WASHINGTON — Ross Perot returned to prime-time TV on Sunday, urging Americans to flood his mail with demands for deficit reduction and government reform--and to join his national political organization.
Perot distributed more than 30 million ballots in advance of the 30-minute "national referendum" he paid to air on NBC. Leaders of his United We Stand, America Inc. group organized events to help fill the mails with a positive response.
As has been his trademark since the election, Perot aimed most of his barbs at Congress.
"Watch Congress: They talk about savings, but what they want to do is spend," Perot said. "They treat money like it falls out of the sky. But it comes from hard-working people."
With his trademark charts and folksy twang, Perot promoted--and asked viewers to endorse with their ballots--the staples of his agenda: campaign finance and lobbying reform; a balanced budget amendment; a line-item veto for the President, and cuts in staffs, salaries and perks in Congress and at the White House.
He applauded President Clinton's proposed government reforms and urged his viewers to press Congress to enact them.
But he also voiced skepticism that Clinton could provide health coverage for all and still reduce government spending on health care. "These savings are just a guess," Perot said.
He also said Clinton has not provided many of the details of how he plans to cut the deficit. "We the people have no interest in huge spending increases now and vague promises of savings" down the line, Perot said.