Ode to Perot
"5 and a half million people came together on their own and put me on the ballot. I was not put on the ballot by either of the 2 parties; I was not put on the ballot by any PAC money, by any foreign lobbyist money, by any special interest money. This is a movement that came from the people."
"Well, they've got a point. I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. (Laughter.) I don't have any experience in gridlock government where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. I don't have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world, but I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. So, if we're at a point in history where we want to stop talking about it and do it, I've got a lot of experience in figuring out how to solve problems, making the solutions work, and then moving on to the next one. I've got a lot of experience in not taking 10 years to solve a 10-minute problem. So, if it's time for action, I think I have experience that counts. If there's more time for gridlock and talk and finger pointing, I'm the wrong man."
(On Bosnia) "I think if we learned anything in Vietnam is you first commit this nation before you commit the troops to the battlefield. We cannot send our people all over the world to solve every problem that comes up. This is basically a problem that is a primary concern to the European Community. Certainly we care about the people, we care about the children, we care about the tragedy. But it is inappropriate for us, just because there's a problem somewhere around the world, to take the sons and daughters of working people--and make no mistake about it, our all- volunteer armed force is not made up of the sons and daughters of the beautiful people; it's the working folks who send their sons and daughters to war, with a few exceptions. It's very unlike World War II, when FDR's sons flew missions. Everybody went. It's a different world now. It's very important that we not just, without thinking it through, just rush to every problem in the world and have our people torn to pieces."
"...there are not many times in your life when you get to talk to a whole country. But let me just say to all of America: if you hate people, I don't want your vote. That's how strongly I feel about it."
"Now, all these fellows with thousand-dollar suits and alligator shoes running up and down the halls of Congress that make policy now -- the lobbyists, the PAC guys, the foreign lobbyists, and what-have-you, they'll be over there in the Smithsonian because we're going to get rid of them, and the Congress will be listening to the people."
"We got the most expensive health care system in the world; it ranks behind 15 other nations when we come to life expectancy, and 22 other nations when we come to infant mortality. So we don't have the best.
"Pretty simple, folks -- if you're paying more and you don't have the best, if all else fails go copy the people who have the best who spend less, right? Well, we can do better than that. Again, we've got plans lying all over the place in Washington. Nobody ever implements them. Now I'm back to square one. If you want to stop talking about it and do it, then I'll be glad to go up there and we'll get it done. But if you just want to keep the music going, just stay traditional this next time around, and 4 years from now you'll have everybody blaming everybody else for a bad health care system. Talk is cheap; words are plentiful, deeds are precious. Let's get on with it."
"Isn't it time to stop talking about it? Isn't it time to stop creating images? Isn't it time to do it? Aren't you sick of being treated like an unprogrammed robot? Every 4 years, they send you all kinds of messages to tell you how to vote and then go back to business as usual."
"They told you at the tax and budget summit that if you agreed to a tax increase, we could balance the budget. They didn't tell you that that same year they increased spending $1.83 for every dollar we increased taxes. That's Washington in a nutshell right there."
"Now, whose fault is that? Not the Democrats. Not the Republicans. Somewhere out there there's an extraterrestrial that's doing this to us, I guess. Somebody somewhere has to take responsibility for this."
"And I have said again and again and again let's get off mud wrestling, let's get off personalities and let's talk about jobs, health care, crime, the things that concern the American people. I'm spending my money -- not PAC money, not foreign money, my money -- to take this message to the people."
"Now, just for the record, I don't have any spin doctors. I don't have any speechwriters. Probably shows. But you don't have to wonder if it's me talking. See, what you see is what you get and if you don't like it, you got two other choices, right?"
"Let me say in my case, if I'm out of work, I'll cut grass tomorrow to take care of my family; I'll be happy to make shoes, I'll be happy to make clothing, I'll make sausage. You just give me a job. Put those jobs in the inner cities instead of doing diplomatic deals and shipping them to China where prison labor does the work."
"And in our country we have evolved to a point where we've put millions of innocent people in jail because you go to the poor neighborhoods and they've put bars on their windows and bars on their doors and put themselves in jail to protect the things that they acquired legitimately. That's where we are."
"Let me do first on a personal level. If the American people send me up to do this job, I intend to be there one term. I do not intend to spend one minute of one day thinking about re-election. And as a matter of principle -- and my situation is unique, and I understand it -- I would take absolutely no compensation; I go as their servant."
"It's fascinating. You've bought a front row box seat and you're not happy with your health care and you're saying tonight we've got bad health care but very expensive health care. Folks, here's why. Go home and look in the mirror."
"Well, I come from the computer business, and everybody knows the women are more talented than the men."
"Now, there are all kinds of good ideas, brilliant ideas, terrific ideas on health care. None of them ever get implemented because -- let me give you an example. A senator runs every 6 years. He's got to raise 20,000 bucks a week to have enough money to run. Who's he gonna listen to -- us or the folks running up and down the aisles with money, the lobbyists, the PAC money? He listens to them. Who do they represent? Health care industry. Not us."
"Now, finally, if you can't pay the bills you're dead in the water. And we have got to put our nation back to work. Now, if you don't want to really do that I'm not your man. I'd go crazy sitting up there slow dancing that one. In other words, unless we're going to do it, then pick somebody who likes to talk about it."
"Now, just remember when you think about me -- I didn't create this mess. I've been paying taxes just like you and Lord knows, I've paid my share -- over a billion in taxes. And for a guy that started out with everything he owned in the trunk of his car, that ain't bad."
(On Clinton's boasts of accomplishments in Arkansas) "PEROT: I grew up 5 blocks from Arkansas. Let's put it in perspective. It's a beautiful state. It's a fairly rural state. It has a population less than Chicago or Los Angeles, about the size of Dallas and Forth Worth combined. So I think probably we're making a mistake night after night after night to cast the nation's future on a unit that small."
"I will let the American people decide that. I would rather not critique the 2 candidates."
"Our country has sold out to foreign lobbyists. We don't have free trade. Both parties have foreign lobbyists on leaves in key roles in their campaigns. And if there's anything more unwise than that, I don't know what it is. Every debate I bring this up, and nobody ever addresses it. I would like for them to look you in the eye and tell you why they have people representing foreign countries working on their campaigns. And you know, you've seen the list, I've seen the list, we won't go into the names, but no wonder they -- if I had those people around me all day every day, telling me it was fair and free, I might believe it."
(Bush replying to Perot on foreign lobbyists) "I've never understood quite why Mr. Perot was so upset it, because one of the guys he used to have working for him, I believe, had foreign accounts. Could be wrong, but I think so."
"Let's go back in terms of accepting responsibility for your actions. If you create Saddam Hussein, over a 10-year period, using billions of dollars of US taxpayer money, step up to the plate and say it was a mistake. If you create Noriega, using taxpayer money, step up to the plate and say it was a mistake. If you can't get your act together to pick him up one day when a Panamanian major has kidnapped him and a special forces team is 400 yards away and it's a stroll across the park to get him, and if you can't get your act together, at least pick up the Panamanian major, who they then killed, step up to the plate and admit it was a mistake. That's leadership, folks."
"Now, leaders will always make mistakes. We've created, and I'm not aiming at any one person here, I'm aiming at our government -- nobody takes responsibility for anything. We've gotta change that."
"I just love the fact that everybody, particularly in the media, goes bonkers over the town hall. I guess it's because you will lose your right to tell them what to think."
"I love the fact that people will listen to a guy with a bad accent and a poor presentation manner talking about flip charts for 30 minutes, because they want the details. See, all the folks up there at the top said the attention span of the American people is no more than 5 minutes, they won't watch it. They're thirsty for it."
"Until I got involved in this effort, I was one person. And then after the Republican dirty tricks group got through with me I'm another person, which I consider an absolutely sick operation. And all of you in the press know exactly what I'm talking about."
"The president mentioned that you need the right person in a crisis. Well, folks, we got one, and that one is a financial crisis. Pretty simply, who's the best-qualified person up here on the stage to create jobs? Make your decision and vote on November the 3rd. I suggest you might consider somebody who's created jobs. Who's the best person to manage money? I suggest you pick a person who's successfully managed money. Who's the best person to get results and not talk? Look at the record and make your decision.
And, finally, who would you give your pension fund and your savings account to manage? And, last one, who would you ask to be the trustee of your estate and take care of your children if something happened to you?
Finally, to you students up there -- God bless you, I'm doing this for you: I want you to have the American dream.
To the American people, I'm doing this because I love you. That's it. Thank you very much."