Grover Norquist: ‘Impure thoughts’ on taxes

by KEVIN ROBILLARD, Politico.com  |  published on November 26, 2012

Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist on Monday downplayed possible GOP defections from his no tax increases pledge as a few senators “discussing impure thoughts on national television.”

“No Republican has voted for a tax increase,” Norquist said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “We’ve got some people discussing impure thoughts on national television.”

In recent days, Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as New York Rep. Peter King, have all said they would break the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to reach a deal that reforms entitlements and avoids the fiscal cliff.

But Norquist said all of the potential defectors had mused about higher taxes in the past, and had failed to attract a following within the Republican Party. The current crisis, he argued, would be no different.

“They all said that two years ago when we were arguing over the debt ceiling limit,” Norquist said. “And during the debt ceiling, we cut spending, we didn’t raise taxes. So other Republicans didn’t listen to Peter King or these others.”

Norquist also dismissed King’s argument that the pledge does not apply, since he signed it more than a decade ago when he was first elected. Norquist said the pledge is for the length of a time a person holds office and King’s argument “doesn’t pass the laugh test.”

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