San Jose, Calif. Former Sen. Bob Dole said leading members of both major parties have a responsibility to set bitterness aside and work together now that the presidential election has been decided.
"It was a bitter election. The country is and was divided," Dole told reporters before a speech Friday to the San Jose Chamber of Commerce.
"It's going to be up to President Bush and leading Democrats. You can't be conciliatory unless there's somebody to conciliate with."
Dole, 81, said he accomplished his most important initiatives in the Senate with bipartisan support.
"Both parties have room for improvement. Both parties have good ideas," said the Kansas Republican, who served in the Senate from 1968 to 1996.
The biggest loser in the presidential election, he said, was "the so-called mainstream media."
Bush's victory was solid enough to dispel any doubts about the legitimacy of his presidency, Dole said. In the disputed 2000 election, the Supreme Court stopped a vote recount in Florida.
"That's all over now," Dole said. "He's been elected with a good margin."
Asked whether he believes a draft is in America's future, he responded, "No. You don't need it."