June 1st, 2012
06:16 PM ET
3 years ago

Norquist defends tax pledge following Jeb Bush remarks

(CNN) - Grover Norquist, the man behind a high-profile anti-tax pledge, said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush insulted GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday by voicing his opposition to the Norquist-backed pledge.

"He kind of stepped in it a little bit," Norquist said of Bush, who spoke before a House Budget Committee hearing on Friday.

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Bush said, "I ran for office three times. The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge. I cut taxes every year I was governor."

He said he would favor a hypothetical Romney and other Republicans have opposed: one dollar of tax increases for ten dollars of spending cuts. "This will prove I am not running for anything," he said.

Norquist called that a mistake, and said it could be because "he's not used to Washington politics." Bush was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, and both the son and brother of U.S. presidents.

Norquist suggested it shouldn't disqualify Bush from the GOP vice presidential ticket, though he offered three names he favored: Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindall, and Sen. Marco Rubio.

The pledge, which was first drafted in 1986, commits signers to making only decreases or neutral changes to the tax code. It has been signed by 238 current members of the House and 41 Senators, according to Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Also see:

Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record

Obama campaign releases third set of Spanish ads

Gonzales says Romney must make personal connection to Hispanics

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll


Filed under: 2012 • Grover Norquist • House • Jeb Bush • Republicans
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Marry

    Norquist! Norquist?? So you are to fight and lose your lives and health in unpaid wars his friends profit from and then they pay no taxes to fund important departments such as the Veterans Benefits Administration? Just one of many examples where the GOP creates bigger needs...and then they have no intention to pay for it? You have to provide for them but they have not concern for you?
    That is what he is really telling you! Bravo!! You going to vote for that? Really???

    June 2, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  2. Bob

    Kudos to Jeb. Mitt will say and sign ANYTHING. Nothing new there.

    June 2, 2012 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  3. Jon in Pittsburgh

    If this guy is so smart and the all knowing tax expert....run for office and make a difference. Be part of the solution instead of the problem and tying everyones hands. It's good in theory, but this is the real world and the idiots that signed your "pledge" are just as much idiots as he is. HERE IS A PLEDGE – TERM LIMITS FOR ALL ELECTED POSITIONS – that way you can not be an indefinate idiot.

    June 2, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
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