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. Chris

    Dear Congressmen and Senators;
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    November 21, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Harry

    It's time to replace all of Congress with people who take the Nation to heart rather than the partisan hacks who can't cooperate with each other. The people that we currently have would rather collect their paychecks and perks from the lobbyists that do what they were elected to do...govern.

    November 21, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Greg Smith

    Who is Grover Norquist to say what is or isn't on the table for discussions among our elected representives. He had the Republicans sign the pledge under threat of blackmail that he would tell their voters that they wanted to raise taxes.

    November 21, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    How silly of Gover Norquist to think he, an unelected official, can dictate American policy making to one political party and not be held accountable for his actions? Oops ... my bad. Members of that particular party DO allow him to dictate to them.

    November 21, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Howard

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    November 21, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Civitas

    It is very convenient to deflect any and all criticism of the Tax Pledge to the Voters yet at the same time use the Voter's Name to push your personal initiatives through Congress. The Voters didn't print out the Pledge and hand it to the Congressperson to sign, You Did.

    November 21, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Sharpetongue

    No non elected person should have the influence that Norquist exerts on the GOP. You can bet that at least a few of them wished that damned pledge didn't exist so they could get something done. But now they are trapped. He can frame it any way he wants....(contract with the American people)...but I see their contract as doing the best they can for us...not doing the best to get re-elected.

    November 21, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. cworr

    All this "it's treason not to raise taxes on the rich" talk is utter nonsense. The rich already have the highest tax rate – they just also have a lot of loopholes so they pay less a total percentage. The truly fair thing to do is go to a flat tax that everybody pays – no loopholes or gimmicks. When you all start demanding that we raise taxes, they get raised on everybody. It would be interesting to see how many of you would still be screaming to raise taxes. It's real easy to support raising taxes on the other guy.

    November 21, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Amunaka

    Funny ...the dems are lying ..right ...the republican party is run by guru grover and pope rush as is self evident...

    grover / rush 2012

    November 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Karen

    Norquist is lying, dishonest and holding his party hostage to his extreme beliefs. It's time the people in power in the GOP dumped this divisive extremist.

    November 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Robert - Atlanta

    Norquist is the liar; the republicans are a complete failure – they only represent The Idle Rich and the Corrupt Corporations. The GOP proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare that will destroy the middleclass, but leave republicans and their rich friends with all their millions. End all the bush tax cuts NOW and bring the troops home! Make The Idle Rich pay the same percentage of their income as the working people and eliminate their loopholes, caps and phony tax credits!

    November 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    What happened to what's best for the American people? Oh that's right – that doesn't exist anymore. Pledges to ANYTHING and ANYONE other than your country sounds at best treasonous and unAmerican. Sen. Murray was correct to call them out on this ignorance and rightly so. The repubs. have become (thanks to Reagan) a cult not a disciplined party of principles and the sad thing is people support it.

    Let's send ALL of these unAmericans packing in 2012.

    November 21, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. LC

    If the pledge is between me and the Republican congressman, I hereby release them from it. Grover will have nothing to say about that then.

    November 21, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Karen

    Norquist has never been elected to public office, but he's calling the shots???

    November 21, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. RC

    It's about nothing more than votes and continued power for sitting politicians. They fear being voted out more than considering the good of the people. That said, start eliminating government positions that you and I pay for and costs come down.

    Dismantle federal agencies as a whole. Go to a flat tax at the cash register and eliminate the IRS. Pass a balanced budget amendment. Costs will come down. Revenue will neutralize... the storm will end.

    But that will never happen because it takes away the power of our reps to over spend for their pet projects and their pals around the country.

    November 21, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. kwreader

    Funny, I don't remember any voters electing Grover Norquist to a political office. Why, then, does the Tea Party / GOP lick his boots? For that matter, why does CNN? He's an anti-patriotic economic terrorist, who has done far more harm to this country than anything Al Queda could dream up.

    November 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. bks

    This guy has cornered the republicans. They do not have guts to say any thing against him. What is big deal in breaking the pledge ? We break pledges every day in life ranging from marriage to friendship. There are few good republicans as well but they have no say in this crowd. One of them said that if my driving license can expire why not this pledge. This pledge was valid in 80's. Mr Grover is a big lobbyist for rich people and not for common man. To blackmail the congressmen and senators he has their pictures in his office . It was fun to watch him on 6o mins.

    November 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Halcyon

    What Norquist conveniently leaves out is that any Republican Congressman or Senator who breaks this pledge with "country" is automatically put on a black list and lobbied against. Norquist's group "Americans for Tax Reform" resists rolling back special interest tax deductions as "job-killing tax hikes" and buys TV and Radio advertisements smearing any Republican politician who suggests otherwise.

    It's patently absurd for him to claim he has no influence or hand in enforcing this "pledge".

    November 21, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Fed-Up

    I have worked hard my whole life, had my own business, took care of my employees by trying to enrich them as my busienss was growing, and then lost it all. Words cannot express my frustration and disappointment with our elected officials.
    However, as a tax payer, the federal government has a moral obligation to be good stewards of the taxes they collect from us. I will not support any politician who blatantly shuns their moral obligation to me by not even attempting to manage how they spend our money, but then have the temerity to come and simply take more. They should all be ashamed of what they have done to America. We were once a great nation because the people ran the government not the other way around.

    November 21, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Lanai

    Wake up America!! Norquist and his financial backers (Koch brothers) have hijacked our country. Watch last night's 60 minutes episode to get a taste of what this man is like. Republicans have to fall in line with him because if they don't he will back an opposing candidate in the next election with BIG money who will win. All 270 Republicans in congress that signed the pledge are there because Norquist handed them the money to win. This guy takes no prisoners, does not compromise, and will stop at nothing to create the America based on the ideologies of the fascist few who have the money, and now the power. Get together and STOP this man and his relentless machine before he destroys everything we have worked for in the 100 years of American history.

    November 21, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    If the Democrat's hadn't taken a pledge to spend this country into bankruptcy with their great welfare state, Republicans wouldn't feel the need to take a pledge not to raise taxes.

    November 21, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. askfmb

    Treason is the term that fits this individual and the Republicans who signed this pledge. Their intent is to undermine the United States of America by acting against the sovereign in order to insure that President Obama doesn't get re-elected, and per the definition of Treason, any action against the sovereign is a act of Treason. All the Republicans that signed this pledge as well as norguist are committing Treason.

    November 21, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. us1776

    I think Norquist with his pledges is a traitor.

    Just b/c his father was a tax-assessor does not make him qualified to understand about how to run a government.

    You cannot run a government by kitchen-table economics.

    When you are in a deep recession and have massive job loss you cannot cut spending.

    You first must stimulate the economy to the point where jobs are restored.
    And THEN after you have that then you can start cutting back on spending.

    This GOP simple-minded idea of trying to apply kitchen-table economics to government policy is a disaster.

    November 21, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. super-devided-Country

    GOP-tea-party..and Obama-Democrats Tent-party...Both parties getting away from themselves..anything to devide the country more and more...Remember "United the country will rise again, devided it will fall"

    November 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Norquist is yet another vacuous rtightwing Nazi dingbat. The man is intellectually and morally handicapped, as is anybody else who thinks a pledge of allegience to him overrides a congressperson's responsibility to the citizens of the WHOLE country. And all this, coming from "strict constructionists" too.

    [R], HYPOCRISY is thy name.

    November 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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