Ross Perot is launching a nationwide petition drive asking President Clinton to resign because of the president's White House affair with former intern Monica Lewinsky.

The 1996 Reform Party candidate called Clinton's behavior "erratic" and said the country has been left with a leadership void because of his actions."This man can't be in that office," Perot said Wednesday on CNN's "Larry King Live" show.

Firing back at Perot, White House press secretary Mike McCurry said Thursday, "His comments in the past several days confirm the good judgment of the American people who did not elect him president."

Asked about Perot's pledge not to run again if Clinton were to resign, McCurry said, tongue in cheek, "That's admittedly the first compelling argument we've heard."

Despite current polls showing high approval ratings for Clinton, Perot said he expects public sentiment eventually to turn against the president.

"I am totally convinced that the American people are going to wake up and understand that and I am going to do whatever I can, constructively, to say wake up America," Perot said.

Perot appealed to veterans, ministers, small business owners, community leaders and others to begin local petition drives asking Clinton to resign. Petitions could be collected by truck convoys, which would deliver them to Washington in early December. Displaying his Web site, e-mail address and post office box on the talk show, Perot asked viewers for feedback on his plan.

"We'll show them that we care about morals and ethics. We'll show them that we care about duty, honor and country. More than anything else we will show them that the man who sends our children into combat or the man who can press the nuclear button has got to be a stable person who tells the truth," Perot said.