Even as Republicans start to back away from Grover Norquist’s no-new-tax pledge, he has continued to defend it, asserting on Wednesday that critics are “lying” about the pledge.
Norquist, on C-SPAN, responded to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comment at a recent Hill hearing, when he said that he hadn't signed Norquist’s pledge because he wasn't one to “outsource your principles and convictions to people.”
Norquist said Bush was quoting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has said before that Republicans are bound to Norquist when they sign the pledge. “When Jeb Bush comes in from out of town like some yokel off the bus and gets hurled into the middle of this and starts quoting Democratic senators who are lying, it puts him in an awkward position,” said Norquist, who is the founder of advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. He insists the pledge is not to him or his group, but to the American people.
Bush came into the spotlight earlier this week for saying that conservative idol Ronald Reagan would have "a hard time" finding a place in the current GOP, which he said is too conservative for the more moderate Reagan. But Norquist pushed back against the claim, arguing that the GOP is still Reagan’s party and that the idea of an extreme GOP is a story being pushed by President Obama.
“That's the meme, the story line, the narrative that Obama is trying to drive,” he said.