Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Grover Norquist | Glenn Beck | lying

Norquist: Gaffney, Not Beck, Peddling 'Dishonest' Attacks on Me

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 06:11 PM

Big-government scourge Grover Norquist is declining — for now — to lash back at conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck, who recently accused him of lying about ties to radical Islamists and tried to expel him from the National Rifle Association governing board.

"I don't want to blame Glenn," Norquist told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Wednesday "He does a lot of good stuff."

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The Americans for Tax Reform founder criticized somebody else instead, calling his row with fellow conservative Beck a rehash of decade-old, debunked charges from a "conspiracy theory" purveyor: national security analyst Frank Gaffney.

"If you're going to be in politics and throw punches, there will be people who try and make themselves famous by attacking you," said Norquist, who was also promoting a new book on tax day 2015, "End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America."

Norquist confirmed reports that he has voluntarily suspended himself from the NRA board of directors to allow for an internal investigation.

"I want to see a review so we can knock this stuff and drive a stake through it," he said.

He was re-elected over the objection of Beck, who threatened to resign his own NRA board seat after accusing the well-connected conservative lobbyist of secretly taking money from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Beck grilled Norquist in an interview in March and said afterward that Norquist was "lying" about his role as a clandestine influence peddler for an organization accused by some critics of being anti-Western and extremist.

Norquist said Beck "got taken advantage of" by Gaffney, a hawkish analyst and commentator on foreign policy and defense issues who said in the 2000s that Norquist had radical Islamist ties.

"I'm not sure Glenn Beck understands that he's being handed recycled stuff that's not true, but I wanted to protect the NRA," Norquist said of his self-suspension.

"I was glad that those attacks on me during the election campaign didn't change anything," he said. "The NRA family re-elected me to the board for the sixth time. This is a big important part of what I do, fighting for the Second Amendment rights as well as fighting for taxpayers, but I'm delighted that there's going to be a review of all these attacks."

He said he expects to be cleared "for the fourth time," explaining, "Three other national conservative groups have already looked at Mr. Frank Gaffney's stuff and pronounced it dishonest."

"Two of them threw him out of the organizations as a result," said Norquist, who also pronounced himself "bored" with the controversy and conspiracy theories that he described as "one of the costs of playing hardball in Washington, D.C."

On the subject of his new book, Norquist said Americans today live in fear of the IRS — and probably should.

"This is not being scared of spiders, he said. "This is a real concern that people have. They've taken people's private data and handed it to their political enemies. They've targeted people, politically, for abuse."

Norquist said the targeting of conservative nonprofits that's at the center of today's IRS scandals goes back to President Bill Clinton.

"I served on a congressional commission where we investigated this, and I asked the head of the IRS then … 'Why are you targeting conservatives?'" he said.

He was told not to worry because the agency had a scientific — and secret — method for scrutinizing political nonprofits fairly, he said.

Norquist rejected the agency's blaming budget cuts for ballooning wait times on IRS help lines this tax season.

"The budget of the IRS in real dollars, taking inflation into account, has doubled since 1983," he said.

IRS employees also spend 500,000 person-hours each year doing federal government employee union work that taxpayers are covering even as they sit on hold interminably, said Norquist.

"500,000 hours going to do union stuff that has nothing to do with answering phones," he said. 'They could've done 2.3 million phone calls with the time that actually was contributed to organized labor from the taxpayers. They're not trying."

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Big-government scourge Grover Norquist is declining — for now — to lash back at conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck, who recently accused him of lying about ties to radical Islamists.
Grover Norquist, Glenn Beck, lying, Islamist ties, Frank Gaffney, Midpoint
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2015-11-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 06:11 PM
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