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. Fair is Fair

    Of couse they're lying – you're just a convenient scapegoat.

    November 21, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. carly

    The truth can not be hidden forever. All Repubs who signed Norquist's pledge and feel that they are now locked in to not raise any taxes should be recalled or voted out at the next election. They are not serving the American people. They are serving the right wing nuts who are out to destroy the country.

    November 21, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Jill-IN

    Like former Senator Alan Simpson has commented more than once in the recent months, someone needs to dig deep, really deep into Grover Norquist. And, we need to find out where he gets his scratch – where is all the money coming from. Something really stinks about this guy and 99% want to know what's up with him. Where DOES he get his scratch!

    November 21, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. james - St. Paul, MN

    Norquist is an unelected citizen. He has repeatedly stated that his goal is to destroy the Federal Government. To that end, he has asked our legislators to make pledges that prevent them from fulfilling their civic duty. For some reason, those legislators feel their pledge to Mr. Norquist is more important than their pledge to serve the nation honestly and properly. Both the legislators who signed his pledge and Mr. Norquist should be thrown out of Washington, with the message that they are unwelcome.

    November 21, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. AndrewM24

    And what happens to that GOP Congressperson or Senator if they do vote to raise taxes? They lose all funding and are put on the Republican hit list. But, he calls it a pledge. It's more of a blackmail document.

    November 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Upol

    How this man becomes so powerful ?

    November 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. annie s

    Grover Norquist – and the Republicans who fear him – are a major part of what is wrong in America.

    November 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. K3Citizen

    The rich said to go ahead and raise their taxes and Obama isn't going to raise taxes on everyone else so who are they protecting? There are just as many rich Democrats as there are rich republicans.

    November 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Kenny K

    "Defending his role in promoting the pledge, first signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986"

    Did Reagan signed the pledge before he raised taxes or after?

    November 21, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. mike

    It amazes me that a group of people of this size can not come to an agreement on the future of our country. Why not from the president on down to the congress take a cut on their annual budgets that keep growing in monetary value. This could save the country hundreds of millions every year.

    November 21, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Rich

    Old Grover is a Koch bros lobiest,.....nothing more....nothing less

    November 21, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Al

    Norquist does a very artful job of doublespeaking. Why should he take responsibiliy for his actions? Sad really. Repubs blame Dems. Dems blame Repubs. The people get screwed.

    November 21, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. mike

    whatever grover....were on to you buddy youre a phoney lobbyist just what is wrong with washington you and youre pathetic sheep will be gone in 2012

    November 21, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. moderatejoe

    Norquist is part of the problem but not the problem. Time to cut the loop holes and subsidies business and programs must survive on their own merit. Also it's time to remove the crippling layers of regulation that are choking businesses and reduce the size of government by at least 10%.

    November 21, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Wylie Mike

    There 'Oath of Office' is to the 'American People' that they are elected to represent; not to some arbitrary factional agreement.
    The question is; Is that agreement in line with the will of the People that they are Representatives of? Perhaps it is.

    November 21, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. TCVAN

    Patty Murray is terrible for Washington state and now the whole country. Never voter for her, never will.

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    tax increases off the table huh...Norbutt!! You may think that's your disition to are dead wrong bud!

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Scott Nelson

    Yes, Grover is a big part of the problem. As are the perpetual, head-shaking Republicans. It's okay to bury the middle class in tax after tax, but heaven forbid the cuts for the rich would expire. A government needs revenue in order to operate. Yes, we need cuts. But we also need to close massive loopholes which allow the wealthy and large corporations to pay little or nothing in many cases.

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. mb2010a

    Well then, Mr. Norquist...I suggest you publicly release all those who signed your pledge from their oath and publicly burn all the pledges instead of threatening to punish them if they don't stick to it...then we'll talk about how it is not your fault.

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    But the Democrats think it plays well in the New York Times to suggest that a lobbyist actually has more power than elected congressmen. The fact is, Norquist is just part of an organization supporting the American Taxpayer. Republicans are on the side of the taxpayer. Fortunately the country survived 2 years where the taxpayers had no power in Washington. Debt went up $5 trillion and there was very little to show for it but voters showed up in 2010 to put a stop to that.

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. ART

    This man is a danger to the United States of America

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Irene

    Norquist should be tried and convicted of treason and so should every GOP hack who signed his pledge.

    November 21, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    A truly sad human being. Truly sad that Repubs. are so scared of him. This country would never have won WWII w/that type of mentality. We are a Nation of 300 million. Everybody's got to give a little if we are going to continue to be a One Nation or Two Tribes.

    November 21, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Where was Grover Norquist when the Republicans avoided the economic consequences of two ten year WARS ?

    America is hijacked by lobbyist !

    Newt Gingrich / Grover Norquist 2013

    November 21, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. wonderabout

    No, it might not be to him they pledge, but if they ignore it, move to raise taxes, or heaven forbid vote to raise taxes on the likes of Norquist and his uber-rich friends, Norquist will make sure they lose their post come next election cycle – shut him down.... and his backers – which we can pretty much guess includes the Koch Brothers in some capacity.

    November 21, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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