December 13, 2000 Web posted at: 11:03 p.m. EST (0403 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 presidential election Wednesday night, effectively concluding an election that was supposed to have ended five weeks ago.
"Tonight, for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession," Gore said in televised address from Washington's Old Executive Building, adjacent to the White House.
With his family and running mate, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, solemnly watching a few feet from the podium, Gore told the nation that had placed a telephone call to Texas Gov. George W. Bush offering his congratulations.
"I promised him that I wouldn't call him back this time," Gore quipped, referring to his Election Night concession to Bush he retracted an hour later. "I offered to meet with him as soon as possible so that we can start to heal the divisions of the campaign and the contest through which we just passed."