Ross Perot, ex-independent presidential candidate, dies at 89

H. Ross Perot former presidential candidate dies at 89

Ross Perot, ex-independent presidential candidate, dies at 89

His 1992 run marked one of the strongest showings for a third-party or independent candidate. He ran again in '96, without as much success, and endorsed Republican candidates in subsequent presidential elections. He ended up with 19% of the popular vote without receiving a single Electoral College vote. Whatever it was, we are now in deep voodoo, I'll tell you that. He appeared in February 1992 on CNN's "Larry King Live" and, asked if was running for president, stated firmly, "No". At the time, the primetime show was one of the highest rated on cable.

Morton H. Meyerson, the former EDS and Perot Systems president and CEO, was one of Perot's most recent visitors. Perot was a true self-made businessman and was successful despite many business tribulations. And, like Trump, he talked at length about problems but offered very little in the way of detailed plans to address them.

Perot's was truly a grassroots campaign. He wanted to focus on his branding and declined to heed the advice of aides who argued for a more professional and traditional campaign.

At the Perot Systems headquarters he kept mementoes, including his childhood bicycle and a walking stick believed to have belonged to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Perot said he left the race due to threats toward his daughter's reputation and wedding. It was the second time he ran as a third-party candidate.

His 1992 independent presidential bid - the most successful third-party candidacy in eight decades - exposed fault lines in the USA political system that would some day result in electoral earthquakes. His poll numbers faded from a peak of almost 40%, and he finished third.

However, Perot's media and personality-driven campaign delivered a roadmap for Trump on how a populist could run against the establishment (and against a Bush, no less).

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Perot directly challenged Clinton and Bush's support of the North American Free Trade Agreement during the election cycle, and argued the treaty would cause the loss of American jobs. In one debate, he uttered another flawless phrase when he predicted that the new North American Free Trade Agreement would create a "giant sucking sound" as it yanked to Mexico.

While he worked at Perot Systems in suburban Dallas, entire hallways were filled with memorabilia from soldiers and POWs that Perot had helped.

His 1992 numbers were even better. Running on a platform of balancing the budget and ending the foreign outsourcing of jobs, Perot captured 18.9 percent of the popular vote, drawing support from moderates on both sides of the political spectrum. Trump challenged the establishment from within the GOP - successfully.

Perot had been fighting leukemia for five months, a Perot family spokesman said.

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