Perot Coy About 1996 Plans, Slaps Clinton and Tax Cut Plans
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Ross Perot isn’t ready to say whether he will run again for president in 1996. But he’s ready to heap scorn on President Clinton and chastise both parties for advocating ``free candy″ tax cuts to win votes.
``We will wait,″ Perot said Tuesday when asked at a National Press Club luncheon if he planned to mount a second White House campaign. ``I want to give the Republicans and the Democrats a chance to do the job. ... We want them to stand and deliver. We don’t have any personal goals.″
Leaders of Perot’s United We Stand organization are debating whether to form a third political party, and are expected to make a decision when they gather with Perot in August. It United We Stand decided to go the third-party route, organization leaders said it likely would field congressional candidates as well as a presidential contender.
Whatever their decision, it was clear from Perot’s remarks that he has little good to say about Clinton, taking issue with the administration’s trade and monetary policies and mocking its efforts to reduce the deficit.
But he also had some criticism for Republicans, too, for excluding from their early agenda any efforts to reform lobbying and campaign finance laws.
``Until we get campaign finance reform the odds that a third party will exist will be fairly high,″ said Perot, who received 19 percent of the vote as an independent candidate in 1992.
Dwelling on the need for deficit reduction, a central issue in his 1992 campaign, Perot said it was reckless for the two political parties to advocate tax cuts when the national debt is more than $4 trillion.
``This is nothing more than free candy to entice your vote for the 1996 election,″ Perot said.
And he said both parties, because of the political risks, were ignoring coming financial crises in the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Perot appeared to take particular delight in criticizing Clinton for rushing to help stabilize Mexico’s currency, saying the crisis proved that he was right in opposing the Clinton-backed North American Free Trade Agreement. Perot said that Clinton had presented NAFTA as the ``savior of the world″ but that the trade deficit was growing and that the Mexican economy growing weaker.