DALLAS -- Warning that the United States is "on the edge of a severe recession or depression," Ross Perot is urging the nation's leaders to "get started now" on revitalizing the economy, adding that he may soon run television ads to highlight the dangers of not taking tough measures immediately.
At the present rate of decline, he declared yesterday, "The American dream is gone."
But Mr. Perot also expressed optimism that economic revitalization can be achieved. "We can do it now. And if we do it carefully and do it well, we can avoid an economic catastrophe," he said in the first interview he has given to a newspaper since quitting the race abruptly last Thursday.
Mr. Perot said he would be happy to meet with President Bush or Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, to discuss his concerns. "I'll visit with anybody anywhere," he said.
Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton called Mr. Perot right after he withdrew and have been unabashedly courting his supporters.
Mr. Perot also spoke bitterly about the "brutal and intrusive" political process that, he said, deters qualified people from seeking public office.