After billionaire businessman and two-time former presidential candidate Ross Perot passed away Tuesday, tributes poured in from throughout the political world. And one of the more suprising ones came from another man who has run for president twice.
On Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders posted a tribute to Perot on Twitter, thanking him for his support of veterans and for his opposition to free trade, and went on to praise the late businessman as a “one of a kind American.” Perot was an unabashed capitalist from Texas, while Sanders is a democratic socialist from Vermont, but the two men found a great deal of mutual admiration, not to mention common ground.
Sanders also posted a picture of something very unusual — a sword that was gifted to him by Perot.
The sword — meant to resemble King Arthur’s legendary Excalibur — hangs on a plaque, with Perot’s signature and a longer message.
“Presented to Congressman Bernard Sanders, with deep appreciation for your many years of extraordinary leadership to provide proper medical treatment to our military forces who were wounded by chemical weapons in Desert Storm,” the message reads in part.
The message also quotes Winston Churchill — “Never give in, never give in, never never never.”
It also refers to a “10-year ordeal,” indicating that the sword was presented about a decade after the Gulf War, which would place its presentation around 2000 or 2001, when Sanders was in the House of Representatives.
Ross Perot was a champion for veterans' rights and ahead of his time on disastrous trade policies. During his campaign, he explained, in depth, how he would address our national problems and spurred serious discussion. Ross Perot was a one-of-a kind American. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/qXukirfwcL
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 9, 2019
A story in The New York Times provided some background about the sword in 2015. It hangs on the wall of Sanders’ Washington office, and he joked to the reporter that Perot had told him “when media gives you a problem, take it out! Threaten them!'”
Sanders is currently in his second run for the Democratic presidential nomination, although he’s facing a much larger field of candidates in 2020 than he did in 2016.
Per the Real Clear Politics polling average, Sanders is currently in third place in the Democratic field with an average of 14.9 percent in the national polls. Joe Biden is in first place with 27.3 percent, while Kamala Harris is in second with 15 percent. Elizabeth Warren in fourth, followed by Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke.
Perot, per The Inquisitr, passed away Tuesday at the age of 89, after battling leukemia for a short time. An independent who opposed free trade agreements and sought to challenge the two-party system, Perot ran for president in 1992 and 1996, losing both times to Bill Clinton.