Norquist: ATR May Choose Cheney Over Enzi

Image: Norquist: ATR May Choose Cheney Over Enzi

Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013 11:11 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said on Wednesday that he would be open to supporting Republican Liz Cheney in her primary battle against Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi.

Norquist told The Hill that he did not yet know Cheney’s position on the issues, but that he was unhappy with Enzi for his support of an Internet sales tax bill in Senate.

If Cheney signed the organization’s “No new taxes” pledge and opposed the Internet legislation, Norquist said his organization could support her.

“I do not have a position on Internet sales tax from Cheney's daughter, nor do we have a pledge from her,” Norquist told the Hill. “Enzi has taken the pledge, but we're obviously not excited about his position on the Internet sales tax.

“We're interested in her views on Internet sales taxes and whether or not she's willing to protect Wyoming voters against any and all new taxes,” he added. “Then, we can speak intelligently as to the differences between the two.”

Cheney, the eldest of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s two daughters, said on Tuesday that she would run against Enzi, Wyoming's senior U.S. senator, in next year's Republican primary.

The popular Enzi announced almost simultaneously that he would seek a fourth, six-year term.

Cheney's announcement is a political challenge unlike anything Wyoming has seen for years, probably even decades. Republicans in the state rarely challenge incumbents of their own party in national office. All three members of the state's congressional delegation and all statewide elected officials are Republican.

Cheney, who also is a former Fox News commentator and State Department official, has been vocal on foreign policy, but her views aren't well-known on other issues, Norquist said.

He told the Hill that he was there was "disappointment" over Enzi's strong support of the Internet sales tax, and that once he had a clear idea where Cheney stood, the group would start "putting out material" on the race and might get involved with an endorsement.

Norquist did not, however, commit to either candidate.

The organization spent more than $16 million on races during the 2012 election cycle, the Hill reports.

"If she's not going to come in on overall taxes, Enzi has. If she does, he's come in on overall taxes but supported something that's problematic,” Norquist said. “The Internet sales tax is a teeny, teeny tax, but it's a massive knock in the hole in the wall of allowing one state to collect taxes in another state.”

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