Stunned Backers Seeking Answers To Perot Pullout
Incipient presidential candidate pulled out before making public his positions on issues
ROSS PEROT will try to remain a "moral force" for governmental reform, while many of his erstwhile supporters hope to become a "swing vote" in the presidential election.
Those decisions came out of meetings over the weekend between Mr. Perot and 30 state coordinators of the petition drives to put his name on the ballot.
The state coordinators hastily arranged to meet with Perot in Dallas on Saturday following the billionaire businessman's abrupt announcement Thursday that he would not become a candidate for president.
However, before the meetings could take place, some of Perot's supporters had already endorsed one or the other major-party candidates, while his volunteers in Georgia quickly transformed themselves into a new political party.
Those actions call into question the likelihood that Perot's supporters - who are said by his volunteer staff to have numbered 4 million - will remain a cohesive political force.
Since Perot never announced his positions, all that his supporters can be certain that they shared were enthusiasm for a Perot candidacy and dissatisfaction with the political status quo.
Now one of those two things has been taken away. Over the weekend, the state coordinators intended to read the just-completed positions to see if they provide a platform for unity.
"We don't have any candidate anymore, but we still have the issues," said Jim Davis, a volunteer from Georgia. On Friday, the Perot organization there formed the American Independence Party to address the federal deficit, American competitiveness, health care, education, and the income tax system.
"We feel like that we're entitled to have those plans that Ross Perot had people working on," Mr. Davis said. "The famed issues that he was supposed to be studying. We want that,... assuming that the suggestions are good."
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