Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge
November 26th, 2012
12:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge

(CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became another Republican on Capitol Hill to suggest he is willing to put aside the Grover Norquist-backed pledge he signed not to raise taxes when considering options to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Cantor said in interviews Monday that his Virginia constituents did not re-elect him earlier this month to a seventh term because he had signed the pledge not to increase tax rates advanced by Norquist's group Americans for Tax Reform.

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"I will tell you when I go to the constituents that have elected, re-elected me it is not about that pledge. It is really about trying to solve problems," he said in an interview on MSNBC. "We were not re-elected to raise taxes or increase marginal rates. We were re-elected to fix the problems, to get the economy going again and to fix the deficit."

Several Republicans, including Senators Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have in the past week sought distance from the pledge, which has been signed by a majority of Republican lawmakers in Washington.

Led by House Speaker John Boehner, Republicans have put increased revenue on the table in negotiations to avert going over the fiscal cliff, which is a combination of federal budget spending cuts and tax increases for nearly all Americans that are set to go into effect in the new year. Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama are working to find a solution as economists predict going over the cliff would put the U.S. economy back into recession.

Boehner, Cantor, and others have said they are open to increasing revenue through capping or reduction of credits and other loopholes, but are opposed to raising rates. "Increasing marginal rates versus more revenues is the distinction there," Cantor said.

Obama favors increasing rates for wealthy earners and has said he agrees with Republicans on extending the tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush for middle-income earners.

Republicans have advanced savings through reforms to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

"We fix the problem by number one getting a handle on these entitlements," Cantor said.

In a separate interview, he advocated for putting Obama's health reform law on the negotiating table, but could not say whether it had come up in discussions between congressional leaders and the White House.

"If the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting Obamacare on the table," Cantor said on the Fox News Channel. "There's no question in my mind that's the largest expansion of government programs."

Boehner wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday "that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation's massive debt challenge."

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates two-thirds of people questioned believe the U.S. would face a crisis if the cliff is not averted, and more say they would blame the consequences on Republicans in Congress rather than President Barack Obama.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Graham says he'd break no-tax 'pledge'

– Cantor: Voters more concerned about problem solving than pledge

– Christie gets post-Sandy approval rating bump

– Norquist says he'll go after pledge-breakers

– Rep. Capito to run for Senate in West Virginia


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. cm

    This guy looks like a liar and a thief.

    November 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Any gop law maker that doesn't walk away from a pledge to the crook lobbyist rover nitwitquest will be kicked out of office in their next elections. What's the difference between signing a pledge to the subversive gop lobbyist rover nitwitquest and signing a pledge to oil companies lobbyist to keep prices high ,answer , none ,gop beware, a voter .by the way norquest didn't vote for any of you ,and we won't either if you don't rip up your goofball pledge,that's one reason romney the tax cheat lost.

    November 26, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Travis

    Ok, so now some Republicans are willing to break their pledge to help reach a compromise. What are Democrats willing to compromise on? I don't want to hear that they shouldn't have to compromise on anything, because that will just show they are not willing to negotiate. It's time we stop livining in the past and take care of our problems now.
    ---------------------
    If you don't know what Democrats are willing to compromise on, then you've been listening to too much right wing media.

    November 26, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. mgrgurich

    You can't solve problems AND honor this misguided pledge. The GOP adherence to it is what created the cliff in the first place by making compromise impossible

    November 26, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Wanna reform Medicare? Get rid of the cottage insurance induatry that sprang to life as a result of George W. Bush's "improvements and reforms" to Medicare. Why do we need all of these private insurance middlemen in the revenue stream? All that they're doing is bleeding off profit by the billions.
    -------
    Time for a little education for Rudy.

    There are basically 2 types of health insurance funding. The first is traditional, where premiums paid are used to pay for actual claims plus administrative services. The second is called administrative services only, where premiums paid are for just that – adminstrative services – and actual claims are paid for from the policyholder's funds.

    Medicare (and Medicaid) are the latter type. The government contracts out the Medicare and Medicaid administrative business (with the exception of fraud detection and prosecution) to private insurers. Why? Because they're experts at doing it.

    So the next time you boast about how well Medicare & Medicaid are run, it's because while they may be government funded, they're not government run. And thank God they're not... a la Amtrack & the Post Office.

    November 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Majestic

    Bye, bye Grover. It looks like the Republicans that signed Grover's pledge are finally seeing the light! Norquist, you're irrelevant!

    November 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Lelio Risen

    Does this mean the GOP is no longer the Party of NOrquist? @leliorisen

    November 26, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    just sayin

    what exactly are the democrats willing to cut out of the current spending? nothing.
    ------------
    Defense cuts. We spend $800 billion per year, more than anyone else in the world by a factor of TEN. China is #2 in defense spending with %70 billion. No one else is over $50 billion.

    November 26, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. lolo

    Don't trust a GOP/TP period. They have had their chance for the last four years to aid America but chose to obstruct because we have an African-American President. They are still doing the same old thing all over again because he was re-elected. For all of those that signed the pledge, which includes Cantor need to voted out period. Their shenanigans were due to their hatred and racism. Vote them out now. Donot trust a word they say. They are saying anything now to hold the house during mid-term elections. They think the people came out for the presidential election, they will do it again for the mid-terms. These fools need to be taught a very good lesson for holding up progress.

    November 26, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I'm not sure people are wanting to fix the problem. If so they elected the wrong person for president. But, they voted for it so let's see how it goes. It hasen't gone too well the last 75 years. I predict the country will still be floundering 4 years from now, even worse.

    November 26, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Ol' Lefty

    Raise the rates on the top earners (amount to be negotiated), end mortgage deduction on more than one property and end the carried interest deduction. That's breaking the "Pledge" to Grover, not the word games the GOP is currently using.

    November 26, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. lolo

    Also we know that their base will follow them, but the rest of us are fed up. Out with the old and in with the new. Bye-Bye GOP forever. i can;t wait until McConnell, Boehner, Cantor and Ryan are voted out. I will have the biggest smile on my face like I hit the lottery jackpot. Cantor is truly the biggest liar and lapdog of them all and should be the first one shown the door.

    November 26, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Travis

    @ Rudy NYC
    "If you don't know what Democrats are willing to compromise on, then you've been listening to too much right wing media."

    Still unable to answer a straight-forward question I see.

    November 26, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    ...Medicare (and Medicaid) are the latter type. The government contracts out the Medicare and Medicaid administrative business (with the exception of fraud detection and prosecution) to private insurers. Why? Because they're experts at doing it.....
    ---------------
    Tsk, tsk, tsk. If they were such experts, then why is it headed for bankruptcy? Hmm? Besides, your facts are wrong. More tax dollars are being spent today on "overhead" than ever before, thanks in large part to the cottage insurance industries created under the Bush administration.

    November 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Both sides are full of it

    RIP Grover.

    I'm a republican and even I think Grover's become the bane of our political existence. So long, sucker.

    November 26, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Rosslaw

    Come on, GOP. Stick to your guns, your economic alchemy, your refusal to believe in the power of mathmatics. Just take the position you don't believe in the economic cliff that your GOP Congress voted for. And then we can all wave bye as you go over the cliff.

    November 26, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Louis

    What a system–our government drives our country to near ruin by wasting billions/trillions of our tax dollars for the last 40 years and we are told the only solution is to give them even more money.

    November 26, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    His cantor is afraid of another earthquake and not getting money for the fools in his district that reelected him.
    If you want to blackmail federal assistance money to others then he shouldn't get any either.
    Medicare and Social Security ARE NOT ENTITLEMENTS!!!!! This from the congress that gets the best lifelong health insurances and pension for doing nothing and taking more action time thanwe the little people do!!!

    November 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. JellyBean@Majestic

    You are sooo right!

    November 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Craig Thomson

    Clinton balanced the budget taxing top earners 39.6%.

    The last Republican to do so was Dwight Eisenhower, but he taxed top earners 92% to do it!

    So, is it really fair to expect Obama to better with 35%?

    November 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Travis wrote:

    @Rudy NYC – "If you don't know what Democrats are willing to compromise on, then you've been listening to too much right wing media."

    Still unable to answer a straight-forward question I see.
    ----------------
    Obama had worked out budget deal with Boehner that included across the board cuts. The Tea Party rejected it, in favor of passing the fiscal cliff bill.

    BTW, I don't answer condescending questions that anyone who's paying attention already knows the answers to. I respond to off-topic, purely argumentative questions, either.

    November 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. ghostriter

    Travis, the reason that it is hard to answer conservatives' questions is they don't really like the answers. Democrats have offered trade-offs. Conservatives have always said no. Or attempted to put something in like the stupid Keystone Pipeline.

    But defense cuts and some entitlement reforms have been offered. Straight forward enough?

    November 26, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Jeff O'Dette

    Time for the GOP to go away. Just fade to black. Hopefully

    November 26, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. rob

    The only way to pay for the democrats spending is to raise taxes on everyone and everything. The President and the Dems will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER....EVER cut spending the way we need it to be cut. The line is drawn...Obamacare, the new Baseline spending (the levels created by the Stimulus) will not go away absent a complete takeover of congress by the Reps in 2014. So, the only answer to stop the inevitible financial crisis that EVERYONE knows is looming is to RAISE TAXES on EVERYBODY. The new tax will be the Value Added Tax ala Europe. It will be sold as a temporary solution because of the "Crisis" but it will never go away.

    Democrats cannot run on their real intentions or the record (with the obvious help of the Liberal Media) the proof will be found out in the next 4 years and hopefully despite the propaganda from the media the American people will finally see the damage the Dems are doing.

    November 26, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. b17

    I pledge alligience to grover norquist
    and to the gop for which he stands
    one party under grover, indivisible
    with wealth and power for grover norquist

    November 26, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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