Over at Newsweek, Jonathan Alter scores a rare interview with the greatest '90s nostalgia act this side of Buffalo Tom—Ross Perot. The rootin' tootin' Texan is supporting Mitt Romney in 2008 and flinging poo at a man he once helped, Sen. John McCain:
The Perot-McCain relationship goes back to McCain's five and a half years of captivity in Hanoi. When McCain's then-wife Carol was in a serious car accident, McCain's mother called Perot for help. "She asked me to send my people to Philadelphia to take care of the family," Perot says. Afterwards, McCain was grateful. "We loved him [Perot] for it," McCain told me in 2000.
Perot doesn't remember it that way. "After he came home, he walked with a limp, she [Carol McCain] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona [Cindy McCain, his current wife] and the rest is history."
Perot's real problem with McCain is that he believes the senator hushed up evidence that live POWs were left behind in Vietnam and even transferred to the Soviet Union for human experimentation, a charge Perot says he heard from a senior Vietnamese official in the 1980s. "There's evidence, evidence, evidence," Perot claims. "McCain was adamant about shutting down anything to do with recovering POWs." […]
When I asked about Barack Obama, Perot said he admired his eloquence but thought it "a little odd that we would be less concerned about his background than being a Mormon." Perot was pleasantly surprised when I told him that Obama was a Christian, not a Muslim, and relieved when I informed him that the e-mail Perot (and untold others) received about Obama not respecting the Pledge of Allegiance was a fraud. […]
"The situation in 1992 was not nearly as bad as it is now," he says. "If ever there was a time when it was necessary to put our house in order, it's now.
"It's like having cancer and being in denial. The conduct of the House and Senate is an embarrassment to the nation." President Bush, Perot says, is a "decent person, but you can't say the same thing about the people around him."
Perot is appalled at the specter of big banks having to borrow from foreigners to stay afloat: "We have to go around the world with a tambourine and a tin cup."
He attributes the success of China to the fact that even uneducated Chinese must learn 3,000 characters early in life, compared to the 26 letters in the English alphabet. "Their hand-eye productivity is incredible because of drawing the symbols," Perot says
reason on Ross Perot here.