With his power evaporating, Grover Norquist responded to the White House’s fiscal cliff hardball by throwing a tantrum and blaming Obama on Meet The Press.
Here is the video:
Transcript via Meet The Press:
David Gregory: Grover, I want to start with you as we get first reaction to Secretary Geithner. the line in the sand is clear, and that is that the administration, the president, says that Republicans will indeed blink, that they will ultimately have to acquiesce, tax rates have to go up.
Grover Norquist: Well, your interview with him was very, very helpful to me because in the past, there have been some republicans who thought that maybe the administration, like Clinton, was going to be reasonable, that they might put real reforms like welfare reform like Clinton did on the table. what we just heard was no reforms. He even took the $1 trillion in spending cuts they agreed to, to the debt ceiling, took that off. So we’ll spend $1 trillion more there. 24 this is a massive collection of spending increases and tax increases. Every Republican who had impure thoughts of maybe I could raise taxes a little because the other guy would be reasonable has to go back to the drawing board. They have just been told there are no real reforms in this budget at all.
Gregory: But what about the —
Norquist: $1.6 trillion in tax increases, and some of the savings are actually tax increases.
Gregory: How about the direct point? the Treasury Secretary telling me, look, Republicans are not going to stand in the way of tax rates going up. true or false?
Norquist: Republicans want to continue the Bush tax cuts and the extenders and the AMT patch and so on. And what we did two years ago, what Clinton signed two years ago, with a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate did two years ago, is exactly what we should do now to start with. It’s the president who is threatening to raise taxes on the middle class if he doesn’t stamp his feet and get his way. He needs to get into a room with cameras there and negotiate. That was all show and no economics. Have it in front of C-SPAN cameras. If the Republicans are reasonable, we’ll see that. If not, we’ll see that. have cameras there.
Norquist added a nice touch there when he accused the president of stamping his feet, while he is throwing a tantrum and blaming the president because it looks like taxes are going to be raised on the wealthy. Grover was so rattled that at one point he said Bill Clinton signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2010, when it was President Obama.
What we are witnessing is a man whose influence within the Republican Party is completely evaporating before our very eyes. All Norquist can do is sit in the corner and rage over how Obama won’t give him what he wants. What Norquist doesn’t want to talk about is the fact that fewer Republican freshmen arriving in Congress are signing his tax pledge. He really doesn’t want to talk about the fact that some Republicans are starting to realize that Grover Norquist has no real power.
The only power Norquist ever had was the power that Republicans gave him.
Some people might quibble with my description of Norquist’s behavior as a tantrum, but that is what it was. Norquist dodged Gregory’s true or false question on whether or not Republicans will raise taxes, and launched into blame Obama mode.
What Norquist doesn’t get is that taxes are going up no matter what. If Grover gets his way and the GOP doesn’t cut a deal, taxes go up after the country goes off the fiscal cliff. If Republicans cut a deal with Obama, taxes will be going up on the wealthiest Americans. Either way, Norquist loses.
I agree with Norquist on one thing. I would love to see this negotiations play out on television. It would be fantastic to see Republicans have to stand up in front of the country and defend raising taxes on small businesses, the middle class, and the poor, because they don’t believe the wealthy should pay more. Democrats would love nothing more than to see Republicans have to own their protect the rich at all costs position in front of the entire country.
Republicans may be talking tough, but this is a fight they are not going to win. And the era of Grover Norquist and his tax pledge is coming to an end.