Former two-time Independent presidential candidate and multi-billionaire Ross Perot announced in an op-ed that he is endorsing Mitt Romney for the presidency. Perot stated that the United States can't afford four more years of President Barack Obama.
Digital Journal reported earlier this month that Perot, who changed the face of third-party politics in his two White House bids in 1992 and 1996, criticized both the president and the Republican nominee for not having a plan to tackle the fiscal crisis.
In an op-ed published in the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, Perot confirmed his support for the former Massachusetts Governor. Perot wrote that in next month’s election, the “country faces a momentous choice” because the nation’s position in the world, the standard of living and constitutional freedoms are “at stake.”
“That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. We can’t afford four more years in which debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows and our military is weakened,” wrote Perot. “For the past four years, we have squandered one opportunity after the next to turn things around. The longer we delay acting, the steeper the price we will have to pay.”
Perot then went on to identify the issues the U.S. faces today: economic stagnation, eight percent unemployment rate, federal deficits and debt and the present administration adding about $5 trillion to the national debt.
“It is this massive deficit spending that threatens to undermine our future standard of living,” explained Perot. “To pay for our government’s massive debts, Washington’s profligacy, our children and grandchildren will be paying interest and principal on the nation’s debt for untold years into the future. That is wrong. It’s not the way America ought to be.”
The former presidential candidate, who is penning a book right now, cited cuts to the defense budget as another problem of the presidency and quoted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to describe the cuts as “devastating.”
Due to the many negative aspects facing the U.S., Perot will endorse Romney because he has worked in the private sector, knows how to create jobs and understands government hindrance to growth. Perot also highlights Romney's record as governor, including balancing the budget with a Democratic legislature and a liberal state.
“These are leadership qualities that are sorely needed in Washington today,” concluded Perot. “President Obama promised a great deal. He has had his chance. The results are visible for all to see. It is time for a new beginning. It is time for Mitt Romney.”
During the 1990s, Perot was one of the few to sound the alarm when it came to the U.S. financial picture. He ran on a platform of balancing the federal budget, expanding the war on drugs, the end of outsourcing jobs, pro-choice, opposing gun control and advocating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Perot has not endorsed any candidate since the ‘90s, but his family has donated money to various Republican candidates.
The Romney campaign issued a statement following the announcement.
“Ross Perot’s accomplishments as an entrepreneur, as a political leader, as a naval officer make him a living legend,” said Romney in a press release. “He understands the challenges facing the nation and what it will take to meet them. I am proud to have his support."
The endorsement comes as President Obama and Romney go one-on-one in a second debate Tuesday night.