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. veteran

    In the Old West people like Norquist would be tarred and feathered and run out of town.

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

    Who are these congressmen who signed this pledge? I want to see if any of them are in my district or state so I can vote them out come the next election. If anyone knows where this list is online, please provide that link.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Brent

    After reading around 100 of these posts, it's great to see that about 95% are anti Norquist and anti Republican. The Republicans are going to have a tough time come 2012.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. maartin snyder

    People ask, "where does his power come from??"
    The answer is easy: Today, in this country, just like in the gilded age of the 1890's and the roaring '20's, MONEY EQUALS POWER.
    That's Power to elect, power to influence, power to buy votes when you want to.
    It is not good for the country. But it's great for fund-raiser par excellence Grover N.

    November 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. uzalex

    It completely blows my mind that anybody in their right mind would sign a pledge that completely takes your freedom away, least of all our congress men. How can they choose to be beholden to one man? Where is their dignity – I will rather loose a race before I let anybody drag me by throat.
    The guy is enjoying it. You should have seen the glee on his face @ the end of his 60 mins interview. I applaud the repubs who have released themselves from this crap and I applaud Huntsman as the only presidential candidate that refused to sign his freedom of thoughts and common sense away. I guess that's why he's polling @ 1%. Are there any intelligent republicans left? How can they even support this? Granted they want Obama out but this is just mind bugling!

    November 21, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Luke Brown

    This character has more scams going than anyone. This Tax Reform group is just a front for some rich people, and a way for this guy to get his name in the newspaper. I was surprised he didn't go to jail with Abramoff.

    November 21, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Steve

    Sitting on their behinds all day? Are you saying that average Americans are choosing not to work? That's ridiculous. When the economy crashed in 2008 people just suddenly decided to not work and that's why unemployment is up over 9%? Man! (Oh, and the whole "wash your hair" crap is getting tiresome. Leave that b.s. to that oger Newt Gingrich.) By any objective measure the wealthiest among us pay less in taxes as a percentage of their income than do middle class taxpayers. No one can deny that the wealthy have done extraordinarily well these past couple of decades, even as things have remained fairly stagnant for everybody else. Tax policy has something to do with this. (Case and point: the Bush tax cuts were skewed to the wealthy class and those breaks most certainly did not trickle down. In fact job creation during the Bush years was pathetic even as income among the wealthiest grew substantially.) Why you feel the need to defend people who are more than capable of defending themselves if they rightly could seems rather odd to me. (And what would you say to the many vocal millionaires who are practically begging to have their taxes raised for the good of the cause?) Washington indeed has a spending problem. Cuts must be made. But Washington also has a revenue problem. An increase in revenue, too, is a must if we're going to get back to the balanced budgets, budget surpluses and job creation capacity of the Clinton years.

    November 21, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Jack

    One man, Norquist, has control over the Republicans and will not allow any tax increases! That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Politicians' duty should always be to do what is in best interest for their country and not be held hostage by some anti-tax lobbyist who has a single purpose in mind.

    Well, the American people will get what they deserve when the govt is forced to cut away at social security, Medicaid, Medicare, military, govt jobs, veteran benefits, schools & education, etc., etc. Gutting these program to very basic levels while the rich enjoy their tax breaks and become richer and richer. Watch what happens to America's middle class under Republicans and maybe the people will learn a valuable lesson about electing right wingers into office.

    In 2012 election, people must vote for Democrats or expect their govt to fail. Republicans only care for the interests of the rich and will be very happy to destroy middle class America!!! Republicans are only in power to make the rich into super or mega rich. You can already see this happening.

    America needs spending cuts and tax increases to overcome their huge deficit. Trying to just focus on one part of the equation, like the Republicans, amounts to total insanity!!!

    November 21, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. KBNJ

    Congrats to the Dems for finding a single guy to vilify and make it look like THEY aren't beholding to the money that gets them elected. Total, absolute B.S., but welcome to the world of politics. Be honest about what you stand for and be prepared to pay the ultimate price. And to those somehow still believe any Dem isn't voting to keep the campaign funds coming – get a grip.

    November 21, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Kathy

    Can somebody please explain to me why we are listening to this man, and why the media continue to treat him as an authority on anything? The last time I checked, he's never been elected by anyone to represent anything. He's a self-appointed ideologue. Who cares what he thinks? Talk is cheap. Run for election, bud, and see how many people really agree with your particular point of view.

    November 21, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Abresh

    Sorry, Mr. Norquist, but they are not lying. The fact is that your anti-tax pledge is the main reason why these people are unable to come to an agreement. It's time for YOU to stop lying about that and stop trying to dictate to our elected officials.

    November 21, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. KBNJ

    Congrats to the Dems for finding a single guy to vilify and make it look like THEY aren't beholding to the money that gets them elected. Total, absolute B*** S*** but welcome to the world of politics. Be honest about what you stand for and be prepared to pay the ultimate price. And to those somehow still believe any Dem isn't voting to keep the campaign funds coming – get a grip.

    November 21, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC


    Why are Republicans signing a pledge to a LOBBYIST??
    Because that "anonymous individual" represents the most common interests of people who represent 40% of the wealth in this country at least 80% of the business wealth in this country. What is most significant about those numbers is that they represent over 90% of the campaign contributions to our nation's political campaigns. Roughly 70% of those donations go towards conservative candidates. Thanks to the "Citizens United" ruling, it will no longer be possible to accurately measure those numbers.

    November 21, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. johnmenacherjr

    My Solution is to BAN ALL lobbyists from Washington DC period. This man is a black mailingt nut bag! The party is way to indebited to him for any clear site at resolving anything!!! Just look at his performance on TV yesterday it said it all.

    November 21, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. PinwheelHater

    How is not illegal to allow elected officials to sign the pledges of lobbyists? The sale of government to the highest bidder and or the loudest voice is the root cause of most of our current problems. Campaign finance reform should be the number one issue above Jobs and deficit. Without addressing it no progress on any other front seems plausable.

    November 21, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    TonyInNYC asked:

    If a legislator who signed Norquist's pledge agreed to raise taxes, would Norquist lobby against him or her for doing it?
    Lobby against? No, not exactly. It would be worse. He would campaign against that person by sponsoring an opponent. It would also make it difficult to cash in on your political career after you leave office, such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have done.

    November 21, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Willy

    After watching a news magazine last night, this man is pure evil to this country. He stated that "THE PLEDGE" is to the American taxpayer citizens. I'm kinda like "HUH"? His name wasn't listed on any ballot when I voted. This country would be much better off without people like this guy living off the coatails of law abiding taxpayers and politicians.

    November 21, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Republican who supports President Obama

    I did not agree to the pledge. I don't acknowledge my local pol agreeing to the pledge. I do not stand for such pledges that trump the will of the majority of the people.

    This pledge should be burned on the great lawn and be a sign to the pols in office – America does not agree with special interests hijackings our country.

    November 21, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Tom

    On 60 minutes Norquist said that the pledge was between taxpayers and their congressmen. Here he makes the same claim. Exactly when did the country or taxpayers request this pledge? Did I miss something? This pledge is between Norquist's backers (unknown) and the republicans who signed it and Norquist is the "enforcer"!

    November 21, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Tomz

    Pure semantics. Norquist had them sign the pledge, but it was a pledge between the Congressperson and the American people?

    Norquist isn't 100% at fault, but he's trying to avoid any responsibility by blaming the "American People".
    I am an American person, and I did not ask for such a pledge. I don't want to see my taxes go up astronomically, but I am reasonable, and realize that sacrifices must be made.

    November 21, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Joe

    Grover Norquist is lying. The American taxpayer didn't make the sign that pledge, he did.

    November 21, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Anyone who can say "the "99%" that sit on their behinds all day lamenting that the rich are not paying their fair share." has no business calling ANYONE "ill-informed."

    May your life be filled with the trouble of others and may you experience the interest, comprehension and compassion you offer others.

    November 21, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Rob1961

    Affer seeing an interview of Norquist on 60 minutes and his evasive two-step answers, We have more to fear from his power and money brokers he represents than any elected official. He has all the traits of an American Nazi.

    November 21, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Firstlight

    Grover Norquist is predominantly funded by and represents THE 1% !!!!! HE and the people he represents are whom the 99% are protesting.

    November 21, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. mary

    This guy is the cause of all the problems and he's being paid by that 1%! He's running the show and it's just sad. It isn'tnot raising taxes on the American people that they are pledgiing, it's not raising taxes on that 1%! those are the onlty people this little weasel is looking for and they are paying him big bucks to do it! These stupid tea party idiots are just to dim-witted to see it. I wonder what would happen if nobody signed that pledge. This dufus said on 60 minutes last night that he doesn't force them to sign, but they won't be back for another term if they don't. What does that tell you??!! Sounds like a threat to me! Those GOPers aren't working for us...they work for Norquist!

    November 21, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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