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. Tim

    What is lost in all this is the fact that the Republicans actually do want to increase tax revenue. They just believe that it is best done by growing the tax base. They also want to cut entitlement spending, which is something that the Democrats do not want to do. The Democrats want to raise revenue through higher rates, which supply-side economists will actually result in lower overall revenue due to the negative impact higher rates have on the growth of the economy.

    November 21, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Cole-Boston

    This clown has some of the Repulicans by the........& yet continues to lie about it. Granted, there is a lot of blame to go around on this but we all pay taxes, & pay them PROUDLY, but we all have a responsibility, INCLUDING THE 1%!!!!!

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. inobetter

    Sorry, Grover, "Plausible deniabi;ity" just doesn't apply here. On more than 1 occassion you have made it quite clear that you will personally ensure that any republican who signed YOUR pledge will be publicly reminded of the same come election time, and will face a rough re-election for violating it!. "Read my lips, no new taxes" has a limit and what is best for the country is as often a sincere apology as a rigid stance to an increasingly untenable principle. Politics, by definition, is compromise. Please go away!

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Paul

    It also should be illegal for the following:
    1. For a private citizen to coerce or intimidate a US Congressman into signing anything.
    2. For a US Congressman to sign any pledge that isn't created by a majority of the Citizens of the US of A.

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Todd

    Here's what's going to happen... Republicans can play this game of refusing to give an inch. The people will see the state of the economy and Republicans lack of desire to fix it so they can win an election. The people will reject it and not only will the Republicans lose a presidency that was being handed to them, they will lose more seats. So this whole stupid game hurts all of us and won't accomplish victory for the people or the Republicans. Americans aren't that blasé to let that go rewarded. Republicans had to raise taxes before, so yes, this foolish pledge is the devil in the details that will get them all tossed out of service. They can read their pledge while they are no longer in congress. How you like them apples?

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Justin Cider

    "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share" [Such tax loopholes] "sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that's crazy."

    "Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver, or less?"

    President Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1985

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Norm

    Norquist is a liar..
    Our congress needs a good house cleaning and a new law needs to be passed banning insider trading and lobbyist pay offs.
    Corruption and greed have destroyed our government and our country.
    The people have had it.
    No one believes a word either side says anymore.
    The people need to voice a lack of confidence and start over.
    No more big money politics.
    Let the people decide and let the wealthy corporations go overseas where they've sent our jobs.

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. billy davis

    60minuteman: All but 10 Republican Congressmen signed it and all of the GOP Senators signed it.

    November 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Plantiful

    2Sharp: Grover Norquist is responsible for King Bush II's tax break for the rich, and has currently forced Repbulicans to sign a no tax-increase pledge: if the do not sign it or if the do sign and then break the pledge, campaign money goes to his / her opponent in the next election.

    As you can imagine, this adds a tremendous amount of flexibility in dealing with our current fiscal crisis, which he engineered: his little theory about finance includes cutting government programs (you know.... those safety nets that the Little People sometimes need) by creating a financial meltdown. We're here......

    November 21, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. interested66

    We are in a national crisis! A national emergency! The republicans have made a pledge to Norquist and his gang of thieves that they hold more important than their pledge of office to the citizens of this country.They have also pledged to do anything and everything to make our President fail! This is treason! We should try them all for treason! Short of that we can certainly make sure that the 99% throw all of them out of office in 2012!

    November 21, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. woodyplace

    Forget Nordquist and fire the Congress. The American citizens voted them in . vote them out. We didn't elect Nordquist. He doesn't count. The spliness Republicans need to run out of Washington.

    November 21, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Innkahoots

    Grover Norquist! He owes me money. and you.

    November 21, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. TomInRochNY

    I never asked my representative or senator to sign your pledge, Grover. But, because of you they won't listen to what I have to say or what I wan't them to do for me. So, yes, you are the problem.

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. JOE

    Norquist: "Dems are lying." And the WMD's?

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Jonathen

    The Democrats might be lying, but Grover, the numbers don't, and neither does history.

    Both history and the current and past numbers support that your polices don't work and that you are the problem, not the

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. TM

    After reading this, how EXACTLY is it a lie when Norquist just CONFIRMED the charge as the truth?

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. bigdad

    Norquist is a power hungry little imp who admitted on 60 minutes that he loves the power to decide who gets in office. THAT is NOT democratic. He has the power, with the freedom to make or break republican lawmakers through the unethical use of money from corporations, to control who is elected. He wants total disclosure of all financing in politics, especially democrats, but lo and behold, his organization is non-profit and he will not divulge where all his bucks come from to destroy or elect people. Norquist is the liar, and a snake in the grass to boot. The supreme court gave him even more power with the ability to use any amount of money needed to sway elections. He is the shining star of what is wrong with America.

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Phattee

    It won't be long now until the names Grover Norquist and Benedict Arnold can be used interchangeably.

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Marc

    "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."

    That's the problem. If you take a hard line position, you can't negotiate, and you force the other side into a hard line position as well. What are the Dems supposed to do? Give in to all of the Republicans demands because they signed a pledge?

    November 21, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. David in Houston

    Someone is lying alright. However, to find the culprit Norquist need look no further than the nearest mirror...

    November 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. mike

    BS. The pledge is to Norquist. He's the one with the funds who fires back if candidates break it or don't sign it. Not the American people.

    November 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Jeff

    It appears that the DEMS are the ONLY ones "negotiating" to me??

    November 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. WW902

    The GOP are liars... the Dems are liars... and the worst liar of them all is Grover Norquist. The GOP & Grover Norquist think the government can be run as a business and help only businesses. The Dems want to help every person and every country in-need. Both approaches are dead wrong. IMO, it is time for the immigration to the USA to take a long overdue time-out. And cutting foreign nationals from Medicaid and state welfare roles will save $80 billion per year (federal, state, county, & city levels combined). But businesses need foreign nationals to keep wages suppressed so the GOP and Grover Norquist oppose that cut; and the Dems oppose it as they want open borders and aide to every person. The problem ... the USA cannot afford Dems or GOP approaches. I say elect a committee of 1,000 US Citizens (50% business men and 50% on welfare) and let them decide; a decision must be unanimous. And I can guarantee a decision politicians hate will be derived in 7-days time.

    November 21, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Lee

    No matter what they sides pledge is being followed, I don't like the idea of large swaths of our legislators making pledges that limit their ability to compromize and make good laws. If they want to make a promise to their constituents, that is one thing but, I feel like pleges like Norquist's borders on being a conflict of interest to their duties as an elected official. I count such pledges against candidates who make them.

    November 21, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Gino

    How does this Koch bagman and lobbyist get to enthrall Republicans? The question answers itself.

    November 21, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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