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Ross Perot endorses Mitt Romney

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Ross Perot, the businessman who mounted the last major challenge to the two-party political system, said Tuesday he is backing Mitt Romney for president this year.

Mr. Perot’s 1992 campaign elevated the budget deficit to the forefront of politics, and six years later the federal government notched its first surplus in decades.

“At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home and our constitutional freedoms,” Mr. Perot said in a statement released by the Romney campaign. “That is why I am endorsing Mitt Romney in his quest for the presidency. We can’t afford four more years in which national debt mushrooms out of control, our government grows, and our military is weakened. Mitt has the background, experience, intelligence and integrity to turn things around. He has my absolute support.”

Like Mr. Romney this year, Mr. Perot made the argument in 1992 that the country needed a businessman to take control and execute a turnaround.

Mr. Perot also wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register laying out his thinking. He called the economy “stagnant” and pointed to the same deficit trajectory that pushed him to enter the race in 1992.

“It is this massive deficit spending that threatens to undermine our future standard of living. To pay for our government’s massive debts, Washington’s profligacy, our children and grandchildren will be paying interest and principal on the nation’s debt for untold years into the future. That is wrong. It’s not the way America ought to be,” he wrote.

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