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Political Timeline


February 20: On CNN's "Larry King Live," Perot says he would run for president if supporters can get his name on all 50 state ballots.

March 18: Speaks at the National Press Club and says he will run on an independent ticket if supporters put his name on the ballot of all 50 states.

March 30: Names retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale as his "provisional" running mate.

April 28: A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Bush at 36%, Clinton at 31% and Perot 30%. The poll is deemed especially significant because it is the first one that puts Perot within striking distance of the major party candidates.

May 29: Says on "20/20" he would not have any homosexuals in his cabinet and would not reverse the ban on gays in the military. Gay and lesbian activists actively protest Perot's candidacy at events throughout 1992.

June 3: Hires veteran Republican political consultant Ed Rollins and veteran Democratic political consultant Hamilton Jordan.

June 21: Media reports link Perot to the ordering of several private investigations of George Bush in the 1980s.

June 24: Appearing on "Larry King Live," Perot accuses the Republicans of "dirty tricks" against his campaign. RNC Chairman Rich Bond calls in and disputes the charge.

July 11: Speaks to NAACP and uses the phrase "your people." NAACP criticizes Perot, who later apologizes, saying he was unaware his language was offensive.

July 15: Veteran Republican political operative Ed Rollins quits the Perot campaign.

July 16: Perot quits presidential race, saying he decided to withdraw because the Democratic party has "revitalized" itself. (Perot's supporters continue their efforts to place his name on all state ballots.)

July 20: A volunteer in Perot's unannounced presidential campaign files suit against him in a federal court in Miami, accusing him of breaking a promise to run for president.

September 18: Qualifies for the Arizona ballot, completing efforts to put his name on all 50 state ballots.

October 1: Re-enters presidential race as an independent; makes the announcement at a Dallas press conference.

October 11: Debates Clinton and Bush in St. Louis, the first of three nationally televised debates.

November 3: Finishes third in the presidential election with 19,741,657 votes, or 18.9% of the popular vote. Fails to carry a single state, but places second in Maine with 30% of the popular vote, slightly ahead of George Bush, who vacationed in Kennebunkport. He also finishes second in Utah with 27% of the vote, three percent ahead of Clinton. Perot also carries more than 25% of the popular vote in Alaska (28%), Idaho (27%), Kansas (27%), Montana (26%), Nevada (26%) and Wyoming (26%).

November 5: FEC documents state Perot spent $65.6 million of his own money on the 1992 campaign.


January 11: Launches a "citizens' watchdog group" out of his campaign organization. Group forms "United We Stand, America."

June 24: Stages demonstration on Capitol Hill with 100 members of United We Stand, America, displaying 2.5 million signatures from people urging Congress to cut spending and not raise taxes to cut the deficit.

August 1: Appears on "Meet the Press" and urges Congress to reject Clinton's budget bill in favor of one that "would balance the budget."

September 6: Publishes book with economist Pat Choate, "Save Your Job, Save Our Country: Why NAFTA Must Be Stopped - Now!"

November 7: Says at an anti-NAFTA rally that the FBI had warned of an attempt to kill him at the rally in Tampa or prior to the NAFTA debate with Gore. (Perot had claimed in the past that he had been the target of assassination by several groups, including once in the 1970s by the radical Black Panthers acting on behalf of North Vietnam.)

November 9: Debates Vice President Al Gore on the merits of NAFTA on "Larry King Live."


September 18: Orson Swindle 3rd, former director of United We Stand, America, wins the Republican primary for a House seat in Hawaii.

October 4: Appearing on "Larry King Live," Perot urges voters to "send a message" to the federal government by electing Republican majorities in the House and Senate in the upcoming mid-term elections.


August 11-13: Perot moderates a three-day conference of several thousand members of the United We Stand, America organization in Dallas to determine the need for a third political party. Republican presidential hopefuls Dole, Gramm, Lugar, Specter, Wilson, Alexander, Dornan, Buchanan, Keyes and Taylor address the conference.

August 12: A New York Times/CBS News poll says that 55% of respondents feel the country needs a third political party.

August 13: On "Meet the Press," Perot says, "I can't say I'm going to go away," with regard to a run for the presidency in 1996.

September 25: Announces on "Larry King Live" he will start a third party -- at first called the Independence Party -- to field a candidate to run for the presidency.

November 1: California election officials certify the Reform Party (the name Perot's party is most often called) has submitted enough signatures to qualify for the March 26, 1996 primary. It is the first state to certify the party.

November 10: Reform Party spokeswoman Sharon Holman announces the party will not participate in any presidential primaries in 1996. Instead, the party will select its nominee by convention later in 1996.

December 19: Ohio election officials become the first state to say the Reform Party has not gathered enough signatures to participate in the state's March 19, 1996, primary.


March 19: In an interview with WOAI radio in San Antonio, Perot says if he is nominated by the Reform Party, "I would give it everything I have."

April 21: Says on "Meet the Press" that one of the political parties had attempted to recruit him to underwrite a $1-million dirty tricks campaign during the 1992 presidential campaign.

June 13: The FEC rules Perot is entitled to about $30 million in federal matching funds if he decides to run for President.

June 20: CNN reports the Reform Party will hold its national convention on different days and in different cities. Candidates seeking the Reform Party nomination will "present their ideas" on Sunday, Aug. 11, in Long Beach, Calif. Following a week of voting "via Internet, phone and mail," the party's nominee will be chosen and the acceptance speech will be delivered on Sunday, Aug. 18, in Valley Forge, Pa., during prime media time.

July 2: Reform Party National Coordinator Russell Verney tells CNN that ballots are being sent out to roughly 1.1 million people who have signed Reform Party petitions. The ballots ask people to express who the best nominee would be. Ross Perot and Richard Lamm's name are both referenced in the text, but a blank space is left for party members to fill in their choice.

July 9: Former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm announces he will seek the nomination of the Reform Party in Denver.

July 10: Perot says on "Larry King Live!" he is "uniquely qualified" to lead the Reform Party ticket and will run for president if nominated.

July 14: Pat Buchanan says on "Meet the Press" that Ross Perot's candidacy represents a "mortal threat" to Bob Dole's presidential aspirations and challenges the "viability" of the Republican Party.

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