GWEN IFILL: Voters in 16 states effectively sealed the Democratic nomination for president Tuesday. In every contest Vice President Gore resoundingly defeated rival Bill Bradley, the former New Jersey Senator.
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GWEN IFILL: Gore made his valedictory sprint on this morning's network talk shows.
AL GORE: Well, I'm feeling a lot of joy and a lot of gratitude to all the people who helped me to all of the people who helped me to the victories last night.
GWEN IFILL: Bradley headed home to his New Jersey headquarters to work out a graceful exit. His aides expect him to withdraw tomorrow.
Gore's victory was a sweet one. The former Tennessee senator swept all 11 primary states and five caucus states. According to the latest estimates Gore now holds 1418 delegates compared with Bradley's 406. It takes 2,170 delegates to earn the party nomination. Gore's more than halfway there.
The two Democrats immediately set about healing lingering wounds.
BILL BRADLEY: I just called the Vice President to congratulate him on his victories tonight. He won, I lost. And on one level I agree with Vince Lombardi when he said, "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."
GWEN IFILL: At a jubilant Super Tuesday party at Gore's Nashville headquarters, the victor praised the vanquished.
AL GORE: I think that anybody who has heard Bill Bradley throughout this campaign has come away from the experience moved and touched by the strength of his commitment to healing the divisions in our country, especially divisions based on race.
GWEN IFILL: But the Gore campaign has already turned its attention to the general election ahead, and to the Republican Party's likely nominee, Texas Governor George W. Bush.
AL GORE: We need to build on our record of prosperity. We don't need to go back to where we were eight years ago. (Cheers and applause) They tried... They tried their approach before. It produced a triple-dip recession and quadrupled the national debt. If you don't want to go back to that, then join us now. Our campaign is your cause. (Applause)
If you believe... If you believe in a woman's right to choose... (Cheers and applause) ...a right that must never be weakened, never be undermined, never be taken away, join us now. (Cheers and applause) The Supreme Court is at stake, and our campaign is your cause.
GWEN IFILL: Gore also declared his support for campaign finance reform, hoping to ward off Republican criticism of his ties to supporters who broke campaign finance laws.
AL GORE: I spoke just last night about the fact that I've learned from my mistakes. And one of the things I've learned is the need for strong campaign finance reform. Three of the four candidates running last night support campaign finance reform. I've called upon the Republican nominee to join me in banning all so-called soft money and even go further, and that is to eliminate all the 30-second and 60-second TV and radio ads and instead debate twice a week a different issue each time every week from the time the nominations are decided until election day.
GWEN IFILL: Bradley, in his concession speech last night, said the principles of his campaign were still intact.
BILL BRADLEY: Tonight I want to go deeper than winning or losing and agree with Kipling who said we should treat those two impostors just the same. Despite our lack of victory tonight, there's so much that every one of you who became a part of our campaign has to be proud of. We've shaped the national debate in this campaign. We've brought core Democratic issues to the floor. When no one was talking about the 44 million Americans without health insurance, we did. (Cheers and applause) We gave voice to the voiceless. When no one was talking-- when no one was talking about the 13 children who die every day of gun violence, we heard their cries. (Applause) When no one was talking about the nearly 14 million children who still live in poverty in this country, we said America can't be America if they remain poor in a time of plenty.
GWEN IFILL: As for Gore, he campaigns in Michigan tonight and Minnesota tomorrow. Democratic caucuses will be held in both states on Saturday.