Norquist offered Giuliani praise Monday, words that are sure to go over well with New Hampshire voters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He still won’t sign the pledge – but Republican Rudy Giuliani is on the receiving end of some very kind words from a conservative activist prominent in GOP battles over taxes and spending.
Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform said this in a letter to the former New York mayor on Monday:
“In looking at the records of all the Republican candidates, yours clearly stands out. You cut the income tax, business taxes, sales taxes, property related taxes and nuisance taxes. You are the most successful tax cutter in modern New York history and, on balance, the most successful tax cutter in the Republican field today.”
In that same letter, Norquist noted a letter he had received from Giuliani, and said: “The information you put in your letter certainly more than achieves the spirit and letter of the Americans for Tax Reform National Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”
Translation: Rudy still won’t sign the pledge, yet Norquist is trying to help the mayor deal with rivals who are trying to make an issue of his refusals in New Hampshire, where GOP campaigns are historically waged first and foremost over taxes.
Giuliani and Senator John McCain have refused to sign the ATR pledge promising not to raise taxes under any circumstances, as has Congressman Duncan Hunter.
In a presidential debate in September, Giuliani defended his refusal to sign: “It's a matter of principle. I think if you're president of the United States, you take one pledge: to uphold the Constitution of the United States.”
Giuliani’s campaign released the Norquist letter. In the past few weeks the former mayor has made a significant push in New Hampshire.
– CNN Chief National Correspondent John King