Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinoisan Gives Up Quixotic Campaign Industralist Taylor Backs Dole's Gop Bid

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illinoisan Gives Up Quixotic Campaign Industralist Taylor Backs Dole's Gop Bid

Article excerpt

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

That hunter's aphorism failed Morry Taylor, the wealthy Illinois industrialist, who until Friday waged a long-shot candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Virtually no one got Taylor, known as "The Griz" on Wall Street and the campaign trail for his ferocious style.

"When you get out there and start talking, you think people hear the message," he said. "But they don't. You've got to have something like 80 percent name recognition before they even pay attention."

Taylor, chairman of Titan Wheel International Inc. in Quincy, Ill., announced Friday in Detroit that he was dropping out of the race and endorsing Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., his party's likely nominee.

He had drawn less than 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, despite giving away televisions and cash at campaign rallies to draw crowds.

Taylor, who spent roughly $6.5 million of his own money on the campaign, is unaccustomed to getting meager returns on his investments.

He bought a failed Firestone wheel plant in Quincy in 1983 and used it as a base for a global manufacturing empire that had more than $620 million in sales last year.

His personal wealth exceeds $40 million.

Taylor, 51, focused his Quixotic campaign on the nation's budget and trade deficits.

His strategy for cutting federal spending was the one he employed at the companies Titan has taken over - eliminate upper managers and empower the workers below.

His plan for shrinking trade deficits called for making the import process so frustrating that companies in Japan, China and other nations would build plants in the United States.

Taylor's supporters viewed him as the successor to Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who got a surprising 19 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate in the 1992 election.

Taylor viewed himself as a more legitimate political outsider than magazine publisher Steve Forbes and a better voice for anxious Americans than columnist and television commentator Pat Buchanan. …

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