American businessman and politician (1930–2019)
Henry Ross Perot (27 June 1930 – 9 July 2019) was an American business magnate and politician. As the founder of the successful Electronic Data Systems corporation, he became a billionaire. He ran an independent presidential campaign in 1992 and a third party campaign in 1996, establishing the Reform Party in the latter election. Both campaigns were among the strongest presidential showings by a third party or independent candidate in U.S. history.
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- The most frequently repeated statement by good, hard-working people since the Democratic and Republican conventions has been: "How stupid do they think we are?" … United teams win. Divided teams lose. Play to our multicultural strengths. Stop preaching the messages of hate and division in your campaign themes.
And now, a message to both parties. Please remember that those who have participated in the United We Stand America movement are intelligent, thinking, responsible people. They are not unprogrammed robots who can be emotionally swayed by your negative ads or messages of fear and divisiveness. Bluntly, you will have to face the issues to get their votes. Mud wrestling and messages aimed at destroying your opponent and his loved ones won't work.
I love the American people and I am sure that you do, too. I owe them a debt I can never repay and so do you. Today, their Government is a mess, and they want it fixed. By joining together as the owners of this great country, they can solve these problems.
As I've said before, it is time to clean out the barn — join us — pick up a shovel. Get to work!
- Few people in this country have been able to live the American Dream to the extent that I have … Neither political party has effectively addressed the issues that concern the American people.
- Statement of October 1992, as quoted in "Ross Perot, billionaire tycoon and 2-time presidential candidate, dies at 89" by Kate Sullivan, Marlena Baldacci and Karl de Vries at CNN (9 July 2019)
- If I'm poor and you're rich, and I can get you to defend me that's good. But when the tables get turned, I would do my share. Right now we spend about 300$ Billion dollars a year on defense, Japanese spend around 30$ Billion in Asia, the Germans spend about 30$ Billion in Europe. For example, Germany will spend about a trillion dollars building infrastructure over the next 10 years. That's kinda easy to do if you don't have to pick up 30$ billion dollar tab to defend your country. The European community is in a position to pay a lot more then they have in the past....Now that they can [pay], they should.
- 1992 Presidential Debate
- We've shipped millions of jobs overseas and we have a strange situation because we have a process in Washington where after you've served for a while you cash in and become a foreign lobbyist, make $30,000 a month; then take a leave, work on Presidential campaigns, make sure you got good contacts, and then go back out. Now if you just want to get down to brass tacks, the first thing you ought to do is get all these folks who've got these one-way trade agreements that we've negotiated over the years and say, "Fellows, we'll take the same deal we gave you." And they'll gridlock right at that point because, for example, we've got international competitors who simply could not unload their cars off the ships if they had to comply -- you see, if it was a two-way street -- just couldn't do it. We have got to stop sending jobs overseas.
- We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It's pretty simple: If you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,...have no health care—that's the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south...when [Mexico's] jobs come up from a dollar an hour to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and then it's leveled again. But in the meantime, you've wrecked the country with these kinds of deals.
- 1992 Presidential Debate, regarding the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Transcript