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. Daveil

    We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The Bush tax cuts were enacted 10 years ago and are not the problem. The problem is the increased federal spending by Bush and Obama to try to be all things to all people.

    November 21, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    It is absolutely ridiculous to think that Grover Norquist has any credibility, any objectivity or any sincere interest in anything other than supporting and furthering the interests of the very few (1%).

    November 21, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Regis Tremblay

    Norquist and the "pledge" is anti-American and has destroyed the ability of our elected officials to reach consensus. This will be decided one year from now at the ballot box, if not before. The Republicans are going down in flames....defending the very rich while neglecting the common good.

    Those right wing nut jobs have shackled our government. But, this is a good thing. They will bring down the Republican Party that has no way of capturing the votes of moderate Americans. Adios, goodbye, farewell!

    November 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Caron

    Even democrat proposed deals that result in a 9 to 1 ratio between spending cuts and tax revenues is unacceptable to this Nazi. He IS the cause of our current gridlock.

    November 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. chris

    liberal fools. the pledge was made for the better of the country, not for lobbyists. and as it turns out, not for liberal special interests and Obama campaign contributors, who stand to lose the most in the way of less tax payer money they receive.

    November 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Amunaka

    "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."

    - Grover Norquist

    "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals-and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."

    – Grover Norquist

    November 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Will S

    Grover Norquist...yet another Republican who didn't serve in the military.

    November 21, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Hadenuffyet

    Funny , I don't remember being asked by Mr. Norquist about my preferences. Since when did he decide to speak for me?

    November 21, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Mary

    Norquist is one of the many reasonsI am embarrassed to be from the statge of Ga. No wonder the country looks to this state as moronic. We prove it every election by electing these idiots!

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Stalker

    But wait......Regan raised taxes..........

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. markmango

    This man is a traitor, and anyone who signs his silly pledge of treason is weak.

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Rosslaw

    Reagan signed the pledge? After signing the largest peace time tax increase sinced WWII in 1982 and ten more thereafter? Maybe he means Reagan's son Mikey

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. QS

    ""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."

    And what exactly do you call the way republicans are ignoring a majority of Americans calling for higher taxes on the rich....perfect hearing!? Grover, those of us who know better, see through you and your tripe.

    YOU may believe that this so-called "pledge" is between Congress and the American people, but Congress isn't on that same page as they only see that they are signing a pledge with your name on it, which is the only reason they know what it is – your name has become synonymous with this fairly new brand of obstructionism.

    When a majority of Americans are calling for higher taxes for the highest earners, that is NOT the same thing as believing they are calling for no new taxes at all! How is it that these simple-minded people seem to be the only ones that get and hold positions of influence like this!?

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. mrhapiguy

    So the Republicans on the committee repeatedly refer to this Norquist pledge as the reason they can not compromise, but he has nothing to do with it. I just love Republican logic.

    Vote blue dog Democrat. They are conservative where it matters; but not hypocritical, delusional wing nuts.

    November 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Mikey

    1. A top marginal tax rate of 39.6% is not "legislating the wealthy out of prosperity" The top rate was 92% in the 1950s and the world didn't stop turning.
    2. There is not a proposal to give people's money away, but to raise the top marginal rate AND cut spending to eliminate the deficit.
    3. Once again, the proposals are to cut spending, too.
    4. What the heck is that supposed to mean – you can't prove your point with meaningless slogans.
    5. Where did you get the idea that half the people aren't working or don't want to work. The unemployment rate is 9% and the un\employed, plus underemployed, plus discouraged workers is closer to 17%. There simply aren't enough jobs to go around right now.

    If we are going to have a reasonable debate, you cannot restate the other person's position to something they did not say and then agrue against that phantom position. It's ridiculous, but a frequent conservative tactic nonetheless.

    November 21, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Dave R.

    It will be interesting to see how Republican seniors and soon-to be retirees will vote next November. Voting for their party will definitely mean significant cuts to SS and Medicare and a much later retirement than they would like. For sure, Democrats will be campaigning that voting for them ensure that will not happen.

    November 21, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Gae

    Grover Norquist is the liar. Nothing he has done is a legitimate representation of the interests of the American people.

    November 21, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. sandwichOo

    Norquist has no right derailing our government like this. Every Republican who cited his name needs to face an investigation regarding undue influence.

    November 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Mike

    And who do you trust? Alan Simpson, or Grover Norquist? NO CONTEST! Norquist represents everything that is wrong with lobbyist power in this country. Including the fact nobody knows who backs him financially.

    November 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Irfan

    Parties should be limited to raising money only by party membership fees. No more lobby for this donations and lobby for that donations....big corporation donations etc. Can you just imagine?

    November 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. david

    A Republican accusing a Democrat of "lying"...can it get any less complicated as to what this county's problem is? This partisonship is destroying us and the ignorant just stand there and point fingers just like their leaders. How "rich".

    November 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. boyamidumb

    Guys like this serve to keep a bloated government in power. They do NOTHING to actually address the issues and find a start to resolving it. Nothing will happen in a day. This mess did not build over night, but over decades and through many administrations. No one is truly addressing the issues of things like a totally out of control military-industrial complex that is making the trillions we are blowing on usesless, counterproductive wars and military presence all over the planet.

    November 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. dbgirl

    I cannot understand how Republicans can honestly think it is alright to hold true to a pledge they made more than a decade ago. Things change. Even Ronald Regan raised taxes. I would love to see those who have the balls to collectively stand up to Grover Norquist and say 'NO! WE KNOW WE MUST RAISE REVENUES AND WILL RAISE TAXES ON THE RICHEST AMERICANS TO HELP BRING THIS COUNTRY BACK. IT IS OUR DUTY TO SERVE OUR CITIZENS NOT BE HELD HOSTAGE TO THE LIKES OF GROVER NORQUIST!"

    November 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. GOP Hate America

    your finally being called out for what you are norquist

    November 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Caron

    HOWARD: wake up, dude. Helping those who cannot help themselves is what churches do, compassionate neighbors do, friends do, In addition, no one is suggesting that the wealthy are being impoverished. That's a bit of a push there, don't you think. Many of the wealthy got that way not through hard work but by screwing others, inflating prices, charging inappropriately high fees, gouging, cheating, stealing. So grow up and get real.

    November 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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