4 moments on CNN that helped shape Ross Perot’s political path

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 18:46:20-04

Ross Perot, the billionaire tycoon who mounted two unsuccessful third-party presidential campaigns in the 1990s, died Tuesday, a family spokesman confirmed to CNN. He was 89.

Perot died after a five-month battle with leukemia, family spokesman James Fuller said.

During his political career, Perot took full advantage of the power of television, particularly CNN, to both announce and promote his campaigns. These are some of his most memorable moments on CNN’s air.

Perot announces potential presidential campaign on “Larry King Live”

On February 20, 1992, Perot told CNN’s Larry King that he would enter the race for the 1992 presidential election if there were enough signatures to put his name on all 50 state ballots. On September 18, 1992, Perot qualified for the Arizona ballot, completing the effort. He finished third in the race with 18.9% of the vote.

NAFTA debate with Al Gore

Perot took on Vice President Al Gore on “Larry King Live” in November 1993 to debate the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had been passed by Congress but not yet signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Perot argued the agreement would lead to a loss of American jobs.

Perot denies he cost Bush the election

While Perot was considering a second bid for president in 1996, he pushed back against claims that he took away votes from incumbent President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 election, resulting in Bill Clinton’s win. Perot finished third.

Perot appears on CNN after exclusion from ’96 presidential debate stage

Perot was not included in the 1996 debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates excluded him after determining “that only President Clinton and Senator [Bob] Dole have a realistic chance” at being elected. Perot then lambasted his exclusion from the debates and answered the same questions the candidates faced during the debate on “Larry King Live.”