Ross Perot, a former third-party presidential candidate, was one of the first mainstream individuals in the United States to sound the fiscal alarm. Years later, he is now warning of a takeover and that neither presidential candidate is a good pick.
It has already been 20 years since Ross Perot, a multi-billionaire businessman, uttered the words: “Can I finish?” and that “giant sucking sound.” Perot, an 82-year-old Texan, who changed the face of third-party political campaigns, is now penning an autobiography and has re-emerged just in time for the final month of the presidential campaign.
Perot spoke with USA Today and is set to appear on C-SPAN on Tuesday evening. In his interview, Perot discussed his 1992 White House bid, the economic disaster facing the United States and two mainstream presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.
Since his run against President George H.W. Bush and Governor Bill Clinton in 1992, the national debt stood at $4 trillion and rose to more than $16 trillion, while the the budget deficit was at $290 billion and has ballooned to four straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits.
“I didn't get done what I hoped I'd get done. Whether I got elected or not, I hoped they'd all get busy and straighten it out. That hasn't happened yet, and this is my last big effort here,” stated Perot in his interview. “We're on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. Otherwise, we're leaving a disaster to our children's and our grandchildren's future.”
He has not endorsed either Romney or the president, even though his family has donated money to mostly Republican candidates in years past. But it is most likely he will not endorse anyone because, Perot says, no one has a plan to tackle the fiscal crisis at hand.
“Nobody that's running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.”
What could be interpreted as political reckoning to some, Perot issued a dire warning that the U.S. could eventually be taken over if the $16 trillion debt, trillion-dollar deficit and unfunded entitlements and expenditures are not handled properly.
“The last thing I ever want to see is our country taken over because we're so financially weak, we can't do anything,” explained Perot.
“It's like the guy who's drinking—sooner or later, he's got to put a cork on the bottle, right?"
According to Perot, though, there are many factors to consider when talking about Washington’s financial mess and the nation’s economy:
- The failing public schools in the United States
- Teachers’ unions for putting themselves first instead of the children
- The mainstream media for attacking anyone who seeks public office and not highlighting the serious issues
- The president and congress not cutting their salaries until the situation is resolved
Although the general public’s support for a third party has waned since 2007/2008, there have been numerous calls for a legitimate third party, movement or even candidate. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura announced last month that he will run only if there is a non-monetary grassroots effort, his name gets on the ballot in all 50 states and he gets onto the debates.
This year, the person leading among third-party candidates is Libertarian Party nominee and former two-term Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. He has been polling at around six percent nationally.