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. Grog Says

    The destruction of the middle class in America
    will be done by this man.
    With the Koch brothers behind him.
    Taking back the White House would make it easier, but
    having the Tea Party running Congress works just as well.

    Your vote means nothing.

    November 21, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Anne Rodriguez

    Gover Norquist is not an elected official in Congress. How can the elected officials of Congress be bond to a lobbyist?
    It's beyond anyone's belief that a lobbiyst could stalmate the entire House of Representatives or Senate in leading ths country in the right direction.

    November 21, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Of course, the fact that the majority of Americans favor tax increases (whether that be allowing the Bush Tax to expire, or an increase in taxes on the wealthy) as a necessary step in dealing with the current fiscal crisis should mean more to these congressmen than the pledge the signed "with the American people" but since this pledge is a litmus test used by the most conservative elements of the Republican party, these congressmen choose to protect their reelection bids over doing the right thing. Mr. Norquist is wrong, his pledge is playing a part in these negotiations and hs pledge is direct against the will of the majority of the people he claims his pledge is serving.

    November 21, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Did our brave servicemen and servicewomen really give up their lives in our country's wars to protect Gover Norquist's disfigured vision of America?

    November 21, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Onegood1

    Not raising taxes is proper because it prevents greater recessionary effect of more taxes. The deficit problem is 100% a spending problem, and until a balanced budget is passed, it will always be a spending problem. Any new revenues that a government gets will find its way to more irresponsible and frivolous spending by democrats, who are trying to destroy this country and remake it similar to the old Soviet Union model (the USSA – the Union of Socialist States of America).
    More taxes? >>>> Politburo anyone?

    November 21, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Grover Norquist is a cyst on the rump of American politics. As such, he should be excised. How about this. As long as the Democrats control the Senate, why doesn't someone start a Senate investigation into him and his funding? That should raise some hackles. As Scott Brown and Olympia Snow are about the only Senators who have not taken his pledge, then they can be the Republicans on the Committee.

    November 21, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. steve

    Remind me- who elected Norquist??

    November 21, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. enodot

    Grover and the rest of the Republitieas run their agenda on F.E.A.R.

    F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real

    He feels if he keeps repeating everything over and over the "American People" will believe it. That's what F.E.A.R. is all about! It doesn't take much to realize he is funded through one the the Koch Bros fantasy-hide behind groups.

    November 21, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Dixie AZ

    I believe Grover should ask for Secret Service protection. He may need it when we Americans wake up and smell the coffee.

    November 21, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Osti

    @Upol – Because rich and powerful people support him. They use their media outlets to promote him.

    November 21, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Doc

    Mr. Norquist is really earning his paycheck from the Koch brothers. When even millionaires go to Washington and lobby congressmen and senators to raise their taxes, it's evident there is a divide in this country. Perhaps what we're looking at is a prelude to another type of civil war?

    November 21, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. maude

    If Hermain Cain was incharge and in contorl of helm, all this mess would not occur. America needs to wake up and ebmrace Mr. Cain. He is your only hope and your guiding light. Cain 2012 !

    November 21, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Kyle

    lol what Grover said implies that he speaks for and unofficially represents the people of almost every congressional district. Allow me to let out a resounding "no, you don't".

    November 21, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Tom

    You made them take a pledge over America. As a result, you are part of the problem. I don't trust and will never vote for any candidate who takes a pledge. Makes me feel they are going to put the pledge first and America second.

    November 21, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Sam Adams

    We should be looking for negotiating rather than confrontation in resolving the issues. This is an election year and the posturing pundits will talk us to death with accusations hurled across the aisle. What we want is compromise. We is logical is to examine both taxes and revenue and to place on the playing table all possible means of improving the budget with absolutely nothing closed to negotiations.

    November 21, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. SilverHair

    Gover Norquist has a big bet against this country and is itching to collect and leave this country.

    November 21, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. SDG66

    I'm sure Norquist will be receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from Al Queda for all the damage to the USA his pledge and those under its sway is causing. He wasn't too shy on 60 Minutes about telling us how if a Republican politician breaks from the pledge and votes to raise taxes he will in the next election provide massive support to that politician's rival and make sure the renegade does not get reelected. Perhaps the FBI ought to launch an investigation into all this.

    November 21, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. When strange becomes reality

    As a parent, I find it really odd that many of you are advocating raising taxes. It seems that a basic principle of parenting is if you give your child money and he/she squanders it away. You do not give them more money, you make them live with the money they are already allowed. I'm not sure if I follow the thought processes of giving more money to an addict. I challenge anyone to show me why the US Government could not survive on what taxes they already collect.

    November 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Mike D


    Nice quotes that mean nothing in the real world. I'll give you another quote, "There can be no rich without the poor", "The greater the breath of wealth, the deeper the depth of poverty"!

    November 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Max Powers

    Grover, you don't get to tell the American people what is "off the table". Your delusional party is not in power. Please sit down and be quiet. You want the credit, but not the blame. Oh, and your pledge makes no sense. And you look like a cry baby.

    November 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "All Repubs who signed Norquist's pledge and feel that they are now locked in to not raise any taxes should be recalled or voted out at the next election. They are not serving the American people."

    Keeping the Loser Left from bankrupting the country isn't "serving the American people?" If the Left had its way, we'd all be living on food stamps. I'm not going to accuse the left of trying to destroy the county, but they certainly don't understand that spend, spend, spend is going to result in bankrupt, bankrupt, bankrupt just as it's doing in Greece, especially when the half of the country who pays federal taxes have finally caught on how thoroughly we're being cheated by the free-loading half that doesn't.

    November 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    1. You can legislate the prosperity out of the poor by legislating it to the wealthy.
    2. When one person recieves more for his work then another person recieves less for theirs.
    3. The government takes less from a few people who have taken more from many people.
    4. You cannot mulitply wealth by dividing it. (Isn't that what trickle down is supposed to do?)
    5.1 When half of the people do not work, that is called 50% unemployment.
    5.2 When half of the people get the idea that it does no good to work to get ahead because somebody ahead of you is holding you down, then you get it. You finally understand what the OWS is all about.

    November 21, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Steve Watson

    Sick man. I did it but it's not my fault! Isn't that the defense of the insane? Oh, ya, as a Republican conservative, he can claim that God made him do it.

    November 21, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. 2loose2trek

    This guy needs a good IRS audit. How can his organization exist as a non-profit, when it is clearly in a positionj of social blackmail? Regardless of what party, does anyone think that there is not a need for increased revenues? Under his logic I should be working at the same job as during the Reagan years, for the same amount of money. I'm not sure what planet he's from, but the cost of everything rises, and most of the time more than we increase our personal revenues. Guess it's time to become a lobbyist. NAH

    November 21, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Sasha

    Therefore, Norquist should publicly shred every pledge he has safely stored in a vault, since they have no value to him. The voters would keep the congressmen accountable.

    November 21, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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