Bring Your Questions for Ross Perot

No, you are not imagining things. This is the Q&A-with-elder-statesmen-who’ve-made-unorthodox-but-splashy-runs-for-
president season.


We just finished up with Ron Paul. Now it’s Ross Perot‘s turn. Perot ran for president in 1992 as an independent candidate, winning 19 percent of the vote; he ran in 1996 on the Reform Party ticket, winning 8 percent of the vote.

These days, he is focusing on the budget deficit with his new site, which uses charts and graphs to explain the nation’s debt. He told The Dallas Morning News:

I wanted something Forrest Gump could understand.

Besides his political activities, of course, Perot also founded two successful technology-services companies: Electronic Data Systems (sold to General Motors in 1984) and Perot Systems, of which he is currently chairman emeritus of the board.

Perot has agreed to field your questions, so fire away. Hopefully he will reward us with his trademark candor, and maybe some giant sucking sounds. As with past Q&A’s, we’ll post his answers in a few days.

Addendum: Perot answers your questions here.

Paras Shah

I've seen the Dallas Symphony (and the Pointer Sisters) perform at the Morton H. Meyerson Center and the center itself is truly breathtaking. What was the thought process of donating your money (in conjuction with Morton H. Meyerson) to a performing arts center - and why Dallas?

Why did you chose to join with Steve Jobs in NeXT? What was appealing about this project (besides the obvious), and what do you believe are the main reasons for its failure?

What is your most prominent presidential campaign memory?

How do you believe Social Security can be reformed (or abolished, if you believe this) to benfit my generation (I'm seventeen years old) as well as the current generation?


Easy question, Mr. Perot--

We're in a mess. What is the first step you would take as a businessman to save money in the current climate?

How will you respond if Obama puts through the tax increase he has promised, particularly with respect to the capital gains tax increase he has promised?

Would you offshore jobs in response to these events? Or have you already done so?

Scott Supak

Now what's that giant sucking sound?


Why did you choose Admiral Stockdale as your vice presidential candidate? I believe Admiral Stockdale was a great American and when he was on stage with Gore and Quayle he made the other two men appear to be mice, in my eyes. Not everyone saw it that way.

Danny S

1) Who did you vote for in the 2008 presidential election?

2) Were you the questioned Ron Paul billionaire from the primaries who originally claimed intent to run a shadow campaign for Ron Paul with limitless funds?


Mr. Perot,

You garnered 19% of the vote in 1992 as an independent candidate without a true party running on a single issue.

Given how things have changed over the past sixteen years, do you think that it would now be possible for a wealthy individual or group of individuals to bankroll and organize a serious third party to challenge the Democrats and Republicans?


Given the current political apparatus, what concrete steps can we take to bring viable third parties to national politics?


Since your candidacy, independent candidates have not received a significant amount of the vote. Do you think an independent candidate, such as yourself, will be able to make as large of an impact as you did in 1992 and '96, or even get elected in the near future? Is our country capable of moving past the relatively closed 2-party system?


As someone who ran for national office not on a major party ticket, how important do you believe it is for this country to have more than two parties? Do you think having more parties would lessen the rancor and ideological swings? My personal feeling is with only two parties it is simply to easy to win by making the other party appear evil. Would you help finance a serious third party candidate, even if they chances of winning were low, if it looked like they could garner enough votes to get into future debates and pressure the major parties?

Ben Straub

Why do guys from Texas with the initials RP have so much integrity? Did you really send some commandos into Iran to rescue a couple of EDS engineers? I have heard the story, and it appears to be true.


I have several questions, Mr. Perot...

1) Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently for your presidential campaign in order to win?

2) What must third-party presidential candidates do to win a majority? Is that only way forward just making sure that the Democrats and Republicans have terrible candidates, or can a third-party pull it off in a strong competition?

3) Forget the financial crisis for a moment. What is the most important thing that America needs to do to preserve our dominance and way of life for the foreseeable future? What is it...and how would you go about it?

I very much appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. Thank you for your support of our country.


What role do you think technology, specifically your areas of expertise, should have in solving this financial crisis?


You warned of an economic meltdown back in 1992. You said we would have several good years and then the budget deficit would soar. What was not part of the scenario in 1992 was a basic buy out of the financial sector of this country.
How do we get out of this mess?

Tyler H.

Hi Ross,

You have been a strong advocate of a balanced budget for our nation. In our current times, with necessary bailouts happening everywhere, where would you start in order to eliminate the national debt America now has?

Matthew Courtney

How do you feel about the controlled mainstream media's blackout of Ron Paul, who garnered authentic grassroots popularity compared to Obama's main stream media's propogated rise to fame. Are you in tune with the ideas and philosophies of Ron Paul and where were you throughout the primaries and presidential run? The Ron Paul Revolution could have really used your help to offset the bias.

Chris Lawnsby

Do you consider all deficit spending misguided? Surely there are some times when it is called for. Are there any examples of deficit spending that you approve of?


Mr. Perot,

I remember when you were running for president, they showed you driving around in your old Volvo. I always thought is was cool that you chose to drive around an old car even being in the highest tier wealth class.

What are you driving now? And what would you do about the US automaker's woes?


Mr. Perot.

I would like to see you run for President in 2012 on the Republican Party ticket. Any interest?


Do you think it is possible to find a balance between public and business interests? For example, loosening regulations on credit while restricting an individual's ability to negotiate with creditors in bankruptcy proceedings has resulted in a one sided process. There is no check on the rates that can be charged, as the creditor can be protected from the consequences of its own predatory practices. The increased risk would force creditors to be more fair in what they can charge, while the court can insure a borrower is penalized for behaving recklessly.

We need a system of checks and balances in all areas of our economy. Where would you propose to start?


Mr. Perot, isn't it about time you seriously consider funding the reestablishment of an independent third party? One that is centrist-oriented but that is completely fiscally conservative and responsible to the electorate?