H. Ross Perot

"Will he, or won't he...run for the presidency again?" That question was on the minds of most of an NPC luncheon crowd April 25 [1995], when a grim-looking Ross Perot once again complained about the State of the Nation--this time without his legendary charts. Club President Monroe Karmin, however, brought his own chart revealing that Perot had set a record with his appearance: he's spoken at the Club more than any other person--seven times. Perot slid by the first question after his formal speech on what's wrong with America--"Do you plan to run for president again" in 1996?--with the reply, "We'll only do what's in the long-term best interest of our country...We will wait. I want to give the Republicans and Democrats a chance to do the job." However, he then said chances for a third-party candidate are good, as "57 percent of the American voters now say they want a third political party" and that while "29 percent now say they're Democrats, 30 percent say they're Republicans, and--hold on to your hats, folks- -37 percent say they're independent voters." (He failed to give the source of his figures.) His criticism of Congress' failure to enact legislation included a balanced budget amendment, the elimination of lobbying for foreign countries, and campaign finance reform. He said the latter was necessary to avoid the obligations resulting from campaign costs so exorbitant that representative must raise $5,800 a week while in office to get reelected, and senators, $12,800 a week. Perot also complained about the lack of action to make the federal government debt free, with bills to fill a non-existent Social Security trust fund; to pay for Medicare trust fund, which he claimed would be bankrupt by 2002, and to finance $1.4 trillion in unfunded federal pension obligations. The National Press Club Record Volume XLV, No. 17. May 4, 1995

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