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. Laverne

    It is appalling that republican congressman have given this much power to a mere lobbyist in Washington. Everyone of them who signed the pledge including the 2-3 dems who signed too should lose their jobs at the hands of the American people, 2012 can't come fast enough!

    November 21, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. normajean @ verizon ,com

    How can you talk tax reform and ignore the very people who have the most money and some of whom pay lower taxes,with more breaks than low wage earners??? The little people are taxed out of existance while the wealthy get bigger tax breaks... Even these wealthy people are coming forward with dignity and say they agree that something needs to be done.and that their taxes should be increased.. ..These are the people who should be praised because they are smart enough to know that if we go much further down the road we are on, there will be NO way back!!! You Repubs are putting the poor and the middle class so far down that when they are all gone the top will collapse.Take the legs off a chair or table and what happens to the top??? Collapse!!!!

    November 21, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Fat Sally Clams

    Who is he to say whats off the table??? Republicans in congress are spinless little lemmings. Grow a set and do your JOB!

    November 21, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Billy1957

    Norquist makes me sick. He is a liar. This congress cares nothing about the American people. The hidden agendas of both sides are driving us to ruin. We need to replace them all in the next election. This is absolutely the worst congress in recent history.

    November 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Jim

    After watching the 60 minutes segment on him, I've come to believe that he's the most powerful man in Washington and we didn't elect him.

    November 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Robert Slaven

    Norquist is a traitor in every possible sense of the world. The absolute best thing the GOP could do is for every single GOP House, Senate, and Presidential candidate to just turn their backs and completely ignore him. And yes, I too would like to know who's bankrolling him.

    November 21, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. David

    Yep, the Dems are lying. How many times have we heard "pay their fair share" or other such nice ways to say, someone ELSE needs to cough up more money. Tax the rich at 100% and you get a little over 400 billion according to CBO. That’s far short of covering anything the Dems or Pres. want to pay for with higher taxing on the rich or even expiring the Bush tax cuts. Like most Americans when the money is not coming in, you cut spending. But then the Dems clearly don't want to do that unless its defense. The government has 3 jobs only: make the rules, enforce the rules, and defend the country. So why do they think Defend the country should be one of the smallest parts of the cost?

    November 21, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. mike

    norquist is a fool and so is anyone who signs that pledge. sometimes you have to raise taxes! norquist is an idiot.

    November 21, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Onegood1

    Why does CNN, the mouthpiece for the DNC, have such low journalist standards as to start the whole article with the word "notorious" ? Grover Norquist is the closet thing to a modern day American Hero since George Patton.
    Stand strong Grover, we are with you. I would much rather pay him $$$ than pay it to the cesspool in DC.

    November 21, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Zoog

    Signing a pledge to not raise taxes is like pledging that you are not going to do part of your job. As a Senator or Congressman there are times when you might have to agree to raising taxes to even though it is something you dislike doing. It is like saying I will never or I will always support military action; it depends on the situation the country is in.

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Siesta1000

    The only thing worse than tax increases is lobbyists who interfere with the democratic process. The elected officials that fear Grover Norquist are spineless and too scared to face the electorate without big money backing. All politicians should state their position on supporting the US citizens they represent. If they choose a lobbyist, they need to go. Big money to finance a negative campaign that simply tears down opponents without stating a real position on policy is not good enough. Simply passing tests on social issues and a phony tax pledge is not enough to qualify you to lead us out of our current situation. This situation is due to massive tax cuts that were supposed to put the economy into high gear, but didn't.

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. beevee

    If any of the GOP members of the Super committee are known to have pledged to this nut Norquist, they should not be in the committee. I am sure there are some sane GOP members in the congress and the senate who can work more amicably with the democrats to come to a reasonable resolution of the debt reduction plan. May be they should shut this guy up for a while so that he cannot influence members of the GOP.

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Truthwillsetyoufree

    A new face for the Cheney Hall of Fame... Norquist next to Rove....

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. scmom

    Everyone can keep saying the other half needs to get a job, but won't help the solution of creating jobs. Yes, we have a lot of abuse with our system poor and rich alike. But everyone that keep complaining about all these so-called socialist programs will at some time or another benefit from them also in some form. You are just a few paychecks away from a job situation or maybe a catastrophic illness. Good for you if you are someone that has been frugal and will have it made at retirement or maybe a job layoff. Most working everyday people don't have it like that. They can pay their bills and maybe put a little away but the way some people talk they should starve because they may need a litle help getting food for their families. This man and others like him don't have a thing to worry about. Me and mine do because we are not rich. it would be nice if we could all live in Cain La-La land and the "Bachman mantra" where everyone can just go out and make a job or take a job and become rich because that's just how America works.

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Tom

    Why then, do even the Republicans refer to "Norquists Pledgd"?

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. "He's Dead Jim."

    They are all lying and have long been about the business of pouring our nation down the drain. Reboot needed for government.

    November 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. VO in NJ

    Any pledges should be unlawful for elected officials. Their only duty is to the country and its people; any absolutes are bound to go contrary to this duty at some point, and it's painfully obvious.

    Note: If Warren Buffett pays less % tax than his sectretary and 30% of Fortune 500 companies pay their CEO more than what they pay in tax, the debt problem is not just a spending problem...

    November 21, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Stop the Charade

    How about Congress signing a pledge to deport Grover Norquist to Tierra del Fuego?

    November 21, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. BigEasyinNewOrleans

    To Mr. Norquist, those signatures on your pledge do not lie, BUCKO!!!!!

    November 21, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. mike

    And this is a suprise to anyone... so sorry to the sheep out there who cant see past the state run media. The Left is full of nothing but liers.

    November 21, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Joe

    @Allen. Of course you would prefer to be one of the 1%. But you are not and never will be. It is not an open club. Washed or not, you *are* one of the 99%, whose lives are owned by Mr. Norquist and friends. Only difference is, you like it.

    November 21, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Zenichi-Maro

    Norquist is so full of crap it's coming out of his mouth. HE wrote the pledge, HE advocated the pledge, HE shoved it down the throat of every GOP lawmaker, and HE bears the responsibility for the damage caused by such a ridiculous, partisan thing as this tax pledge.

    IF he were acting on behalf of the American people, then he would HAVE to amend the pledge to allow for tax increased. A plurality of Americans SUPPORT higher taxes, along with decreased spending. But he has not. Instead, he has opted for an anti-tax fundamentalism that will not stand up in the face of a very REAL need for both revenue (short term) and cuts (long term). For Norquist to claim that he's acting on behalf of the American people is so laughable as to be sad.

    November 21, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Ms. Joi

    Grover Norquist is he running for president? Of course not he is just a rich idiot paying other rich idiots to keep middle class Americans down. Even millionaires are begging congress to do what? RAISE THEIR TAXES, but if Mr. Norquist thinks Democrats are deaf I guess Republicans have no ears at all or even eyes to see what a mess they are creating by listening to who? Grover Norquist a rich idiot.

    November 21, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Patrick Conner

    Our political parties are not football teams. They are ways for us to categorize ourselves into (we hope) meaningful voting communities, and the winners can expect to get a bit more influence on the direction of the country than the losers. But now we have too many people in the electorate who've drunk the kool-aid and now believe that some configuration of ideological purity matters above all. Democracy will certainly break down if we don't begin to understand how our system was designed to work. This earlier posting bears repeating: "Take a look at the 60 Minutes interview with Norquist last night and you'll see why this country is in trouble. Grover Norquist is symbolic of EXACTLY what is wrong with our political system. Here is someone called 'a lobbyist' who is in a position to essentially blackmail politicians into signing a pledge to match his own agenda. The so-called pledge is the reason Republicans have become blind obstructionists more interested in loyalty to Norquist than to the voters they represent. The only thing missing from the pledge is the words 'I've been bought.' This is shameful – no individual, whatever his or her beliefs, should be able to wield this kind of behind-closed-door power in our government. What's more, Norquist represents an organization that isn't even required to divulge its donors – so who knows who is really behind this movement. It certainly isn't the average voter who[m] he claims to represent. This is not what democracy is all about."

    November 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Jim

    Why is anyone listening to this bozo.... Oh that's right, because he's got money and can influence votes if anyone crosses him. A threat he makes relatively often. But the pledge isn't about him is it? If anyone can be considered treasonous it's Norquist, this has nothing to do with the good of the public, it's simply a narcissistic power trip for him and a way to make money.

    November 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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