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. John

    This Grover Norquist have come on TV many time and say that he had them sign these Pledges and he the one lying. What get me that the Republican should had never been able to sign any Pledges of any kind, because they all ready took a Oath of Office when they got elected.

    November 21, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Paul Ingle

    If this pledge is "with the American People" then why, here in Arizona, when our legislature was faced with raising taxes were they were scurrying around like lost children with their cell phones trying to reach Grover Norquist to get permission to vote for a tax increase?

    November 21, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. sameeker

    Henry Miller, Libertarian – The socialism for the wealthy and all of the associated bailouts are what is bankrupting this country. Put your money where your mouth is. Come and work for me for $3 an hour, then we will know that you really do live by the same principals that you want to poor to live by.

    November 21, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Gorddicnn

    It's time that we as a country come to realize just what these toxic individuals are doing to us. The divide is becoming wider and more conflicting and it has to stop or we are doomed. That goes for all the people at the extremes both left and right but frankly mostly on the right. The Limpbaughs and Hannutys come to mind.

    November 21, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. animal48

    I said..I'm an American and they didn'y sign it for me or any of my friends. They pledged themselves to tsar norqust, the fuhrer of the teabaggers

    November 21, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. GRofPA

    Just one look at this guy tells you all you need to know – he has the same look in his eyes as Gingrich, Cheney, and Rove. Just another cog in the same machine.

    November 21, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Emperor Norton

    Don't be deliberately obtuse, Howard. You're spouting off talking points and you haven't considered them before parroting them.

    No one's talking about driving millionaires into the poorhouse. We are, however, talking about closing tax loopholes and hiking rates on the top earners in the country, because they make an insane amount compared to their workers and can afford it. This, you might recall, is similar to what Reagan did in the '80s, and it has never been the only suggested method of closing the deficit gap. The only reason anyone is arguing against it, because it's a logical process that's worked before in living memory, is because of Norquist and his asinine "starve the beast" decree.

    If Norquist wants a smaller federal government so badly, maybe he should get elected to high office and work towards it himself.

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. MTATL67

    Norquist is one of the most self centered egotistical extremist. The fear the GOP has of this guy is laughable and pathetic. A bully only has power over you as long as you fear them and refuse to stand up to them. Republicans stand up to this bully. The more this extremist tries to defend himself and blame others the more transparent it becomes that he knows darn well him and his extremist movement are wrong and have done this country great damage.

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. urwhat

    Grover Norquist should write fiction. He needs to bow out of econmics.

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. kenny

    Grover Norquist has made Republicans make that pledge to him and they took it freely and willingly over their Oath of Office to the nation and it's people. Norquist needs to be tarred and feathered and driven out of the countrry on the third rail. Send him to Afghanistan and let him run the Afgan government and deal with that crazy fool Karzi.

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. FLIndependent

    This Grover Norquist guy has had the GOP in a stranglehold for many years and it is time to end the madness! Who is he and who is funding him? We need answers...please CNN dig into this guy's background and reveal what we all need to know. This is nothing but treason. For the life of me, I can't understand how so many are getting away with so much corruption in our government...where's the accountability? I'm an Obama supporter but I have to admit I'm disappointed that heads aren't rolling. I just don't think anyone has the guts in Washington to stop the corruption, so where does that leave us? I can, however, understand why the President keeps a distance from the dysfunctional Congress because when the opposite side makes a declaration from Day 1 that their only goal is to make him a one term President then what are his options? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink!

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Doug/Chicago

    Nordquist is lobbyist. Lobbyists are the problem with our current government system. The mear fact that this guy is even on the news tells you that there is a problem. People who don't know who Nordquist is should learn and also realize that the corporations who create these groups ALWAYS put a name on it like "Freedomworks" or "Americans for Prosperity". They are basically scams that play on the general publics ignorance of the system. By calling it some "nice" name, people are generally duped into believing that they actually care about the American people. They don't. They care about increasing their corporatons not paying their fair share of taxes or no taxes at all. Which some of them already do.

    November 21, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Mike D

    Everyone seems to forget that both parties have been spending for decades. Republican's simply had the good fortune of not being in power when the check came due. Lets be honest, the check is due and the collector doesn't want to hear how you are going to save money by cutting back, they want to know how you are going to make more money! How is American going to generate more capital? How do you do it when corporations can make profits here and create jobs oversees? We live in a global economy, but most Americans seem not to have gotten the memo. Drill Baby Drill! The Chinese need more oil! How are we going to become profitable as a nation,,,wait before you answer, remember a rising Wall Street tide does not raise all boats equally. The check is due and we are all going to pay, the question is who had the buffet and who had the salad?

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Kaipo

    Raising taxes in an effort to support a bloated federal government that has virtually turned into a welfare state is what is wrong with the USA.

    I'm proud of those who stand by their word. When Democrat public officials get this through their heads then the dialogue can move forward. I for one, am glad that the automatic cuts will take affect. Everything needs to be cut, including the sacred cows: defense, welfare, social securtiy, etc.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. MeyeK

    How does the "don't-tax-me-bro" crowd expect to pay for deploying our military? Any "leader" who follows a policy of never raising taxes should completely exclude the option of deploying the military and never vote for increasing security/intelligence, as had been done significantly since 9/11. Those who do follow this policy are the most responsible for our excessive deficit.

    Our problems with the deficit are not caused by poor people – even though some try to make it true by repeating it over and over. For about a decade, we (i.e., our government) have been engaged in two wars and also greatly increased spending on intelligence/security. That is the source of our significantly greater deficit problems, which have been compounded by a worldwide economic downturn.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Penny

    Norquist is part of the problem – special interests. The Republicans fell for the traditional special interest group opposed to taxation but have taken things literally, as is typically done. Now, we have an unyielding GOP citing this man's name over and over again. And, then there are the Democrats with THEIR special interests but they aren't as open as Norquist's name. McCain Feingold was pretty much rendered moot by the US Supreme Court as a blight against 1st amendment speech. I'm SO glad that I decided to go independent. It seems to be the right time for bold action from all sides and these two sides are NOT the ones to accomplish this.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Guest

    I will be contacting my representatives and requesting that all those who signed the no tax pledge be brought up on charges or be impeached on the grounds of conflict of interest. This pledge does not allow them to explore all avenues in the betterment of the country, which is in their oaths of office. I urge everyone who is sickened by this joke of a human being (Norquist) to do the same in their districts.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    I don't pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist. Any politician that does should be tried for treason.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. unsub

    why does this guy matter?

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. MultiRcCouple

    The liberal voice is loud, and when the conservative voice is louder they threaten them with death to silence them. Who then is on the righteous side the liberal or the conservative? The liberal is always right even when he is wrong, and if you correct their wrong you are threatened with violence or death. Who then is right? Who do you really want to be? The person who hides behind his computer afraid to show his true self? The person who threatens violence or death? If you are truly a good person and love peace and you are on the liberal’s side, then you are on the wrong side. You say death is wrong, but yet you take life from the womb. You call it a parasite to justify your wrong doing; you try to make seem less than human.
    You take from others, as if pretending to be the modern Robin Hood. You do not know what it is to work hard for the things that you need or want in life. You justify this theft by calling those who have more than you greedy. Yet you have no knowledge of where they came from and the hard work it took to get there. You want to be treated like a king, but act like a thief. You hurt others because it just makes you feel good to see them in misery.
    You hid who you truly are by calling others racists, greedy, corrupt, and many other things. You do this like an illusionist focusing your audience on the right hand, so they don’t see what the left hand is doing. You on the left are the truest form of a hypocrite.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. confused

    " Norquist said the pledge was between the country and its congressmen, and not with him"... wow. Do any of you remember asking your representatives to sign a pledge? Cause I don't.

    November 21, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    This is a loyalty oath to Norquist and his organization, NOT to the residents of the various states and districts. Norquist is confusing his interests with the country's, and Norquist is a little disingenuous when he says that it was not to him and his ideals. Frankly, its only a little short of a loyalty oath to a leader in a totalitarian state.

    L'Etat, c'est moi, Monsieur Norquist?

    November 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. William Marlowe

    When does what Grover Norquist is doing become 'Black Mail' and illegal? He certainly is threatening public officials with something or otherwise why would they fear him so much?

    November 21, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. vet in texas

    Let's stop saying we have 15 trillion of debt, when actually we only have 5. The rest never existed just like who got it up to $10 trillion doesn't exist anymore.

    Raise taxes to pay for Reagan and W's spending,

    Cut spending to pay for Obama and Clintons debt.

    November 21, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Dave

    Norquist, if you would just slink back to wherever it is you came from and stop being part of the problem the adults in this country can fix the problems created by your tax cut pledge.

    November 21, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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