Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ross Perot Gave Bernie Sanders a Sword

Ross Perot Gave Bernie Sanders a Sword

In 1992, Perot made a name for himself when he became the most successful non-major party presidential candidate in 80 years, amassing 19% of the popular vote, running against President George H.W. Bush and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. He garnered almost 19% of the vote, while the winners, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, took in just 43% and the losers, George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle, got just 37.5%. He won only 8 percent of the vote as Clinton coasted to reelection against veteran Republican Robert Dole.

Perot was a billionaire by his mid-50s after selling a controlling interest in the data processing business that he founded.

In March, as Perot battled leukemia, in the last documented political act of his life, he wrote two checks for the legal maximum amount to Trump's campaign for president, including for the general election next year.

Although he had never held public office, by the early 1990s, Perot, sensing an opportunity for an outsider campaign with an anti-Washington message, was openly talking about a presidential run.

No other independent or third-party candidate has won such a large slice of the vote since 1912, and he foretold the impact that strong, focused third-party campaigns could have on modern White House race. A nationwide Gallup poll in July 1992 found Perot to be the front-runner for president with 39 percent, Bush at 31 percent, and then-Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas at 25 percent. Many wore crewcuts like Perot. "Perot had to do it by buying television time and doing these long infomercials about these economic plans, but it opened the doors for people who were well-known, wealthy, on TV to have careers in politics".

Perot is survived by his wife Margot, five children, and sixteen grandchildren.

"Ross came to the prison one day and said, 'We're going to get you out, '" one of the men, Paul Chiapparone, told The Associated Press.

Perot was also an active philanthropist through his Perot Foundation.

"That is from Ross Perot", Mr. Sanders said. He was shut out of presidential debates when organizers said he lacked sufficient support. As the 1996 election approached, he founded the Reform Party, which would attract other notable political candidates including Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader, and Jesse Ventura. So many Republican's I knew at the time had lost faith and confidence in President Bush and saw Perot as the most viable alternative.

The Texas businessman was born in Texarkana in 1930 and graduated from Texas High School in 1947.

Perot received a special award from the VA in 2009 for his support of veterans and the military. Peake commented at the time that Perot's advocacy embodied "the very spirit of America".

Ross Perot once gave Bernie Sanders a sword.

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