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. David

    I never agreed to the pledge and I am one of the American people. Can we take it back so the Repbulicans in my district are now free to raise taxes. OH WAIT thats right my vote does not count cause I do not make more than a million a year!

    November 21, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. FlyGuyInSJ

    The problem with the committee is that some of its members have committed to the idea that we can't keep destroying our republic with out of control spending and out of control taxation, and the rest of them are Democrats. Not that the Democrats alone are to blame for this – far too many RINOs have been driving that train right along with them – but the Democrats are determined to run the train right past the "trestle out ahead" sign and ride it all the way to the ground, taking the country with it. Some Republicans have finally gotten it through their heads that we can't do that anymore.

    If we keep on, our future is Greece. California is already there. If you don't want the whole country to wind up like California, the time to stop the tax-borrow-spend train is now.

    November 21, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. M. Smith

    Norquist represents the WORST in the our national governance! Besides, It is the cowardly MONIED CONTRIBUTORS who refuse to be identified that fund him who are the REAL POWERS, not this soft handed wimp. He is just a water carreir for the well monied THAT HAVE BOUGHT OUR POLIITICS AND MUCH OF OUR PUBLIC POLICY! !

    November 21, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Garrafon

    The debt ceiling solution, including the so-called super committee and the automatic spending cuts was a fraud on the American people. The super committee has failed and there already is talk about undoing the automatic cuts.
    The American people have watched failure after failure by its leaders. We can no longer afford to do nothing while they dismantle the future of this nation. The Association to Reduce the National Debt is uniting Americans to make our voices heard and demand real solutions. Find the Association to Reduce the National Debt on the web or facebook, like them, donate, spread the word...BE PART OF THE SOLUTION TO SAVING OUR NATION!

    November 21, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Lisa

    And the Republicans are lying that tax cuts create jobs. So let the Bush tax cuts expire (they were only supposed to be temporary anyway thus the "sunset date"), cut all pork, make our elected officials pay a portion of their healthcare and contribute to SS, force them to retire at age 70 and live off their retirement - not their continued salary -- and watch real, actual reform take place.

    In the meantime, Norquist is nothing more than a self-serving far right-leaning individual who cares only about himself and not the country as a whole. Those who continue to follow him obviously have no foresight to see further ahead then the next election cycle.

    November 21, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Don B

    This man needs to grow up. How childish and very unprofessional on Norquist' part Perhaps he should be teaching in kindergartin

    November 21, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. TomF

    Mr. Buffett has it correct, anytime the national budge exceeds 3% of GDP then no sitting congressperson or senator may be reelected. Among other consequences, this would override any so called "pledges".


    November 21, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Ej

    A democrat that tells a lie? I'm shocked. Unfortunately, there are liars on both sides of the aisle.

    November 21, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Four and the Door (who stated) "The fact is, Norquist is just part of an organization supporting the American Taxpayer. Republicans are on the side of the taxpayer."

    With a comment like this, I'm divided between Boehner's "HELL NO" and Joe Wilson's "YOU LIE" response. Oh, what the heck, why not use both:

    HELL NO ... Four and the Door ... YOU LIE.

    November 21, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Allen

    Most of you are a bunch of ill-informed tweebs. Norquist is just a citizen. I am not rich, but Washington has a spending problem. I am not part of the "99%" that sit on their behinds all day lamenting that the rich are not paying their fair share. I think that I would prefer to be in the 1% than be one of the unwashed 99%ers. You so called OWS 99% need to take a shower, wash your hair, put on some deoderant, get a job and pay your fair share of taxes. I am tired of supporting your lazy butt.

    November 21, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. DaveVB

    Please, please, please will someone here be a grown-up and begin to even mention a fact or two? I'll get things started: FACT these negotiations will not produce a single penny of a true cut in spending....they'll only "bend the curve" and lower future costs from the upward track WE have them on – WE being out out of control Congress and Executive branches of government.

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Lucy

    The American people did not develop or promote the pledge. The American people did not threaten Congressmen with the notion of no pledge no election support. How is it this this guy can speak for the American people. What a joke. Wake up people. We have spent a lot of money in the last twenty god and some not so good...pick your program. The only way to get out of this is do do what most Americans do with their bills. The cut back but apply more toward their debt. You can't have it both ways. Simple economics.

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. me

    How does this self appointed little king get by with this. Does he think only the rich republicans matter? Someone needs to step up and take the side of the people, not just in talk but action. He is a really scary person, and that is exactly what he wants to be. We need a self appointed Democrat, with many backers to go after this Hitler type person. He is just disgusting, and no one seems to know what to do with him. We cannot let him, the evil koch bro's Dick Army and the Tea party destroy the total middle and lower class, and in case no-one knows it, that is exactly what they want to do. Some one please step up and get a group of people started to confront him instead of just complaining about him, or they will destroy us. This is probably one of the most serious situation we could face, for some one to just say I am king and you will do as I say or I will destroy you, and our goal is to destroy the peons.

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Politicians lie

    He is correct in what he is saying, meaning that if in campaign that got a politician elected, they promised no taxes, why would they do the opposite when in office? Did they get smarted after they got elected, to forget about the promises? No. So I think it is only fair, if you promised something during campaign, to keep your word, no matter how unpopular that is with the opposite party and press and anybody else.

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Appaled

    Norquist is not an elected official. Who is he to say what is and what is not on the table?

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. George

    Republicans stop acting retarded. Why do you keep saying the upper class needs tax breaks when the upper class has made over 100 You Tube Videos requesting their taxes to be raised. Why are people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, The CEO of Starbucks and much much more standing up asking you to raise their taxes and you choose to ignore it. These are the people that stand to be effected by the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts of which were temporary in the first place and had an expiration date. In all reality you would not be raising taxes but putting them back at their actually set rate. Stop lying to people. You republicans are going to be the cause of this nations collapse and the cause of the new violence that will be presented after your talks fail. The Occupy protest is quiet now. Wait till the private industry lays off another 2%. Buildings will be bombed and torched. Cars will be burned in the streets, small businesses all over the nation will not be able to open their doors. It will be a national Rodney King day. You remember LA. Think about that on a national level. People have no clue what they are standing against. Just wait. You remember the early 1900's well we are headed right back there. And if you purchase a bad product, to bad there is no protection for you any more. Your pay go down and now you can't afford the bills, that's to bad because it wont matter any more. Enjoy being called an employee today, tomorrow you will be a slave. Its human history.

    November 21, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Amazing

    Grover is not elected official. I find it amazing that he has this much influence when no American has asked him to represent them. That said, the lack of courage by both parties to do what is right for the country instead of what is right for their political party. The fact of the matter is a balanced approach is the only way out of the debt problem. It can not be one extreme or the other extreme. Every member of the super committee should not be re-elected simply due to their lack of courage and leadership.

    November 21, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Joe

    Perhaps it is Mr. Norquist that is hard of hearing. We will not dismantle FDR nd LBJ. *That* is off the table. It has been for decades.

    November 21, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. ObamaYoMama

    typical Reid tactics... why don't the democrats just come out and say they want to raise taxes... instead they want to be cryptic and hide the fact that they want to spend spend spend...democrats are destroying this country

    November 21, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. GrogInOhio

    Meh... Norquist is indeed a scapegoat, but not for Democrats but for Republicans that don't have the guts to do what is right for the country, albeit smacks the GOP mega-donors right in the face. Republicans won't bite the corporate and wealthy hands that feed them. Their pledge to Norquist is their gutless way of not owning up to the REAL reason for their failure.

    November 21, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Jay

    The Republicans PLEDGE should be to the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, NOT GROVER NORQUIST... the entire Right putting Party before politics has crippled the political process, and is about to destroy the country. It's time to put the welfare of the US before Party.

    November 21, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. garwin1

    Norquist is part of the problem. He is NOT part of the solution.

    November 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Concerned

    They both Lie, GOP are just better at it....

    November 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Kwesoe

    The problem with us is us. We voted them in so they can screw us.

    November 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. m500

    Who in the ham sandwich does Grover Norquist think he is? I must have missed when his election. Why is he calling the shots?

    November 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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