Ross Perot, the Texas businessman who mounted third-party presidential bids in 1992 and 1996, has thrown his support to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the upcoming general election.
Perot made his feelings known about the GOP presidential candidate in the Des Moines Register:
“Our country faces a momentous choice. 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.
“That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. We can’t afford four more years in which debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows and our military is weakened.”
Perot wrote that he reached this decision because of the stagnant economy, the exploding federal deficit and debt, and runaway domestic spending.
“It is for these reasons that I am endorsing Mitt Romney. He has spent most of his career in the private sector. He understands how jobs are created. He understands how government can get in the way of that process. As a president, he would do what this administration has been unable to do, which is reform our federal government, pare it back, and — most critically — keep it from acting as a brake on economic growth.”
Ross Perot earned nearly 19 percent of the popular vote as an independent candidate in 1992, finishing third behind winning Democrat Bill Clinton and incumbent Republican George H. W. Bush. He also ran in 1996 as the Reform Party candidate, finishing third behind Clinton and Republican challenger Senator Bob Dole with only 8.4 percent. Although Perot won no Electoral College votes in 1992, in terms of the popular vote, he was the most successful third-party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt ran under the Bull Moose banner in 1912.
Ross Perot is also known for organizing a successful rescue mission for two of his employees who were imprisoned in Iran in 1979