Powered by Topple

Ross Perot wrote checks before his death to keep Trump in White House, FEC reports

CANDIDATE ROSS PEROT'S LAST ELECTORAL MEETING (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Sygma via Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

Powered by Topple

Prior to his death Tuesday at the age of 89, billionaire businessman and former presidential candidate Ross Perot contributed the maximum amount allowed to President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Records from the Federal Election Commission specifically show that on March 19 of this year, he wrote two $2,800 checks to Trump’s campaign — one for a potential 2020 primary election, and one for the 2020 general election.


While there appears to be no record of Perot having previously spoken out positively (or negatively) about the president, his clear-cut support isn’t necessarily surprising. Since his death, many have compared him to the current president over their shared ability to connect with the people.

“[H]e had the same ability as Trump to reach people,” conservative radio show Rush Limbaugh commented after Perot’s death Tuesday. “He’s one of the few, he likewise, like Trump, had established a genuine bond. … [H]e had the bond with voters back then that Trump has.”

In a widely shared op-ed for The Boston Globe, James Pindell went so far Tuesday to suggest that Perot was a direct precursor to Trump.

“Perot not only showed Trump how to run as a populist for president but also how to use cable news to build a brand, frame a nationalist agenda around opposing free trade, and, yes, how to use Mexico as a political foil,”  he opined. “Politics is a process. There would be no LBJ without FDR. There wouldn’t be a Reagan revolution without Barry Goldwater. And it’s possible there wouldn’t be a Trump presidency without Perot.

And just like with Trump, everybody thought Perot and his policy proposals were crazy. Yet virtually every single one of his predictions and warnings turned out to be right:


The primary difference between him and Trump appears to be that he reportedly dropped out early for reasons that still remain unclear, despite reportedly polling at 38 percent at the time.

By the time he re-entered the race months later, his support had reportedly dropped by double digits. He wound up securing only 18.9 percent of the vote, versus then-Democrat nominee Bill Clinton’s 43 percent, and then-incumbent President George H.W. Bush’s 37.4 percent.

To this day, some still wonder what would have happened had he not dropped out:

One could argue that, in many respects, the current president is the manifestation of everything Perot could have been had he remained in the race and ultimately won the election.

“We do the world’s dumbest trade agreements,” he said in a televised, post-election debate in 1993 against then-Vice President Al Gore. “You go back to the agreements we’ve done all over the world, you’d be amazed that adults did them.”

He also called for using tariffs to pressure foreign governments, getting rid of NAFTA and more. And wouldn’t you know it, all of these things — and more — have since come to pass because of Trump.


Vivek Saxena


Latest Articles