Norquist: Democrats are lying
November 21st, 2011
12:13 PM ET
9 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. Dom

    The only people that don't hate Norquist are the geniuses who signed that stupid pledge of his....newsflash Grover, you don't speak for me, so quit trying to blackmail our country with your ridiculous notion that your "pledge" speaks for all of us.

    November 21, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Slag

    Of course they're lying, what do you expect from CNN and the rest of the liberal media ilk.

    November 21, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I want to know who made Norquist God??"

    The Grand Old Party did, by the power and greed invested in them through corporate lobbyists.

    November 21, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. matrix09

    Well, that's it then Norquist, if there is no increase in revenue from the filthy rich then there is no deal. The idea that it's all going to come from cuts in services to the pubic, "meaning the middle class and the poor," indicates that you and you're billionaire buddies, along with your stooges in the Republican Party, are deaf. I think no deal is the best deal for the public anyway. let the auto cuts kick in so we can cut some of that bloated military budget and the Bush tax cuts will finaly expire. Sure, we might have to slow down on bombing the rest of the world for a while and some of our mercenary troops who are out there protecting the interests of muti-national corporations everywhere might have to come home for a while. Frankly, I think I can live with that.

    November 21, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. jnpa

    Why does this guy have a such a hold over republican congressmen? He speaks and they jump? Is he that powerful that he can be their demise? Republicans like this? OMG, what a joke the GOP is!

    November 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. OccupyNorquist

    Occupiers ... occupy Norquist's office!!!!!!!

    November 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. jon

    How can any clear thinking person believe that we do not have a "revenue problem"??? With 14 to 20 million people now unemployed, or at least under-employed, the government doesn't get much money from them. In fact, with paying out all that unemployment compensation, it is a negative cash flow to be sure. And, by the way, just who is this "all powerful" Grover Norquist, and how do we GET RID OF HIM??

    November 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Leaf on the Wind

    Sorry, Mr. Norquist, but you are indeed a big part of the problem. The blasting that any of your pledgees would receive in the media if they should, for example, end the Bush tax cuts would undermine their ability to keep their job, and keeping their job is the main goal of every Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent in congress. Don't put this off on the American tax payers. We know we won't get out of this hole with spending cuts alone. Even the rich 1% have sent a group before congress practically begging to be taxed more. It is you who are being unreasonable and unbendable, Mr. Norquist.

    November 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. QuietStormX

    I watched the 60 Minutes segment and I thought this guy talking what the American people want, is dead wrong. Who elected this guy? I'm sure reasonable people who know the facts and truth of what happening now with this Congress and those who are sticking to this stupid pledge someone with a big head, but blind and stupid. Taxes pay for the things we need and to cover what republicans haven't yet in their actions. The only one lying is Norquist! And this do nothing congress holding things up. And it's showing that republicans don't represent regular citizens of their State or the United States. That they are suppose to first being elected. I'm sure they never thought of this misfunction in congress... More fire for not electing more lowly republicans. When things need to be done now.

    November 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Frank

    Grover Norquist is a Muslim. He married a Muslim woman in a Islamic ceremony that isn't open to Christians. He runs a group for Islamic businesses to steal our tax money. He's more Muslim than Obama. He is destroying America like a Bin Laden.

    November 21, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Lardeau

    Who IS this guy ?? Just another kook like Gingrich. Someone tell him to butt out. Don't raise taxes across the board .. sock it to the wealthy. When you reach a level of luxury why do you keep needing more ? Start giving more back to the low end citizens.

    November 21, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. texan

    What a load of crap--- Norquest has posted a plaque with the faces of Repub whom have signed the pledge, reniged and were stripped of funds. They lost the next primary by a Norquest backed candidate.-- He openly brags about this fact.

    November 21, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Dave shelly

    Grover is nothing more than a spoiled rich kid who has NEVER had a real job, NEVER had to worry about paying a bill. He has been in politics since 1985. When are we goiing to stop giving air time to zealots who could care less about the American middle class?

    November 21, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. PeteS

    Years ago we used to laugh at people like Norquist. Now they are running our country. They decide who is going to be on the ballot. We only get to vote for their choice. The elections are rigged and Norquist controls who gets elected.
    If a congressperson steps out of line, they are taken off the general election ballot with a primary challenger funded by Nordquist. His attack ads could turn Jesus into the devil.

    November 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Dave wrote:
    If your salary has grown 50%, the taxes you pay have already increased much more than 50% already. If you doubt me, go back and look at the taxes you paid in the Reagan years and compare it to today.
    The poor are paying a higher effective "total tax" rate because of increased state and local taxes. Their federal tax rates have dropped or remained steady. For many of them, they live on SSI and their COLA adjustments have been a joke. I find it amusing that the same people who call for taxing this type of income are for reducing capital gains taxes to zero.

    The middle class is paying a higher effective rate because of their salaries having moved them into the AMT zone. Also, Bush raised some middle class rates, but increased deductions that were related to investment. Since most middle class families were living paycheck to paycheck, they couldn't afford to take advantage of the tax deductions. The middle class has also seen their effective "total tax" rate increase over the past 30 years.

    The wealthy in this country have seen their income multiply, but have also seen their effective "total tax" rate decrease.

    November 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Jack

    One question: Why aren't the Republicans able to compromise? The Democrats are willing to give they almost everything they want in spending cuts–almost everything–so why are they Reps unable to increase taxes on billionaires? Why? Such a little thing in return. Compromise. If you don't want to/can't compormise you should not go into politics.

    November 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Wes B.

    Don't blame me. I just wrote the pledge, push the pledge, and hold it over every Republicans head.

    November 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Eric

    The Reagan mantle will not help you now Grover. And you are a Methodist? not likely....

    November 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. James Miller

    Hey Allen !!!! -– Most of the 99% crowd are college educated and have lost their jobs, can`t find jobs or victims of layoffs. So don`t give me that "brainwashed" crap.

    November 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. DJ in Texas

    To Allen – Yes, Washington is spending too much, no doubt about it. But to ONLY go after Medicare and Social Security and nothing else is ONLY asking one side and few people to give up something. The GOP ONLY wants to go after discretionary spending which if totally defunded would absolutely nothing to the deficit. EVERYTHING has to be on the table, including taxes, defense, medicare and SSN. Going only after one or two of those would do NOTHING to help solve the problem. Also, tell the GOP to come up with something to help job growth in this country and the OWS would go away. Yes there are some there that are plain lazy, but just like the Tea Party, as a whole, most are just frustrated with Wall Street getting bailed out (and keeping their jobs BTW), while the average american can't find a decent job and you still want to cut what little they have. I'm not for a nanny state, I work as hard as I can for what I can get, but I do understand their plight.

    Norquist is just a citizen – but it does seem like those who signed a pledge to HIM are afraid of him and afraid to compromise for fear of losing an election. NO politician should EVER sign a pledge except to pledge to the American people to do their best in Congress. Mr. Norquist them has them by the "you know what".

    November 21, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Slowgun

    I'll might beleive Norquist if he ever tells us who is funding him.
    Until he does, we can assume that he is funded by the extreme rich and large corporation who don't want to pay more taxes that are used to help those less know, the same people who same America is a Christian country.

    Norquist is nothing but a mouth piece for the greedy who are too ashamed to say it for themselves, so they hire him to do their dirty work.

    November 21, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. jk from MN

    This from the mouth of a man who I hang a large part of the blame for the current crop of GOP obstructors we have. Take a good long look at the harm you are causing this country as a whole – not the smal percentage that you are trying to protect.

    November 21, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Bob

    Not that I'm for raising anyone's taxes, but if that's what it takes to get a reasonable deal that'll cut billions, maybe trillions, in Federal debt spending then let the wealthy pay a few more percent and get the deal done. Anything else seems like rigid ideology and political maneuvering that doesn't serve the best interest of the country. Norquist is plainly disingenuous in his response to the interviewer. First he says "And although he admitted, "they have tried to say I'm the reason Republicans won't raise taxes, that's not nonsense," he then follows that up with a Kingly proclamation of "The Democrat's 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." So if this isn't about him and his pledge, then he doesn't get to say what is "on or off" the table; period. If he's a man of his word, then he needs to let the people's elected officials do what the people's business and do what they believe is in the best interest of the country without him making national TV appearances and proclaiming what is "off the table". Get the deal done and let's quit borrowing from the Chinese.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Why not a balanced budget pledge? They exclude their deductions, equity, pensions and all else from their logic. Norquist is an example of a proliferation of fanatics with single solutions with no provision for thought. Why did they vote for unfunded health plans that benefited those who had the most already? They could care less if Social Security fails since mandatory stock investment more closely matches their fantasy.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. PA_outofwork

    As always with liberals, apply a name, leader or person to a liberal created problem, freeze it, then destroy it by any means.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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