Norquist: Democrats are lying
November 21st, 2011
12:13 PM ET
8 years ago

Norquist: Democrats are lying

(CNN) – Notorious anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist said Democrats who've blamed him for the super committee's bipartisan budget gridlock are simply lying.

The president of Americans for Tax Reform encouraged Republican members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to sign a pledge that binds them to resist raising taxes as they work to find $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit-cutting measures by Wednesday, but on CNN's "American Morning," he said the pledge was between the country and its congressmen, and not with him.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray called Norquist out Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" saying his name came up too often during super committee negotiations.

"As long as we have some Republican lawmakers who feel more enthralled with a pledge they took to a Republican lobbyist than they do to a pledge to the country to solve the problems, this is going to be hard to do," she said.

Norquist fired back Monday.

"The senator is not telling the truth," he argued.

"For the congressmen and senators who signed the taxpayer protection pledge, they and the American people know the pledge is from them to the voters of their district and their state."

And although he admitted, "they have tried to say I'm the reason Republicans won't raise taxes, that's not nonsense," Norquist directed blame back at Democrats saying, "The Democrats want higher taxes. That's off the table."

"It's been off the table for a year," he continued. "The Democrats are a little hard of hearing."

Defending his role in promoting the pledge, first signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Norquist insisted again, "The pledge that congressmen and senators make is not to me despite what Reid and other Democrats pretend. When they say that, let's use the kind word. It's not true. It's a lie."

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Deficit commission • Democrats • Grover Norquist • Taxes
soundoff (420 Responses)
  1. DenInNooYawk

    I didn't vote for Norquist, but it seems he bought the guys I did vote for. Oh dear. That didn't work too well, now, did it?

    November 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. marty rogers

    the GOP made a pledge to a lobbyist?????? only one that sees something profoundly wrong with this? this one unelected man is driving our government??? Legal experts out there, is it legal for congressmen to pledge anything that interferes with their job as public servants? if so these people need to be impeached.

    November 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. pkfops

    So we have two wars that aren't paid for because of a nutjob like Grover.

    Throw this clown in jail.

    November 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Grover should go back to making a living like the rest of us. Of course he was a terrible stand-up comic, probably because he is the joke and his brand of radicalism is not funny. It is dangerous and out of balance. Come on Grover, stop thinking about yourself and your need to make a living off of your sense of self-importance and think about the country.

    November 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. snarks

    I have been telling you all for years that liberals are nothing less than liars.

    November 21, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    The excellent work being done by Americans for Tax Reform will do more to reduce unemployment than all of the "jobs" bills Obama and the Democrats have come up with. Our economy will recover much faster when the burden of huge government is reduced. Politicians should not be able to run the debt to astronomical heights and then consider raising taxes as the easy way out. There needs to be some consideration to controlling spending, just as there is in business and in our personal finances.

    November 21, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Ghost of Reagan

    Methinks Mr. Norquist is delusional.

    November 21, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Onegood1

    The reason the left fears Norquist and balancing the budget is that their bought-and-paid-for political base depends on tax revenues from the middle class. The left has essentially stolen its way into power via tax dollars, and they need more to stay in power – just like a typical liberal drug addict..

    November 21, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. sftommy

    Norquist policies cost American investors (GOP & DEM) $2Trillion Dollars in July-August. GOP listened to Norquist and refused to deal with deficit in pursuit of false profits. It didn't work. He'll need a falsifier like Karl Rove to rewrite himself out of the history his damage has done to this great nation. Norquist convinced GOP to churlishly put money before country and now voters are mad at both and they struggle to explain. GOP uses standard of blaming their faults in DEMS.

    November 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Arilevi

    Okay, Norquist, show some courage: Publicly release everyone from the pledge. Let them vote and compromise on their own consciences. Promise that you will not interfere with anyone's election campaigns. You say it's a lie. Do you have the guts to destroy the lie?

    November 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |

    It's not "negotiating" if you take tax increases off the table before you get into the room. Norquist and the other Republicans are just there to protect the wealthy, and the public be damned.

    November 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |

    All of the republicans who signed this idiots pledge should be removed from office. The only pledge they should go by is the one that they took when they were sworn into office! This guy holds no office, was elected by no one and yet these rethuglicans pledge their actions to him instead of the Americans who elected them!

    November 21, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Larry L

    This guy can dictate what is on or off the table? Really? Are the Republicans that gutless? It's time for a recall election for every Republican "pledge taker" who can't do their job because this lobbyist it giving them their marching orders!

    November 21, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. WHOOSH

    2012 will be the decider.

    November 21, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Paul

    Grover Norquist is an absolute egomaniac. And, guess where his money comes from? The ultra-rich, and corporations that have been farming work overseas for years now. He's not patriotic at all. He is a rich man that serves the ultra-rich and corporations. Easy to see.

    November 21, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Evan

    Why this guy who has never run for office or received a single vote has the power to decide what we all need as a society?

    November 21, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. shugee

    The american people did not ask their congressman to sign this pledge. Grover did- allegedly on behalf of the american people. Apparently he feels he speaks for everyone and is therefore qualified to frighten and intimidate congressmen who equally apparently have no spine. By inserting these unelected snakes into the process some groups have found a way to govern at arm's length.

    November 21, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. L Chapman

    Grover Norquest has the affront to hold our elected officials to their election promises. Since they were elected by a majority, it follows that the majority elected somebody who promised them no increase in taxes. You can argue that perhaps those officials might want to reconsider their pledge to the people, and they are certainly free to do that. Believe me they are more afraid for their re-election prospects than anything Grover might do. Their pledge was to the people, Grover just has the brilliant idea that they should put it in writing.

    November 21, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. drdiane50

    Oh please, Howard – one half of the American people are NOT asking for the other half to take care of them. That nonsense is simply Republican-speak for not wanting to raise any taxes on anyone for anything at any time ever. So the rich get richer and the rest of get...nothing. And our country will be the poorer for this refusal to not share the burden.

    November 21, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. g.r.r.

    Then lets move the discussion out in the open. The fact that this idiot is saying that raising taxes is off the table, says it all.

    November 21, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Lee

    He's a hero and standing up for what is morally right. Taxes are theft, pure and simple.

    November 21, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Ferret out the B.S.

    If this blog is representative of how Americans feel about their representation in Washington then show your anger at the polls. Throw the bums out. Throw out every legislator that pledges allegiance to a lobbyist before allegiance to the country. Stop buying goods from the corporations and business' that support this lobbying effort. The consumer and the voter have the power, they just have to exercise it.

    November 21, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. CEOs United

    Of course the Dems are lying.....the American people demanded that they sign a 'no tax' pledge.....right???

    November 21, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. William

    If it was just a pledge, then why would he have copies of that pledge stored at different locations and one if a fire and bomb proof safe located at a undisclosed location that he only knows where it is located?????

    That was straight from him in a CNN interview back when the government was about to shut down!!!!

    November 21, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. gordyb

    He admitted that his group uses blackmail to intimidate legislators, that should be a crime , arrest him!

    November 21, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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