRUCE MCGILL, ACTOR: That is exactly why I backed your campaign, when everyone else ran over to Mortham, because you are a woman of action.

LAURA DERN, ACTRESS: A woman of action, like Queen Esther.

MCGILL: Queen Esther?

DERN: I have been reading my Bible quite a bit lately, and I have been feeling this extremely strong kinship with Queen Esther. You recall Queen Esther. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save the lovely Jewish people. And that's exactly what I'm doing right now.


• Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was actress Laura Dern playing Katherine Harris in the new HBO movie, "Recount." Here in an exclusive interview to respond to Dern's portrayal, former Florida secretary of state and former Florida congresswoman, Katherine Harris, and her attorney, Joe Klock. And welcome to you both.

Katherine, thanks for doing our show. What's your reaction to your portrayal in that movie?

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 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 leading 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, it would have learned that we did that from the very start.

COLMES: You have your attorney, Joe Klock, with you, and are you here representing Katherine Harris, because you're considering legal action here? And what — do you have a role in all of this?

JOE KLOCK, ATTORNEY FOR HARRIS: Legal action, I mean the thing is, as far as the secretary is concerned, it's just — it's ridiculous that her portrayal is ridiculous. And the question is how much dignity you want to give it.

The fact of the matter is that they an opportunity to talk to her before they did it. They didn't do it. They didn't want to do it. They wanted to portray her in a highly negative way and it's highly inaccurate.

The fact of the matter is — is that Mac Stipanovich did not sit in on any significant decisions. The secretary sat with her lawyers and her team and make the decisions on the spot. I mean, it's just — the whole thing is just...

COLMES: But are you involved because you are considering some kind of legal action?

HARRIS: Actually, I wanted Joe to speak to the actual accounts that occurred, the events of the recount. He was with me. We made the decisions while we were together. I never left the room. I never took a telephone call. I reviewed the memos. I'm sure you can speak to that.

KLOCK: I mean, basically, we had a team of people. You know, initially, most of us on the team were Democrats and that caused a little friction, not with the secretary but with a lot of folks in her office.

HARRIS: We did not want to go back-channeling to the Bush team, and so consequently, whenever we made our actions, then there were nine others included.

The way I'm portrayed right now, you can see it's hardly the way I looked in the film. But again, the appearance doesn't matter as much as the content.

HANNITY: Katherine, how are you? Sean Hannity. Good to see you.

HARRIS: Hi, Sean.

HANNITY: This is too important. Now, I didn't see the movie before we interviewed Kevin Spacey, but I did pick up from the trailer and other parts that they had attacked you, and I have asked Kevin Spacey about that. After seeing the movie, it was so biased and so radically left wing, I want to bring Spacey back and tell them where it was wrong, because here's the truth.

In a nutshell, you had ordered and asked the Florida Supreme Court, if I recall. You tell me if I am wrong here, to issue a state-wide 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 the sighting. Isn't that true?

HARRIS: You're absolutely right. Joe?

KLOCK: We filed that action at 3 o'clock in the morning on November 15 and by 9 o'clock 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 uproar, outrage about it, and then later that day, the Supreme Court dismissed it without prejudice.

HARRIS: Let me say simply 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.

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

HARRIS: Let me just 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 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.


HARRIS: 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, indeed, I should certified in time according to the will of law and as the law was written.

KLOCK: The other thing is...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

KLOCK: The other thing I was going to point out is this, that the portrayal of Secretary Harris is just outrageous. It's patronizing. Nobody else who is, of course, male was portrayed in that kind of fashion.

HANNITY: Joe, stay right there, because that caught my attention, and I have seen the whole movie. More with them on the other side. When we return right here on "Hannity & Colmes."


HANNITY: And we continue now with Katherine Harris. And her attorney, Joe Klock, is with us.

Katherine, I've got to — because we've known you a long time, and we've discussed at length the personal attacks. And I watched this movie. I thought everybody else in the movie, they tried to kind of play it straight. They took some shots. But they took the most shots at you.

Does that bother you at this point? Or do you let it all go?

HARRIS: Well, you know, it's just the historic facts that are so distorted. And I mean, it's just rather outrageous. And so the idea that the others were allowed to review their scripts. And Baker can be perceived as something really strong and his daughter can be in the film. But then they make up my dialogue. The writer admits to making up scenes in dialogue. And it's kind of outrageous. I was never giddy and the last thing I like is the spotlight.

COLMES: Isn't the issue that, as the co-chair of Florida for Bush, the concern was conflict of interest?

HARRIS: Well, you know, I would have thought that but before I agreed to be one of eight honorary chairs with no official responsibility, I looked to the attorney general — who's in charge of Florida laws — and he was actually running Al Gore's campaign.

So I felt that, as long as I didn't have an official role and because every secretary of state before me and every elected cabinet officer independently is — has always been in those roles.

COLMES: We're just out of time. Katherine, we thank you. Joe, thank you very much for coming on tonight.

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