An Independent for Country Unity
He was described as a political Paul Revere, warning of economic peril and government gone bad. "Are they out of touch?" he asked of Washington officials. "I believe they are. You're not out of touch. You're hurting."
He got on all state ballots and catapulted over Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton in some public opinion polls in early summer 1992. He dropped out of the race that July, saying he couldn’t win and that staying in the race would only create problems for the electoral process.
But he jumped back in with about a month to go, took part in the nationally televised debates and gained wide attention for his half-hour TV infomercials, using charts and speaking directly to voters.
"I did it my way, without cheap political tricks," he said.
He bemoaned runaway government spending while the country was in a recession, hurting everyday workers. He said more must be done to promote the industries of the future — electronics, biotech, telecommunications, civilian aviation, computers, software and robotics.
"The success of tomorrow always belongs to the people investing in the future," he said.
He finished third with about 19% of the national vote, the best independent showing since Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose total in 1912.
In his election night speech, Mr. Perot praised his supporters for giving "Washington a laser-like message to listen to the people. You have done an incredible job of getting this country turned back around to the type country our founders established, a country that came from the people, and you have changed this country through your massive efforts."