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Easier voting, other ideas from the Essential Perot

THE BALTIMORE SUN

While Ross Perot is taking 60 days off to find out what he deeply believes, I thought I would list some of his past positions.

After reading scores of newspaper articles, magazine stories, transcripts of TV and radio appearances, speeches and books, I have assembled what I consider the Essential Ross Perot.

ON CONGRESS:

"We've got to take away Congress' right to raise taxes. Now there's a radical idea. So, that means a constitutional amendment. Fine. These boys are drinking too much. We've got to take the bottle away from them for a while at least."

ON JUSTICE:

"Our system of justice has failed the people. We've got five percent of the world's population, two-thirds of the world's lawyers, and the average fellow on the street can't afford one to go to court. Strange."

ON ELECTION DAY:

"Let's have elections on Saturday and Sunday. Why can't we leave the polls open two days? If anybody has a good reason, call me collect."

ON ACTION:

"What we have now is a system where if you have potholes in your city, all the politicians hold press conferences on potholes. If and when I ever have to do this job, we're going to get hot !! asphalt, get a shovel, fill potholes, move on to the next one and skip the press conference."

ON WHOM TO WATCH OUT FOR:

"Let me tell you, beware of anybody that gives you simple solutions to complex problems."

ON THE DEFICIT:

"It's like the crazy aunt you keep down in the basement. All the neighbors know she's there, but nobody talks about her."

ON THE PEROT LEGEND:

"When I find intense people who will believe anything you tell them, I make up good stories. I had a woman convinced that my family was descended from Louis XIV."

ON GUN CONTROL:

"I don't know the solution. I will say this, if and when we come up with a solution, I will pursue it day and night."

ON HIS PLANS FOR A WAR ON DRUGS:

"I won't get into them until I can build a consensus with the American people, if they've got the stomach for it. . . . But it won't be pretty."

ON WHETHER A TAX INCREASE IS NECESSARY:

"I don't know yet. I don't have the numbers. When I know, I'll tell you."

ON WHETHER MARRIED WOMEN SHOULD BE FORCED TO NOTIFY THEIR HUSBANDS BEFORE HAVING AN ABORTION:

"Haven't spent 10 minutes thinking about it."

ON WHETHER ISRAEL SHOULD SUSPEND SETTLEMENTS ON THE WEST BANK:

"I don't know enough about it to give you an answer at this point."

ON THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE IN RIO DE JANEIRO:

"I don't know a thing about it."

ON WHETHER HE WOULD RELEASE HIS INCOME TAX RETURNS:

"If I feel like I want to tell you, I will. If I don't, I won't."

ON THE KIND OF PERSON WHO RUNS FOR PRESIDENT:

"The kind of person who is attracted to the job is power-driven, ego-driven. You watch some of these guys -- you really get the impression they would kill to get it."

ON WHETHER HE SHOULD RUN FOR PRESIDENT:

May 1986: "Nothing, nothing, nothing" could convince him to run for public office.

January 1989: "I don't see myself as someone who can save the United States."

December 1989: "Jeez, I've never run for dogcatcher."

November 1991: "The answer is no. We can cover that in one word. There's no chance."

February 1992: "I might if people in all 50 states asked me to."

ON WHETHER HE KNOWS HIS OWN SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER:

"I've made it a point never to learn my Social Security number because I'm a person, not a number."

ON BEING ATTACKED:

"Getting a piece of me is like going to a barbershop on Saturday. You have to take a ticket and stand in line."

ON ANSWERING QUESTIONS:

"If we're going to spend all morning looking for hidden agendas, then you're just burning up my time and yours. I don't want to do this. Is that clear enough? Is that clear?"

ON ROSS PEROT:

"People are sick of hearing about me."

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