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Ross Perot campaigns in Kentucky, 1992

Posted on July 9, 2019 | in Uncategorized | by

Undeclared, independent candidate for United States President H. Ross Perot thanked supporters May 21, 1992 on the Capitol steps for turning in more than 40,000 signatures to put his name on the Kentucky ballot. About 1,500 supporters turned out in the hot sunshine as the the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire brought his grass-roots campaign to Kentucky. Perot, who twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas. His 19% of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century. Perot was in Frankfort just before Kentucky’s primary – a primary he wasn’t on the ballot for since he was an undeclared, independent candidate. In that week’s primaries in Oregon and Washington, Perot received significant numbers of write-in votes. But write-in votes are not allowed in Kentucky’s primary. Pam Kleier, a spokeswoman for Kentuckians for Perot, told the crowd, “I’ve also been asked to tell you that when you go to the primaries on Tuesday, you have the option to vote uncommitted. Please do that.” But Perot said that how to vote was up to the individual and that he had not discussed Kleier’s comments with her before she spoke. Afterward, at a news conference, Perot took a few shots at the George Bush administration and Vice President Dan Quayle. Earlier in the week, Quayle criticized the TV character Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock. “I just thought it was goofy,” Perot said of Quayle’s comments. “When you think of the real problems that face this country, well suddenly it’s ‘Murphy Brown,’ which is a fictional, 30-minute show on television.” Perot said his running mate will be “so well qualified that my volunteers may want to reverse the ticket.” He criticized the Bush administration for fighting with Congress. “We have gridlock in Washington. Nothing happens,” he said “They get up every morning, throw rocks at one another all day, blame one another all day for whatever the problem of the day is, whether it’s ‘Murphy Brown’ or Los Angeles. In terms of getting things done compared to the crowd that’s there now, in my sleep I think I could be competitive.” During the 1992 campaign, Perot spent $63.5 million of his own money and bought 30-minute television spots. He used charts and graphs to make his points, summarizing them with a line that became a national catchphrase: “It’s just that simple.” Photo by Charles Bertram | staff

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