Citing bad economy, Ross Perot backs Romney
October 16th, 2012
08:26 AM ET
10 years ago

Citing bad economy, Ross Perot backs Romney

(CNN) – Former presidential candidate Ross Perot came out in favor of Mitt Romney Tuesday, writing in a newspaper editorial the 2012 GOP nominee was in a better position to slash America's ballooning federal debt.

Perot, who ran as an independent candidate in 1992 and 1996, wrote in the Des Moines Register President Barack Obama hadn't done enough to fix a stalled economy.

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"Our country faces a momentous choice," Perot wrote. "The fact is the United States is on an unsustainable course. At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home and our constitutional freedoms."

Perot, a Texas businessman and billionaire, ran as an independent candidate in 1992. He dropped out of the race in July but re-entered in October, going on to nab 19% of the vote. He ran again in 1996 and won 8% of ballots cast. He backed George W. Bush in 2000, but stayed out of the presidential race in 2004. In the 2008 GOP primary, he endorsed Romney over then-rival Sen. John McCain.

In his endorsement Tuesday, Perot hit Obama for adding to the national debt as well as presiding over cuts to the military.

"At a moment when turbulence is sweeping critical regions of the world, we are increasingly unprepared," Perot wrote. "That is wrong. It's not the way America ought to be. It is for these reasons that I am endorsing Mitt Romney."

The former candidate went on to cite Romney's balancing the state budget while governor of Massachusetts, despite a legislature run by Democrats.

"In short, although he is a rock-solid conservative, he knows how to reach across the aisle and make common cause with those with whom he disagrees," Perot wrote.

In a statement, Romney wrote he was "proud" to land Perot's endorsement.

"Ross Perot's accomplishments as an entrepreneur, as a political leader, and as a naval officer make him a living legend," Romney wrote. "He understands the challenges facing the nation and what it will take to meet them."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Wake up People!

    Surprise, surprise. One old, rich white man supporting another. Thanks for this big news CNN. You never fail to disappoint.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 16, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. w5cdt

    Who cares what Ross Perot thinks. If he was broke nobody would be quoting him. Just because you have amassed a large bank account doesn't mean you know how to solve the nation's problems.

    October 16, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. w5cdt

    Yet another rich guy gets his opinion heard. Who cares what Ross thinks. He is yesterday's news.

    October 16, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. Ohio man

    When will people start asking what has Congress done!.... seems to me they have gotten a free pay check for the last 4 years with a approval rating of 10-11% that to me is the MAIN problem. They refuse to do anything, but quick to say Obama is the problem

    October 16, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Babyboomer

    Thanks Mr. Perot. I'll bet you just helped a few undecideds decide... Obama/Biden 2012...

    October 16, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Doesn't this guy know it is 7.8% unemployment–a big drop since GOP idiots rule? Is he for IRAN WAR THAT WILL FURTHER MAKE USA GO BROKE????????

    October 16, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Borderless

    Ya, um, that's not helping.

    October 16, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Ross Perot is clearly still a leader!

    October 16, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  9. Chad

    Wow senility has finally set in. Of course who can be surprised? After all Obama is one of "you people"...

    October 16, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. Glenn Doty

    Wow... A republican-leaning billionaire who made his fortune through military contracts has chosen to support the republican who promises a 20% tax cut for the ultra-wealthy and a massive increase in military spending.

    I'm SHOCKED.

    October 16, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. HemiHead66

    I can't believe I said I liked this guy back when he was running. I think he's senile now. I wonder if he knows that the Military Industrial Complex is bankrupting us? That China accounts for like 6.6% of global Defense spending, and the U.S. accounts for 47%? And that Romney and the wing-nuts want to throw another 2 trillion at it that the Pentagon doesn't even want? As far as our debt goes, every single one of Romney & Ryan's Deficit reduction tricks are taken from the poor so that the elite can stay funded now that we're broke. And we can't create jobs because we can't compete in the world anymore. You should know a little something about that, you were against these crooked trade deals. This isn't like past recessions. China entered the WTO in 2001, now all of our jobs are outsourced & we're running trade deficits out the wazoo. I think this boy is more worried about his pocket than the country. All of the elite are. I guess they think they can take it with them.

    October 16, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. itsonlyfair

    Romney may have closed the annual budget deficit in Massachusetts, but he never made any significant reductions to the overall state debt. And no Republican president during the neoconservative era has ever proposed a balanced budget or reduced the national debt. Reagan didn't do it. George H.W. Bush didn't do it. George W. Bush didn't do it. Every single one of their budget proposals involved deficit spending. Romney's own tax plan on the campaign trail is more of the same. It's not actually deficit neutral on paper, but involves claims that "growth" in the economy later on will close the revenue holes.

    October 16, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. John

    What a surprise, another billionaire supports Romney. Billionaires love their tax cuts.

    October 16, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. BunnyBunny

    Awe, the old bull talker endorsing the new bull talker.

    October 16, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |

    "Citing bad economy, Ross Perot backs Romney"
    So, an old rich white guy is backing Romney for POTUS... how is this supposed to be news?
    I stopped commenting here because the conversation was non existent and way too many partisan hacks. On top of all that the level of journalism displayed by CNN was SO disappointing...I mean, when it comes to delivering the's just a sad state of affairs. And they were always removing what I posted. I had never seen such arbitrary moderation. I couldn't get my opinion out. So I stopped commenting here and went to NPR. They have a much higher level of journalism, a much more intelligent audience and as a result a much more intelligent conversation. NPR switched their posting format to Disqus and now I can't comment there relegating me to this place. This place sucks

    October 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Ancient Texan

    While I have no warm feelings for the man that was responsible for saddling the nation with 8 years of Bill Clinton, He is correct in stating that Obama has done nothing to turn the economy around.

    October 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. GI Joe

    More money in Perot's pocket if there's a republican in there cutting taxes on his capital gains to 0%. Too obvious.

    October 16, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Zinc

    Odd, since that "giant sucking sound" of jobs moving to other countries has been a tune that Romney likes to dance to.

    October 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. whatever

    Birds of a feather....

    October 16, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. Timbuck2

    Of course Ross Perot would support Romney, they speak the same language! Both Rich and the issues which concern and affect the common man or woman for that matter, is of no concern to them, they have enough money that a recession does not affect them and theirs...

    October 16, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. gt

    i wonder if bill clinton calls ross and thanks him every day.....

    October 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Sandy

    Another LIAR. The President has DECREASED the deficit. The deficit grew LESS under Obama than under previous republican presidents.

    October 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. matthew

    he is one of the 1%, and its not a surprise

    October 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Sandy

    Oh, and government spending is at a 50 YEAR LOW under President Obama. Romney would INCREASE the deficit with his tax cuts and military spending. What DOOFUSES these rich people are, only out for themselves.

    October 16, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Where is the chart that Perot is going to show how he came up with this idea? Where has he been is getting things on the proper track? As for his time as governor of MA, I think he was a lot more liberal at that point and isn't a true conservative. Most govenors are required to balance the budget; not getting around that!

    October 16, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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