Former President George W. Bush sent his condolences Tuesday to the family of Ross Perot, the billionaire most known for his runs for president as a third-party candidate.
Perot died Tuesday after a five-month battle with leukemia, CNN reported.
In a statement, Bush praised Perot’s patriotism and spirit.
“Texas and America have lost a strong patriot. Ross Perot epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit and the American creed. He gave selflessly of his time and resources to help others in our community, across our country, and around the world. He loved the U.S. military and supported our service members and veterans. Most importantly, he loved his dear wife, children, and grandchildren. Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Perot family as they celebrate a full life.”
Perot ran two unsuccessful campaigns for president as a third-party candidate. In 1992, Perot had the most successful third-party campaign of all time, CNN reported. Perot garnered 19 percent of the popular vote, and he came in third behind Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush’s late father, President George H.W. Bush, who was the incumbent at the time.
Some have speculated that Perot’s 1992 campaign cost President George H.W. Bush his re-election to Clinton, The Week reported.
According to a tweet from CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, H.W. Bush’s 1992 Deputy Campaign Manager Mary Matalin said she believed Perot’s candidacy cost Bush the election.
During that campaign, Perot challenged H.W. Bush and then-candidate Clinton on their support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he argued would result in the loss of American jobs, per CNN.
Perot’s second campaign came in 1996 when he lost to incumbent Bill Clinton, receiving about 8 percent of the popular vote in the election, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. In that election, he ran as the candidate for the Reform party, a third party he founded in 1995, according to CNN.
CNN also reports that Perot became a billionaire in his 50s after selling Electronic Data Systems Corporation, a data processing business he founded, to General Motors for $2.5 billion.
Perot was also known for his efforts to create better conditions for U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam and was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service by the Department of Defense in 1974 for his work, CNN reported.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, at the time of his death, Perot had a net worth estimated near $4.1 billion.